ASRock launches Core i mobile powered tiny barebones

Plenty of features, not a lot of product design

ASROCK HAS STARTED to make all sorts of products after the company severed most of its ties along with Pegraton from Asus earlier this year. Its latest addition is the Core 100HT which based on the same design as its ION 330HT boxes, but with one huge, important difference the Core 100HT features a choice of mobile Core i processors.

We can’t say that we were ever much impressed by the chassis design of these systems, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? ASRock offers two different models, although the only real differencing factor is the Blu-ray drive in the Core 100HT-BD. The previous models were based on Nvidia’s ION chipset and a dual core Atom 330 processor, although the new models rely solely on Intel’s integrated HD graphics.

The upside is that ASRock will be offering the Core 100HT with various options of Core i3, i5 and i7 mobile processors according to the product specifications. This also means that we’re looking at a mobile chipset, namely the HM55. The system has a pair of DDR3 SO-DIMM slots for up to 8GB of memory and there’s space for up to two 2.5-inch drives as well as a slim-line optical drive.

There are plenty of connectivity options on offer including a pair of front mounted USB 3.0 ports, six rear USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, HDMI, D-sub, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out. The Core 100HT is powered by a 90W external power brick and you also get a Windows Media Center remote thrown in as part of the package. You even get the choice of a white or a black chassis with matching remote.

We don’t know how much the Core 100HT will retail for, but it’s safe to bet that these systems won’t be cheap. Mobile Core i processors are in a different league compared to Atom processor when it comes to cost. The performance should of course be a vast improvement over an Atom processor as well, but we can’t really see these barebones finding too many customers that are willing to shell out what is likely to be in the region of $400+ not including memory and hard drive.S|A

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