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Touch-Screen HTPC: Three Premium Cases Compared

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February 5, 2010 6:00:49 AM

If Crysis were a movie, would you be able to watch it with one of these?
February 5, 2010 6:57:30 AM

I am afraid I can't see that small screen very well. >.<
On screen display makes more sense.
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February 5, 2010 7:14:38 AM

I find screens on HTPC cases rather pointless... your gonna be sitting at least 3m away from screen, at which point case screen is too small to see, using a remote or wireless mouse/keyboard is a much better idea... whos gonna be sitting right in front of big 50inch tv...?
Anonymous
February 5, 2010 7:35:47 AM

You are forgetting that this is a multimedia setup, not just for movies and video playback, and just like old audio players that had these small displays, at least youll be able to get some information when playing other media.
February 5, 2010 9:38:09 AM

caustin582If Crysis were a movie, would you be able to watch it with one of these?

For once cant people stop talking about Crysis ? Or atleast till Crysis 2 is released ?
February 5, 2010 10:43:24 AM

There is no way my sense of value would allow me to even consider such a case; my wife, being a rational individual herself, would be baffled and angry if I wasted so much money.
Of course, members of the US Congress will probably all buy a couple (at least)...
February 5, 2010 11:26:10 AM

It would be nice to have a remote with a screen like the iPod nano to control audio from the sofa. Then you wouldn't need to turn on the TV or buy a case with a screen.
February 5, 2010 11:55:47 AM

I have a silverstone case with 7" touchscreen. It is very useful as my HTPC as it allows me to monitor the system while a movie is playing. Things like temps, cpu, etc are all displayed while I am playing back a movie. This system sits in a rack at the back of the home theater so you don't really notice it unless you go looking for it. Everyone comments on the display, it has a big cool factor. For people who would put the HTPC next to their main screen however an on-screen display would probably be more useful.
February 5, 2010 11:55:59 AM

I have a silverstone case with 7" touchscreen. It is very useful as my HTPC as it allows me to monitor the system while a movie is playing. Things like temps, cpu, etc are all displayed while I am playing back a movie. This system sits in a rack at the back of the home theater so you don't really notice it unless you go looking for it. Everyone comments on the display, it has a big cool factor. For people who would put the HTPC next to their main screen however an on-screen display would probably be more useful.
February 5, 2010 12:14:25 PM

$700.00 for an htpc case is entirely too much. Even $275.00 is too much for a case. It is unacceptable. Then a small 7 inch display that is distorted? No way!!!
February 5, 2010 12:15:54 PM

It'd be way cooler if I can remove the screen and use it as a remote.
February 5, 2010 12:19:22 PM

I don't really see the big plus of a display because it would be much handier that you use a logitech harmony for all of your devices. Most of the time you sit on the couch and you dont want to get off it to start the movie or switch the source.
Nossy's idea is much better and way handier.
February 5, 2010 12:58:59 PM

I have built a few HTPCs for myself and others and I think these screens are pretty pointless. Also, there are plenty of classy looking cases with plenty of space around the $100 - $150 mark.
February 5, 2010 2:00:45 PM

d70guyI have a silverstone case with 7" touchscreen. It is very useful as my HTPC as it allows me to monitor the system while a movie is playing. Things like temps, cpu, etc are all displayed while I am playing back a movie. This system sits in a rack at the back of the home theater so you don't really notice it unless you go looking for it. Everyone comments on the display, it has a big cool factor. For people who would put the HTPC next to their main screen however an on-screen display would probably be more useful.


You worry about your cpu temps and voltages while you're watching a movie on the damn thing ? Get a life.
February 5, 2010 2:41:31 PM

What are the best HTPC cases without screen?
For me the good look, and silent operation and well designed cooling system are top of the list. These are nice, but the prises are somewhat high. The 300$ is not too bad, but it was the noisiest and smallest alternative...
February 5, 2010 3:57:24 PM

Compare the cases like the ones from HUSH and then I will be onboard for a new case... Small and useful. That is the ticket.
February 5, 2010 4:10:24 PM

Can you guys make a review of what mobo's and what cases are best for an ultra small htpc? I have seen zotac's and intel's mini itx boards and they seem pretty cool but I am also seeing people buy lga775 boards and pair them with e5000 intel processors (they tend to overheat and theer is a lack of heatsinks for lga775 mobo's small enough for a mini itx case)and install them in mini itx cases aswell. An article on this topic would be cool. for me:
Atom htpc:
pros: low power usage, small form factor, cool factor.
cons: not enough processor power for some applications (i know people are not planning to run crysis on this things).
lga775 htpc:
pros:more than enough processor power for use as an htpc, small
cons: higher power usage compared to atom processors, gets very heated, not alot of heatsinks to choose from.

I beleive this market is growing and more options and cool gagdets will appear soon ebough. Tom's view on this would be nice. thank you guys and keep up the good work.
February 5, 2010 4:17:46 PM

Looks as though those screens use vga, not a big deal for most. The people using hdcp video will care though.
February 5, 2010 5:06:55 PM

shimzardCan you guys make a review of what mobo's and what cases are best for an ultra small htpc? I have seen zotac's and intel's mini itx boards and they seem pretty cool but I am also seeing people buy lga775 boards and pair them with e5000 intel processors (they tend to overheat and theer is a lack of heatsinks for lga775 mobo's small enough for a mini itx case)and install them in mini itx cases aswell. An article on this topic would be cool. for me:Atom htpc:p ros: low power usage, small form factor, cool factor.cons: not enough processor power for some applications (i know people are not planning to run crysis on this things).lga775 htpc:p ros:more than enough processor power for use as an htpc, smallcons: higher power usage compared to atom processors, gets very heated, not alot of heatsinks to choose from.I beleive this market is growing and more options and cool gagdets will appear soon ebough. Tom's view on this would be nice. thank you guys and keep up the good work.


This is the motherboard that I am going to use in my next HTPC. Paired with a low end Athlon X2 it will be perfect.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 5, 2010 5:10:52 PM

Didn't we go thru this just last summer? Another HTPC article (too few and far between) that only evaluates the enclosure, and once again it's the high dollar models with the useless touchscreen. The reveiw is as much a waste of time as that enclosure is a waste of money. Let's do a BUILD already!
February 5, 2010 7:55:28 PM

nevertellYou worry about your cpu temps and voltages while you're watching a movie on the damn thing ? Get a life.


Not any more than you worry about my opinion. The monitoring is because the system is serving video to three popcornhours and ripping at the same time sometimes. There are 2 Sim Audio Titan amps in this rack and a bunch of game consoles, so yes, I really do care how hot everything is getting and guess what, the case temp in this system is a good indicator or what the ambient temperature in the rack. So yes, I really do use it sometimes to monitor temps, cpu usage, or whatever. And I have a life thank you very much.
Anonymous
February 5, 2010 10:00:06 PM

Put the content on one page, you idiots.
February 5, 2010 10:55:25 PM

WHS paired with a HTPC works very well. WHS paired with a HTPC and using a touch-screen Fujitsu U820 as a remote control (remote access) is even cooler.

I've found that a handheld PC makes for the ultimate HTPC remote control. No need for a display on your box when you can keep it closer in your hand, and get access to the entire system. Put on an idiot-proof GUI and you'll get plenty of geek appeal, as well as win that WAF!
February 7, 2010 2:17:47 AM

"In contrast, the $275 for Thermaltake’s DH 202 seems like a bargain."

The $275 pricetag is for the non-touchscreen model (VJ80011N2Z). The touchscreen model (VJ80051N2Z) reviewed in the article doesn't appear to be available in the U.S., and sells for around £320 (including vat) in the U.K.
February 8, 2010 4:00:27 AM

gkay09For once cant people stop talking about Crysis ? Or atleast till Crysis 2 is released ?

Hilarious,

Well if its any consolation to you, this HTPC was IN Crysis. In the communications center where the Koreans have computers and laptops, there is an HTPC which you can pick up, throw, explode and shoot around. YOu can even drop a tree on it or stack a turtle on top of it. That is wondrous isnt it?


In Crysis 2, there will be smaller, more advanced core i7 HTPCs you can throw around and hopefully IPads you can shoot around and run over with. Maybe you can even use PhysX this time around to throw small bits of debris and banana to rip through the OLED displays!
February 12, 2010 4:53:43 AM

I have the Thermaltake DH 202 with the small LCD panel, which is more than enough to show temperatures, clock, track name/tags etc. And if you're going to change tracks then you would of course use the remote's button instead of trying to click on a small screen below your TV. And a lot cheaper too.
If you could have a proper 800x600 res touchscreen on these, that also was detachable and wireless, then this would be an entirely different situation.
February 25, 2010 11:04:08 PM

gkay09For once cant people stop talking about Crysis ? Or atleast till Crysis 2 is released ?


it's a internet MEME dude. troll-ish stupid stuff
April 2, 2010 5:54:10 AM

This is just a question.

Could the new ipad be used as a remote? If the screens are to small from a distance, and having a keyboard mouse is a little awkward, the ipad seems to be the perfect medium if it would work.

I don't own and have never owned anything apple, this was just a thought.
Anonymous
February 20, 2011 1:25:01 AM

I find the opinions here interesting. People complain about having displays on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray players (if you aren't aware of this then you haven't been around the audio/video business very long). Then HTPCs come out and people complain about having to either stop the movie, turn on the tv, etc. to access such information. So these are a very nice solution; a useful middle ground, not to mention a useful way to display other information. But instead of seeing that most of the posters here simply act with utter hostility to these screens. Why? If you don't need or want this feature then don't friggin' buy it, right?!? OTOH, having album artwork displayed when listening to music while leaving a huge and expensive tv off (while saving its bulb/screen and the electrical bill that goes along with this) is a nice feature for some people. For others, displaying home automation information on your HTPC and being able to access it instantaneously is a brilliant and useful idea. This allows the HTPC to serve multiple functions instead of having multiple PCs and displays.

So all of this is a matter of what you want, how much you want to spend, and so on. I get this. What I don't get is the complete hostility to what is a useful niche product. This is like saying minivans are stupid or sports cars are stupid. Well, if you've got a large family or you're a single guy with a lot of money, those make a helluva lot of sense to you. So why do you care so much that other people can and do buy these machines? There is no moral or ethical issue here, so methinks this is either ignorance of what they can do or jealousy that you cannot afford said machine.... either way, not pretty.
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