Rock Meivo LCD TV

Media oriented LCD TVs may be a little outside Rock's typical array of power notebooks, but that hasn't stopped it producing the Meivo E4300.

Designed to offer a total solution for those who want to watch television, browse the Internet, manage DVDs and other encoded media and of course act as a full-blown PC, it's a good indication of the sort of combo product we can expect to see in every home within the next decade.

Apple fans may claim Rock has stolen the design from the iMac, and the more observant of you will notice similarities to the Sony Vaio VGC-LA1 in that the entire unit is enclosed within the LCD screen's casing, sandwiched between two rather large 3W speakers to accompany the built in 6W subwoofer.

In fact Rock has a little more to offer than your typical computer, with two dedicated TV inputs for a standard analogue aerial or satellite connection, a built-in digital/analogue hybrid TV tuner and a range of media oriented add-ons such as a 1.3MP camera and multi card reader.

It's no slouch when compared to a more conventional PC either, sporting an Intel dual core E4300 processor, 250GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM.

Finally you'll find both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in, rounding off an extremely capable machine that should leave you prepared for just about anything.

The 22-inch screen is very impressive, as we'd expect from someone as successful with portable display technology as Rock.

It comes with Vista Home Premium preloaded, along with a wireless mouse and keyboard and remote control to access and control the Media Center functionality.

Setup and control of the Meivo is about typical of any Vista PC, so the main shout for Rock with this new entry is clearly the home cinema oriented features that it has integrated seamlessly into a unit with such a small footprint.

We thought the Meivo looked great and performed admirably, and although it doesnít really have the size or connectivity to replace the main display in your home it'd be perfectly suitable for a study or secondary display in another room.

If you're looking to use the device primarily as a television you might be put off by a lack of HDMI or component connections although with these smaller screen sizes it is not as necessary to take advantage of higher-quality video connections and so is something we're prepared to live with.

Verdict

At around £1000 the Meivo LCD TV isn't exactly cheap, and the canny consumer will argue they can build a machine with a similar array of components for a lot less.

You're unlikely to end up with something as solid and stylish as the Meivo though, which despite a few minor drawbacks has everything you need to handle just about all the modern advances in digital home entertainment.