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13 Barebones Reviewed Are Anything But Square

AOpen XC Cube AV (EA65): The Multi-talent

The epitome of a Renaissance man is the XC Cube AV from AOpen. It loads the InstantON interface in only a few seconds, allowing the user to view or alternatively hear DVD films, audio CDs, radio or television shows without a long Windows loading time. If you start in Windows mode, then the XC Cube behaves like a normal PC. The integrated Intel graphics based on the i865 chipset are suitable only for office applications or for playing DVD films.

The home theater software from InterVideo is used as a multimedia center. A remote control can be used to easily and conveniently operate all the home theater features. The same applies to the TV and radio tuner. The remote control only has a few functions with the InstantON software.

If you want more than 2D graphics, then you will have to upgrade the barebone with an AGP graphics card. But not every graphics card can be installed in the XC cube, because the AGP slot doesn't provide much free space for installing wider graphics cards. This basically rules out high-end graphics boards based on their shape alone. However, you may still find a suitable model and manufacturer. Besides the VGA output, installing an AGP graphics card usually gives you a DVI and S-Video connector, which are suitable for TFT displays and for televisions.

Look, Ma - with hands! It also works without remote control

Large and user-friendly display