Last week, we posted about upcoming webinars from HP and Microsoft on the new Extender for Windows Media Center - the HP MediaSmart Connect. HP announced that HP MediaSmart Connect can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, CircuitCity.com and Newegg.com. HP MediaSmart Connect includes an HDMI cable, a learning remote control that can control four additional devices, and a $20 CinemaNow movie certificate. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $349.
Now let's take a look at the device. First off - the form factor for the HP MediaSmart Connect is perfect for "extending" your Windows Media Center experience into other rooms in your home as it does not take up tons of room. Its exact dimensions (width x depth x height in inches) are 8.5 x 8.5 x 1.8. The unit would fit perfectly right next to a flat panel HDTV or on an open shelf. I currently have my review unit sitting on a small shelf next to the entertainment unit that my HDTV sits on. It would fit within the shelves of the entertainment unit had they not been completely filled with DVDs (heh). It is also not very heavy (around 3.5 lbs).
It will come in black with HP's identifiable "Zen" pattern on the top which also exists on some of their laptops (similar to the pattern seen on my HP tx1000 Tablet). You'll see in the photos I took of my review unit HP sent me that it doesn't have the "Zen" pattern however the production version will.