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Asus Nova Lite: Bringing sexy back to Media Centers

We've already seen the Nova P20 and now we have the privilege of showing you its younger, more attractive sibling, the Nova Lite

With the world anxiously awaiting the Asus Eee Box, it's all too easy to overlook the company's other small form factor PCs. We've already seen the Nova P20 and now we have the privilege of showing you its younger, more attractive sibling, the Nova Lite.

It's designed primarily for use as a Media Center machine. Its 231 by 184 by 51mm frame is small and cute enough to fit alongside your existing AV equipment without looking too out of place. It even comes with a stand so you can position it vertically as well as horizontally.

Inside, the entry-level sample is packing a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 1GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive, so it's not going to win any awards for speed or storage. However, it's quick enough to play HD movies over its HDMI and DVI ports without stuttering and you can easily add more storage via one of the four USB ports at the rear. It has high-speed 802.11n wireless, too -- great news for anyone who wants to stream hi-def content.

The Nova Lite is available with Linux, XP or Vista and should cost between £320-400 when it hits retail in late July. Check out the pictures and let us know what you think. -Rory Reid

Update: A previous version of this article stated the Nova Lite had 802.11n Wi-Fi and a Core 2 Duo CPU. It will, in fact, feature 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and an Intel Celeron M 1.2GHz CPU.

Further update: Read our full Asus Nova Lite Mini 2L review.

Aw, isn't it cute? It's not exactly original, but we think the black and silver finishing works really well on the Nova Lite.

Here it is from the back. All the USB ports are at the rear, which is a shame, but you get HDMI as well as DVI video outputs, which is good news for anyone with a big telly. See that grille at the top? That's a speaker -- just like you might find on a laptop.

That little white thing is an S/PDIF adaptor. It turns your front audio port into an optical S/PDIF port so you can enjoy digital surround sound. Nifty.

The front of the Nova Lite is very attractive. That silver stuff isn't just solid metal, it's a sort of mottled mesh-type thing. The slot-loading DVD rewriter is a nice touch, too.

The accompanying remote is pretty stylish, too. It has buttons and infrared beams so you can control your media without getting off your bum.