Mac Mini Icy Box
The design, while baring some distinct similarities to the Mac Mini, is leagues ahead of the older “stand on its side” external hard drive device – it fits far, far more in tune with other home theatre components in its subtlety and simplicity. However, the front bar is lit by a blue LED on only one side, rather than having the light spread across the front evenly.
What is missing from this Icy Box media centre that was present on previous ones is an LED display telling you play time among other bits. The MP303S supports HD resolutions of 1024x768 (VGA), 1920x1080i and 1280x720p (Component), but they are only available when you buy the extra cables. If you don't have the extra cables though, you'll be limited to 480i over composite or S-video.
Getting inside is easy at first – Raidsonic doesn’t clip the top all the way down when you get into the box, however getting back in
is a bit of trouble. This is because there are two holes in the bottom that need a long, flat head screwdriver to poke in and pop up the top.
Around back you'll find all the connectors and small 30mm fan to keep the unit cool. The fan is an exhaust but there are no obvious intake vents to create a flow of air, and everything is screwed or pressed in tight for a snug fit. In that respect, the build quality is very solid, but the unit needs an intake in the front to draw air through.
Most of the unit's base is a large aluminium heatsink to help keep it cool and duct air away from the hard drive and media processor. Again it’s subtle and well hidden, but since heat rises and the height above the ground is less than a centimetre, it’s hard or to give it airflow or for it to work efficiently by natural convection.
Inside, all you need to do is drop a Serial-ATA hard drive right in the middle and it connect up the two cables – job's a good 'un. We found the cables can be a bit of a stretch but they did reach our Seagate 7200.10 hard drive after a little routing management. The top pops back in and all you need next is to connect it up; it’s really very simple.
The Unibrain Media Processor sits at the heart of it all. Following this to the Unibrain website we found that Raidsonic makes something very similar to another product called the iZak
(the remote control is identical), however the iZak is a portable 2.5” device.