Elonex Lumina 40in – Media Center PC Review - Elonex Lumina 40in Review


Although DVD playback was pretty good using the integrated DVD drive, I would rather use a high-quality external DVD player with a screen this size. It’s therefore good to see that another feature that Elonex has added to this latest Lumina is a set of component video inputs. So, if you want the best DVD quality, you can ouput a progressive scan signal over component video.

The Lumina itself is finished in minimalist brushed aluminium and, in my opinion at least, it looks great. Below the screen are power buttons for the TV and for the integrated Media Center computer, along with an input select button. There are also two infrared receivers – one for the TV remote and one for the Media Center remote. The Lumina sits on a wavy, silver metal stand that complements it well, but Elonex does offer optional wall brackets as well.

Looking at the Lumina for the first time, it’s hard to believe that there’s a whole PC squeezed inside the chassis, and despite the cramped dimensions, Elonex has still managed to integrate a decent specification. Driving things along is a 3GHz Pentium 4 CPU with Hyper Threading, while 1GB of PC3200 memory should keep things ticking along nicely. Storage is well catered for by a 400GB Seagate hard disk, but this isn’t a standard drive. Elonex knows that operational noise is a big issue when it comes to PCs in the living room, so it has chosen one of Seagate’s new consumer electronics hard disks, that are designed to be as quiet as possible.

Taking care of graphics is an ATI Radeon 9600 – this may be an old chipset, but once again, Elonex is more concerned with keeping the sound down, and this particular card is passively cooled, so there’s no annoying fan to spoil those movie moments.

The optical drive is also well featured, despite being a slim line notebook unit. This is a Super-Multi DVD burner and will write to DVD-R at 8x, DVD+R at 8x, DVD-RAM at 5x, DVD-RW at 4x, DVD+RW at 4x, CD-R at 24x and finally CD-RW at 16x. So you won’t have any trouble playing back optical media, and you can easily burn data, music or video off to pretty much any disc you have handy.

The optical drive is located to the right of the screen but is set far enough in so that it’s not visible from the front. Mounted next to the optical drive is an 8-in-1 memory card reader, along with microphone and headphone sockets, a six-pin FireWire port and a USB 2.0 port. Finally, there’s an omni directional antenna mounted just above the optical drive and card reader – the antenna is for the integrated 802.11b/g WiFi adapter, and I have to say that it worked very well, offering solid reception both in my flat and the TrustedReviews office.

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