MSI, the emerging innovator in digital entertainment, today unveiled its new Mega 180 multimedia barebone PC system during CES 2004 show held in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 8-11. The MSI MEGA 180 can be a full-function multimedia PC that combines information and entertainment to offer Hi-Fi stereo, DVD/VCD, MP3, TV and high-performing computer functions.
The Mega stands for MSI Entertainment Gaming Appliance. Unlike other popular SFFs, the MEGA 180 is not only still "cube" in appearance, but it has some unique ideas that target those specifically looking into building a Home Theater PC (HTPC).
The Mega 180 is based on nVIDIA®'s nForce2 chipset and it supports Dual View function. The top section of the MEGA is home to all the features that can be accessed without having to boot the PC. Using this top power button activates the MEGA in "HiFi Mode" which allows you to play audio CDs, MP3s stored on CD and to activate the AM/FM radio. Just beneath, much like an audio device, you have your options to skip, go back and pause tracks.
The Shuttle dial is used by rotating it in either direction or it can also be pressed to access certain functions. Below the Mode button is the eject button for your optical drive. Next to it, you now have front colored backlit LCD. When you pop in a music or MP3 CD, the lights got to work and display EQ mode (classic, Jazz or POP), track and time information, as well as some funky bars that dance to the music. The MEGA 180 also comes with a 6-in-1 card reader, which supports memory sticks, and CF/SD/MMC memory cards. Upon a fresh Windows install, each drive is assigned a unique drive letter as well.
And at the bottom of the front fascia comes an incredible assortment of ports with an optical SPDIF in, a microphone and headphone socket, two USB1.1/2.0 ports, a 6 pin IEEE1394 (Firewire) port and a smaller 4 pin IEEE1394 (Firewire) port. In simple terms this lets you connect your DV camcorder, plug in a mic and have a karaoke evening, listen to your music collection through headphones, plug in a USB games controller (or 2) and turn your MEGA PC into an X-Box like console and a whole lot more too.
A few other optional accessories, such as wireless mouse and wireless foldable keyboard, a pair of Mega 2.0 speakers and AM/FM antenna, were also developed by MSI to go with this HTPC type of barebone system. You wouldn't want to buy a Hi-Fi without a remote controller, do you? MSI understands this and equipped the Mega PC with an IR receiver and remote controller for the best Hi-Fi experience.
The Mega 180 is a stylishly designed HTPC barebone system that takes up a fraction of the space of tower PC case. It combines with all the specifications that today's consumer user needs and is also geared for those PC users that require a small multi-function PC for home entertainment and the best digital media experience.