Asus A33: Media Center PC with integrated hi-fi amp

Asus has launched a Media Center desktop with an integrated 500W amplifier, loads of HDMI ports and Linux, if you want

Rory Reid

You can always count on Asus to come up with interesting twists on old themes. Leather laptops? Check. Lamborghini-branded machines? Got 'em. External graphics cards for 3D-deficient laptops? Yup.

Its latest innovation comes in the form of a Media Center desktop with a built-in 500W amplifier. The A33 is designed to connect to your high-end hi-fi speakers, at which point it can chuck out some serious 7.1 surround sound. Also interesting is the fact it has one HDMI input and a pair of HDMI outs, so you can connect it to other AV kit, such as a PlayStation 3.

It doesn't end there, either. The A33 will ship with Windows Vista Home Premium, which has Media Center, but there will also be an alternative OS -- Linux plus Moxi.

This boots up in no time flat, runs reliably and works a little like the TiVo PVR.

The A33 will cost around €1500 (about £1,000) and will, fingers crossed, launch before summer.

Update: A full review of the Asus A33 is now available on the site. -RR