At the heart of the MM110 is an AMD Dual Core 5050e 2.6GHz processor, which is the same as you’ll find inside the MM200 but more powerful than the processor used in the MM100. The other upgrade from the MM100 is that the wired keyboard has been replaced by a wireless version, and a number of software changes have been made.
Like the MM200, the M110’s list of capabilities is astounding, but inevitably sacrifices had to be made at this lower price point, which explains why you don’t get the twin Freeview tuners and PVR functionality found on the MM200.
Because the unit is based around the Windows Vista operating system, it’s incredibly slick and easy to use. When you boot it up, you’re plunged straight into the Windows Media Center front end, which allows you to access films, music and photos easily thanks to its elegant and intuitive onscreen graphics.
Loading up media files onto the hard disk is a trouble-free process – from any of the USB ports or card slots, the Vivadi plays back its supported files with no glitches and copies them in an instant. Thanks to the Wi-Fi connection, we were able to upload tracks over a network and play them back on the Vivadi with no hassle whatsoever.
When you load a DVD, it asks you straight away if you want to copy it to the hard disk. A step-by-step wizard guides you through the process and it rips the entire DVD in a fairly quick time – ”Star Wars Episode III” took around 50 minutes. You can copy it in the background while you perform other tasks and once it’s been copied, they’re listed in the Movie Collection menu with the sleeve, a synopsis and all the key details.
When using Media Center, Vivadi supplies a remote that makes the unit feel more like an AV product than a PC (but you can use the wireless keyboard instead). The remote looks quite stylish in a quirky kind of way, with an arched shape and gloss-black finish, but the button layout leaves a lot to be desired. As John found in the MM200 review, the use of three circles of buttons – one for playback control, one for menu navigation, the other for volume/programme – is cumbersome and makes it easy to accidentally press the wrong key. That said, the rows of buttons along the top offering direct access to music, photo and movie libraries are a convenient touch, and the unit responds quickly to its infrared commands.