When Windows XP Media Center Edition launched last year, there was one product that stood head and shoulders above every other implementation, and that was the eXentia from Elonex. On the launch day last year, I managed to get hold of a pre-production eXentia, in order to write a preview. Well, Elonex hasnâ€™t let the grass grow under its feet, and this year I managed to get a sneak peek at the latest Elonex wonder system, and itâ€™s looking like a real winner.
The eXentia was an all-in-one Media Center solution built around a 17in widescreen display. The integration in the eXentia was unparalleled, with everything you needed in one box â€“ even the wireless receivers for the keyboard, mouse and remote control were all hidden within the chassis.
Elonex hasnâ€™t strayed too far from the original concept of the eXentia, but it has definitely improved on an already impressive formula. Once again, Elonex has chosen to build a Media Center PC around an LCD screen. The only difference this time is that the screen is a massive 30in widescreen model.
The truly amazing thing about the Elonex Lumina, is that it looks like any other large screen LCD display. If you saw it hanging on a wall, youâ€™d think it was a wall hanging TV and nothing more â€“ even if you saw it running Media Center, your initial thought would be that itâ€™s connected to a PC somehow. The fact that there is a fully working Media Center PC within the slim and stylish chassis is, quite simply, unbelievable.
I actually looked at the original prototype of the Lumina back in April, and was impressed with Elonexâ€™s vision and aspiration. But now that Iâ€™ve got a near-production ready unit in front of me, that early prototype looks crude and clumsy, despite how impressed I was with it only a matter of months ago.
To be honest, even if the Lumina was a plain old widescreen LCD TV, it would still look great. With a brushed aluminium finish and clean lines, the Lumina is the type of aspirational style icon that youâ€™d expect to see hanging in Heals, while you were picking out a Â£2,000 coffee table.