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HP MediaSmart LX195  (Source: Engadget)
Details on MediaSmart LX195 leak ahead of official launch

When Windows Home Server launched, it was aimed at the home user who wanted a platform to serve media to different connected devices around the home and as a central location for data backups from networked computers. That all sounds good in theory, but so far home servers have not turned into a big segment.

HP was one of the early computer makers to introduced computers running Windows Home Server and already offers the HP MediaSmart Server EX485 and the MediaSmart Server EX487 selling for about $550 and $700 respectively.

HP is set to round out its MediaSmart Server line with the coming introduction of a new, lower cost MediaSmart server called the LX195. Engadget reports some specifics on the LX195 to go along with some images leaked earlier this month. The LX195 uses a single 640GB internal SATA drive, which is a bit small if you have lots of HD content to store. You can connect external storage though via the quartet of USB ports on the rear of the machine.

The brain of the machine is an Intel Atom 230 CPU -- the other MediaSmart servers use a Celeron processor. The Atom 230 should be enough for video distribution and storage though. Other features include 1GB of RAM and support for Apple Time Machine. Exact pricing for the system is unknown, but it is expected to sell for under $400.

All HP MediaSmart servers recently received a software update that allows the servers to be used or video conversion. The software takes non-copyright protected video and allows it to be modified into formats for playback on mobile devices. The software update also allowed access to content on the server from the iPhone and iPod touch.



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Single Drive? Less Storage?
By Morphine06 on 4/30/2009 12:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
Storage prices have dropped even more since the release of the first WHS from HP. I would think they could have added storage and still offered it for under $400.

I don't see the value in a box like this without the presence of folder duplication. An OEM 640GB SATA drive in an external enclosure would do a similar job for far less.




RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By mcnabney on 4/30/2009 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 1
Or even cost a bit more to get what you want. My WHS cost about $1200 to build. Oh, and it has 12TB of storage space and only half of the bays are filled.


RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By Funksultan on 4/30/2009 2:11:56 PM , Rating: 5
My dad can beat up your dad.


RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By tlampen on 5/1/2009 9:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
You are an idiot and anyone else that ever says, "duh you can just build one for $x.xx" If everyone knew how to build one and it was cheaper and better than buying one out of the box, everyone would. So the arguement of "this is stupid because you just build it yourself" is void.


RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By Ryanman on 4/30/2009 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 3
Why are you complaining? The fact is, 640 is a decent amount to start. Personally, being able to buy an OEM disk myself would be a LOT cheaper than paying HP to have it in there in the first place.

Besides, HP built this to be a smaller and more compact server for households with 2 or 3 computers. Their other models are build for expansion and have larger HDD arrays, while this one's meant to be unobtrusive and cheaper.


RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By Morphine06 on 4/30/2009 1:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
The value they have placed on their product limits the options people don't realize they are missing, HDD redundancy. You are forced to spend another $60-70 to unlock the true safety a WHS offers.

This model should include two drives even if they are smaller. Even two 320GB drives would allow the user to have a choice. (crazy, I know) They could fill it up with movies like they would with a 640GB, but choose to duplicate just their personal documents or family photos. I know they could offer a two drive config for the same price.

Why they keep offering base models with one drive when storage is cheap is baffling. Even if adding a drive is an upgrade option, I feel most users need to be pushed to have some form of redundancy. They don't know they need it until it's too late.

Lead the horse to water, and make him drink.


RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By Doormat on 4/30/2009 1:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
The WHS backup feature is a big deal even with a single drive. And there are four USB ports to plug in external drives if you really want folder duplication.


RE: Single Drive? Less Storage?
By tlampen on 5/1/2009 9:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the 640gig. However, owning the original WHS from HP which only came with 500 gig, the Software that comes with the HP WHS is nice because it really monitors the health of all the PCs and then will alert you from any computer if there is an issue. (updates, viruses, virus definitions, missed backups...)
It also will do automatic backups for you. I realize that you can program each pc to do that however you won't get a centralized message if one PC misses a backup. It also scans all your files as you put them on the server for viruses and deletes them if found.
The thing that I don't like about the new model vs their old model is that on the old model I could plug up to 4 SATA drives in. I don't see that capability here. This is important because when I plugged my external HDs in to my WHS via USB, WHS automatically balances and spans my data between the drives. The problem is when you span across external drives, performance drastically takes a hit. It pretty much can only read and write data at it's slowest link. I ended up trashing my external drives and putting in sata drives and performance has come back to what it should be.


eSATA
By soydios on 4/30/2009 12:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
no eSATA. :(




RE: eSATA
By Doormat on 4/30/2009 1:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
eSATA on the higher end models isn't even that useful since it doesnt support port multipliers. So you can hang one disk off the end of it after you fill up the 4 bays.


HP Girl
By alanore on 4/30/2009 12:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
HP girl is awesome!




Keeping down with the Joneses
By heulenwolf on 5/1/2009 9:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
The 640 GB hard drive is all about keeping down with the Joneses. Sure, external HD and NAS makers are advertising ever increasing capacity in their devices. Their capacity upgrades lag desktop HD capacities (and prices), however, and many of them are still in the 320-500 GB range. This is the low-end model for people like my aunt - who can't figure out how to fill up her 80 GB hard drive - to use for backup purposes. Its more than enough capacity for that application, it automates the backup task, its relatively user-friendly to setup (unlike most NAS devices), and it offers easy web sharing as a bonus over the typical external HD. If you don't need 4 hard drives, think having the same files in two places is enough redundancy, and would prefer a smaller, cheaper to buy and operate solution than the full-size mediasmart, then this may be a good fit. Unfortunately for HP, I think that for most users fitting that profile find an external HD easier to understand and far cheaper so they'd probably just go that route.




By VooDooAddict on 5/1/2009 2:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
This needs at least 2 eSATA ports. 4 eSATA ports would be ideal. I've got 3 eSATA drives here that are just begging to be used with a compact WHS. Guess I'll be building my own.




Fail...
By jpeyton on 4/30/2009 1:17:49 PM , Rating: 1
Atom 230 = 945GC Chipset

What's the point of using an Atom if you're going to use a chipset that draws a disproportionately large amount of power?

A single drive unit is fine, since it has the rear USB ports, but 640GB shouldn't even be an option with 1TB drives under $100 retail. It really should come with 1TB standard.




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