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HP's new MediaSmart Server is smarter, smaller, and greener

HP unveils its new MediaSmart Server LX195 that offers a single volume network storage solution and offers many features, including support for Apple's Time Machine.

HP's new MediaSmart Server LX195 has only one hard drive and comes in a more compact foot print. HP

I just got my hands on the details of Hewlett-Packard's upcoming MediaSmart Server, the LX195. Originally, HP had planned on announcing the new network storage server on May 5, but as a retail vendor accidentally leaked the information about its availability, you all get to hear about it now.

The server has four USB 2.0 ports, but doesn't have an eSATA port. HP

The LX195 is in some ways the successor of the MediaSmart Server ex475 and its variants, which HP launched more than year ago. However, the LX195 packs some major changes.

The new MediaSmeart Server now is powered by Intel's Atom 1.6 GHz Processor (instead of the AMD Sempron that's in the ex475) with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. This means it will use less energy than the previous models while remaining as, if not more, powerful than the earlier model.

The MediaSmart Server LX195 has four USB 2.0 ports for additional external storage and a Gigabit Ethernet port. However, it doesn't have an eSATA port (which the ex475 offers) and comes with only one 640GB built-in hard drive.

Fortunately, you can replace this hard drive with any regular 3.5-inch SATA hard drive of your choice to increase its capacity. For now, you can upgrade the capacity to up to 2TB. This is sort of a step backward, as the ex475 supports up to four hard drives with hot-swap capability.

To make up for this omission, the LX195 comes in a much smaller design than the ex475, measuring only 3.9 inches tall by 8.2 inches wide by 8 inches deep. It also supports Apple's Time Machine, which is great news for Mac users who use OS X 10.5 or later.

The new MediaSmart Server LX195 is powered by Windows Home Server and supports many backup, file-sharing, remote access, protection, and media-streaming options.

The MediaSmart Server LX195 will be available for purchase starting May 6, with the suggested price of $399. I am trying to test a unit myself, so be on the look out for a full review soon.