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ASRock CoreHT 252B review

A compact HTPC with built-in Blu-ray, but does it justify the price?

Our Verdict

A compact yet capable Home Theatre PC, but with a high price and some odd features missed off

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Small
  • Silent
  • Blu-ray player built-in
  • Good expandability options
  • Intel Core i5 processor

Against

  • Pricey
  • Heats up easily
  • Missing Blu-ray playback software
  • No IR receiver
  • Windows not included in price

Is ASRock's all-in-one Home Theatre PC (HTPC), the CoreHT 252B-4G50/B, the perfect living room companion to sit by your TV?

Depending on how you measure it, it's smaller than an Apple Mac Mini (the Mini is about half the height, but the CoreHT wins from the overhead dimensions) and has the advantage of coming with a Blu-ray drive built in and front-facing USB 3.0 ports for other media.

It looks good too, in its tiny tin enclosure that's been lacquered in a glossy black.

Attach a USB TV card and it's realistically a replacement for most of your set-top boxes in a chassis that's smaller than most Freeview tuners.

The ASRock CoreHT 252B then really is a media box par excellence.

The Core i5 2520M Mobile Sandy Bridge processor also features Intel's higher-end HD Graphics 3000 tech, and Creative's THX HD TruStudio Pro audio is built in to the integrated audio.

It seems flawless - the ultimate NAS box, entertainment device and workstation all in one. Have we finally found the one-box converged future of the digital home?

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Computer
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Reader/DVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Total Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
HDMIYes
Product FamilyCoreHT
Processor Modeli3-2310M
ColourBlack
Brand NameASRock
Form FactorSmall Form Factor
Processor Speed2.10 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Standard Memory4 GB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedBD-ROM/DVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Number of Processors Supported1
Number of Processors Installed1
Hyper-ThreadingYes
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports8
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height70 mm
Width195 mm
Depth186 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerASRock, Inc
Product Model231B-4G50/B
Product NameCoreHT 231B-4G50/B Desktop Computer
Product LineCoreHT
Controller TypeSerial ATA
Manufacturer Part Number90BXG20B0-A20GA0F
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.asrock.com
Marketing Information

Keeping the family entertained is no easy task. To create a truly immersive entertainment system, the ASRock CoreHT HTPC Series will do the job brilliantly.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0

ASRock CoreHT HTPC Series are the world's first USB3.0 HTPC. It delivers data transfer rate up to 5Gb/s and 10X faster than USB2.0 with optimized power efficiency. USB3.0 promises a major leap forward transfer speeds and capacity.

Maximum Memory16 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.47 kg