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Evesham Mini PC: Core 2 media dwarf

Forget the Apple Mac Mini, Windows lovers should check out the new Core 2 Duo-equipped Evesham Mini PC

Crave loves the Mac Mini -- who wouldn't? It's small, sexy and powerful, but if we have one reservation, it's the fact that it's a Mac. Okay, that reservation comes only from the PC half of the office, not the trendier-than-thou Mac fraternity, but still...

Pandering to the desires of UK-based Windows lovers, Evesham has recently launched the follow-up to its Mini PC -- also titled Mini PC. Whereas the original borrowed heavily from the Mac Mini, this baby bad boy mimics only the Mac Mini's approximate size and shape.

It's based on AOpen's MP945-VXR chassis, which is a pretty sexy piece of kit. It measures 165mm by 55mm by 165mm, weighs a paltry 1.2kg -- much less than a newborn child -- and has black brushed metal running around its sides. The top is made from a glossy black plastic which flexes somewhat unsettlingly when pressed. The front of the PC has a blue power LED flanked by blue Knight Rider-esque lights that pulse in time with hard disk activity.

Under the flexi-hood, Evesham has added a variety of Intel CPUs, the best of which -- a 2.33GHz T7600 chip -- lives in the Mini PC Plus. In this you get 1GB of RAM, up to 120GB of hard drive storage, a Wi-Fi adaptor, built-in Freeview tuner and Windows XP Media Center Edition. You get a free upgrade to Vista when that rolls around in early 2007, too.

The cheapest Core 2 Duo-equipped Mini PC Plus will set you back £799, but Evesham also has standard Core Duo models starting at £699. Watch out for a full review and a bloody head-to-head with the Mac Mini soon. -RR

Update: We now have a full review of the Evesham Mini PC Plus live in our Reviews channel.