The problem with computers is that they're just so big. If, like us, you enjoy channelling all your media through one machine, you've probably felt some frustration when trying to fit your laptop underneath the TV, or disguise that huge desktop tower behind a tastefully placed indoor fern. If you're struggling for space, the Dell Inspiron Zino HD 410 might be the computer for you.
It'll set you back somewhere between £350 and £650 depending on your configuration (ours cost £520), but is it worth shelling out for?
Everybody walk the Zinosaur
We've had a look at an older Zino HD before, and we were unimpressed, finding you'd probably have to splash out on better specs to get decent performance with high-definition video. But, with some new components, we're hopeful that the 410 can do a better job. As with its predecessor, you can more or less configure this PC however you want in the online store, adding or taking away pieces of hardware to suit your budget.
You definitely won't have any trouble fitting the 410 into your home-media set-up, if that's your goal. It's really small, at just 197 by 89 by 197mm. It weighs only 1.6kg, so, in theory, you could lug it around in a bag, although, in practice, you probably won't want to do that too often.
The top of the 410 sports a metallic effect -- ours was a tasteful silver -- that looks quite attractive. The rest of the body is standard glossy black. The 410 isn't particularly stunning compared to tiny computers like the, but it's definitely not ugly. Most of the ports are stuffed around the back, so only the good-looking parts face forwards.
A snifter of port
Pleasingly, there are plenty of ports on the back. You'll find such gems as two eSATA ports, an HDMI port, a VGA out, an Ethernet jack, an S/PDIF connection, 3.5mm sockets for headphones and a mic, line out, four USB ports and a multi-format card reader. There's a Blu-ray player on some models, although, if you want to cut costs, cheaper models with a DVD rewritable drive are available too.
A wireless mouse and keyboard are bundled with the 410. The mouse is comfortable enough, and the keyboard has some handy media keys and shortcuts along the top, along with a dial for controlling the volume. Delightful.