ARCTIC MC001-BD Media Center

ARCTIC MC001-BD Media Center

Value and Conclusion

  • The ARCTIC MC001-BD will sell for around 550 Euro incl. Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit, while the bare bone MC001-E with a DVD-RW drive instead of BluRay costs a mere 249 Euro. The P311 units will set you back around 20 - 25 Euro, while the wireless K481 keyboard carries a price tag of around 25 Euro.
  • Completely passive solution
  • Multiple variants available - including barebones
  • USB 3.0 connectivity
  • Wireless connectivity built-in
  • Works even under extreme conditions
  • Standard components allow for upgrading
  • Five USB connectors in the back
  • SD Card reader
  • Extremely compact
  • Arctic P311 Bluetooth Headset excellent addition to any Home Theater
  • iOS App for media control available in App Store
  • Bluetooth P311 headsets work well
  • DVB-T tuner possible
  • 7200 RPM Hard Drive in the full systems
  • Hard drive noise clearly audible
  • Two tone color
  • Optical drive tray faces the direction of the USB connectors in the front
  • Wireless connectivity not very good
  • DVB-T tuner optional
  • Fingerprint magnet
  • Bluetooth dongle for the P311 "only" reaches around 6 - 7 meters before the sound cuts out
  • K481 quality and usability not adequate for everyday use
9.1The ARCTIC MC001-BD may be their first foray into the HTPC space. And the company has leveraged their skills to cool the entire system passively extremely well. Overall the unit is not only compact, but also offers very capable internals with a Blu-Ray drive, 500 GB Hard drive and 4 GB of memory. Thanks to the standard components within the unit, one could easily upgrade these. ARCTIC has also included all the necessary connectivity in the front or the back to utilize all major aspects, like USB 3.0, SD Card reader, both analog and digital surround sound and of course HDMI. The only small gripe I have is the somewhat weak, internal wireless USB dongle in the base of the device.
Arctic has also thought about the sound aspect and offers a capable Bluetooth and software combination to allow up to three of their P311 headsets to be connected at once, allowing three people to view a movie together or listen to music without disturbing anyone. This actually works extremely well - after the initial setup. Once the headsets are paired audio is automatically sent to the devices and the home theater is muted and all headsets are in sync perfectly, making the viewing of a movie pure, cable free joy. In terms of range these headsets offer plenty to be used even in the biggest living rooms, but may prove inadequate to walk around within the entire home. Even with the functionality, surprisingly clear sound and lack of static or hiss during use, these headsets are surprisingly affordable.
Lastly, there is the K481 Keyboard. While it works, there are way too many drawbacks to really make you feel that you have bought something useful. No matter how affordable a device is, it should offer a basic use of functionality, which the K481 tends to fall short on. While you may be able to type, due to the small keys, you will end up pressing the wrong ones way to frequently. On top of that, the arrangement of keys and small, recessed mouse pad do nothing to add anything positive to the experience. Thus I would suggest you take a look at other, larger options in the market, even if these end up costing more.
Overall the ARCTIC MC001-BD is an excellent, potent, quiet and fun to use home theater system. The optional headsets are a great accessory and should be a joy to use and will come in handy more than once - especially in family households.
Thus, for the ARCTIC MC001-BD and the P31X & P311 Bluetooth headset system the Award is well deserved
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