Okoro Media Systems offers a nice assortment of living-room-friendly media PCs, which they call digital entertainment systems. The company takes a somewhat unique approach in that its products are not locked in to one media platform: Yes, you can go the Windows Vista Media Center route, but Okoro makes other platforms available, such as SageTV media center software and MyMovies. You can even forego the media software altogether, if you prefer to add your own. The OMS-LX100 is one of Okoro's new 2009 models, part of the company's Low Profile Series that features a smaller chassis and purportedly uses less power. We have not performed a hands-on review of the OMS-LX100, but here is an overview of its features. Okoro offers some configuration options to suit your needs; the most basic configuration will run you $1,725 and includes the following specs: Windows Vista Home Premium OS, a 500GB hard drive, a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E2200 processor, 4GB 800MHz DDR2 RAM, a built-in Nvidia GeForce 9300 graphics card, and 7.1 HD Audio output. You can increase storage capacity to 1TB for an extra $150.
While Okoro does sell models with built-in Blu-ray drives, the OMS-LX100 simply has a DVD/CD drive with read/write capabilities. It's worth noting that the Nvidia card supports 1080p playback, and the LX100 has Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD decoding, output as 7.1-channel LPCM audio over HDMI; so, should you choose to add a Blu-ray drive, the unit can make the most of Blu-ray's A/V potential. (Okoro currently does not allow you to select a Blu-ray upgrade via its online configuration tool; however, you can call in to request a Blu-ray drive.) TV tuning and DVR functionality are included; you can choose between dual internal NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners and a single external ATI TV Wonder digital cable tuner (with CableCARD support), to watch and record premium cable programming. You can add an additional ATI tuner for $300. The well-rounded connection panel includes HDMI, VGA, DVI, and Display Port outputs, as well as optical digital and six-channel analog audio outputs. In addition to A/V and RF inputs for video signals, the LX100 has four USB 2.0 ports and a 9-in-one card reader. The unit has built-in 10/100/1000 gigabit Ethernet, and you can add a Linksys 802.11a/b/g/draft-n network adapter for $95.
Okoro supplies a standard media center IR remote, plus a wireless RF mini-keyboard. Upgrade options include a Logitech wireless keyboard ($150), a Gyration universal remote and keyboard ($190), or a diNovo wireless keyboard ($200). The OMS-LX100 is available in a black or silver finish and comes with a basic LCD screen that shows time, weather, music tracks, and more; for $800, you can upgrade to a case with a color touchscreen.
• The OMS-LX100 has a low-profile design with an optional front-panel touchscreen. It is also designed to be more energy efficient than many media PCs.
• The base unit has good computing specs and a decent amount of storage capacity. External storage can be added.
• This media PC has a nice assortment of video and audio outputs.
• The Nvidia card supports 1080p playback, and the unit has Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD decoding -- for those who choose to add a Blu-ray player.
• The unit supports gigabit Ethernet.
• The LX100's basic package does not include a Blu-ray drive.
• The ATI digital cable tuner is external, not built-in, and the base package includes just one ATI tuner. For dual tuners, you must go with the NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuner package or spend $300 to add a second ATI tuner.
• Wi-Fi support is not part of the base package.
If you're in the market for a media PC, you really need to pay a visit to Okoro's website: okoromedia.com. The company has lots of choices to suit a wide range of needs and price points. The new OMS-LX100 is a well-rounded unit offered at a reasonable price, with solid customization options that can make it a more compelling media PC.