But don’t go thinking that the only software you’re going to get is Media Center, because Hush has also bundled Microsoft Works Suite 2005. This is a great little office suite, since it includes a full version of Microsoft Word, which is the application that most people need anyway. There’s also a copy of Cyberlink PowerDVD in case you want to watch DVD movies under Windows instead of from within Media Center, and a copy of Nero for those CD and DVD burning duties. Finally eTrust Antivirus is pre-installed to keep you safe.
Although the E2-MCE has S-Video output, that’s not really the way a machine like this is likely to be connected. This is the type of machine that’s going to be part of a high-end AV setup, so it will probably be connected via DVI to a progressive scan flat screen or projector. It’s only with this kind of display that you can show off Media Center to its best, especially if you plan on watching High-Definition WMV content.
I have to say that I like Media Center – it represents a big step in the right direction as far as convergence goes. So, coupling Media Center with a Hush ATX PC – arguably the most beautifully built PCs that money can buy – is bound to be a winning combination. But of course there’s always that old saying that you get what you pay for, nagging at the back of my mind and unsurprisingly, you’re going to have to dig deep for a Hush Media Center PC. The E2-MCE in the review configuration will set you back £1,791.38, which is not an insignificant amount of money by anyone’s standards. You also have to consider that you don’t get a monitor, or even a keyboard and mouse.
So, do I think that the Hush E2-MCE is worth the money? Well, if I was going to buy a Media Center PC to sit amongst my home cinema equipment, this is the one that I’d want. Not only does it perform flawlessly, but it looks like a work of art that wouldn’t be out of place in the recently refurbished Museum of Modern Art in New York. Yes the price is very high, but a lot of that cost is going into the superb construction of the machine itself and all the attention to detail therein.
The Elonex Lumina may be the best all-in-one Media Center solution out there, but if you’re looking for something to sit on your HiFi or home cinema rack, the Hush will blend in beautifully with your power and pre-amp setup.
If you’re a serious home cinema buff and you’re looking to add a Media Center PC to your system, the Hush E2-MCE is exactly what you’re looking for. This is the most beautifully constructed Media Center PC that I’ve ever seen, and it would complement even the most high-end AV setup. There’s no denying that it’s expensive, but if you want the best, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Score in detail