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Need a CHEAP Htpc

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June 25, 2012 9:59:21 PM

My 1-1/2 year old Gateway Windows 7 laptop is literally falling apart. Not the chassis (it sits on a perforated steel VCR shelf right under my TV, it's life wasn't hard).
The hard drive is threatening to fail, the the keys started falling off. Final straw, last night, the battery alerted me it was dying by a screen notice saying I might want to replace battery.
I was going to replace the hard drive as that was going on for a while, now I'm not so sure.
The only thing I really need it for is to watch Internet TV. I hook it up to my television with an HDMI cable and I use an iPad app for the keyboard/mouse. Plus I have mouses; one wireless.
I want to replace it with something that will work as well - but I'm very broke this year, more than any year previous. I watch a fair amount of Network television; like NBC, ABC, CBS, etc. also I have Netflix.
I don't want something with Intel Atom processor if that will make things so slow I can't enjoy it. But I don't know what is really needed (other than it must be Windows for trouble free TV streaming, and I need HDMI output port). Anything beyond that I'm unsure of what is going to affect quality vs. what is just added benefits but not needed for this purpose.
I know about Zotac Mag where you need to buy an OS, but not which Zotac Mag might work. Also I have read about Acer Aspire Revo but they are sold out. I'm open to suggestions. Laptop, netbook, mini desktop, or nettop are all okay. I just need to use it for streaming TV. Oh, and I use Spotify for music. Just media I guess.
Many thanks in advance,
Christine

More about : cheap htpc

June 25, 2012 10:05:04 PM

Just get a new HDD and battery. The battery is a standard CR2032 that you get at any drugstore or grocery. Doesn't sound like you need a massive HDD so get yourself a 250GB, something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They aren't too hard to install. You will have to reinstall your operating system. I don't know what you mean by keys falling off if you use an iPad for a keyboard...

EDIT
Oh I'm sorry I misread your post, its a laptop...

Well then let me find you a HTPC.
Related resources
June 25, 2012 10:20:12 PM

APEX DM-318 Black Steel Micro ATX Media Center / Slim HTPC Computer Case w/ ATX12V Flex 275W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-A55M-DS2 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD A4-3400 Llano 2.7GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda ST320DM000 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This build would be much better and comes to about $240 before shipping.

You would still need an OS, not sure if you can reuse yours or not. Also you would need to be comfortable with assembling it for yourself.
June 25, 2012 10:21:30 PM

The E-350 is pretty decent, I managed to play Fallout New Vegas on it, albeit the lowest settings possible. It's more than good enough for basic use and is OK for HD content.
June 25, 2012 11:58:48 PM

Also, check a refurb like this one: Acer Aspire One AO722-BZ480 AMD C-50 1GHz 2GB 320GB 11.6" Slower than the E350, will close around $140. http://www.ubid.com/Acer_Aspire_One_AO722-BZ480_AMD_C-5...

I was chasing these for a while, here are some auction closing prices...

Item Name Winning Bid Range Close Date/Time
Acer Aspire One AO722-0828 AMD C-60 1GHz 4GB 500GB 11.6" $174-$174 6/20/2012 9:56:00 AM
Aspire One AO722-0473 AMD C-60 1GHz 2GB 320GB 11.6" $125-$125 6/17/2012 9:05:00 PM
Acer Aspire One AO722-0498 AMD C-60 1GHz 4GB 250GB 11.6" $177-$177 6/17/2012 7:34:00 PM
Acer Aspire One AO722-0022 AMD C-60 1GHz 4GB 500GB 11.6" $121-$121 6/17/2012 6:09:00 PM
Aspire One AO722-0473 AMD C-60 1GHz 2GB 320GB 11.6" $115-$115 6/17/2012 11:42:00 AM
Acer Aspire One AO722-0418 AMD C-60 1GHz 4GB 500GB 11.6" $171-$171 6/17/2012 9:08:00 AM

Or a refurb desktop like this one: Gateway SX2855-UB11P Intel Pentium G630 2.7GHz 4GB 750GB http://www.ubid.com/Gateway_SX2855-UB11P_Intel_Pentium_...
June 26, 2012 12:30:11 AM

I like the sound of that G630 build. Does that have integrated graphics though? The link doesn't work btw.
June 26, 2012 6:07:58 AM

Oh my gosh :)  Thx!!!! There is a lot to go over here but I appreciate the knowledge, a lot. I will have a better reply when I can go over the links. Thanks again :) 
June 26, 2012 6:23:21 AM

Can build an E-350 with an SSD and a 430 GT and 4 gb of DDR3 RAM and a Blu Ray drive into an old NES case for ya :)  Its very cool and retro, and I sell em already heh.
!