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Give and Get Geeky: Holiday Guide

Give and Get Geeky: Holiday Guide
By , Devin Connors

Photography by Andrew HansonPhotography by Andrew Hanson

Regardless of where you find yourself (or whoever you’re buying gifts for this holiday season) on the geek spectrum, everyone wants to get media from their computer to their TV at one point or another. HTPCs and HDTVs with built-in streaming are great choices, but a standalone media player is usually the least expensive solution. The PBO Core media player from Patriot Memory is less expensive than any HTPC (and certainly any HDTV with content streaming) at roughly $100, but this tiny little box packs quite the wallop.

About as big as three CD cases stacked together, the PBO Core has plenty of connectivity, offering composite video, HDMI, optical audio, two USB ports, one miniUSB, and Ethernet. There’s no wireless but Patriot does sell a compatible WiFi adapter. Offering plenty in the way of connecting external storage (flash drives, external HDDs) the PBO Core can also house an internal 2.5-inch hard drive, a feature not found in most of its competitors.

As for file support, the PBO Core supports video playback up to 1080p, and it plays well with all the popular file formats including Real Audio, Real Video, MKV for HD video and FLAC for lossless audio. Check out the full file support list here.

Compared to the original Patriot Box Office, the PBO Core has gotten a UI facelift and new firmware, making it easier to navigate through content. You also get some Internet widgets, including Flickr, Picasa, Stocks, Video News, Video Podcasts, Weather, and RSS feeds. Sadly, there’s no Netflix yet.

The PBO Core is hard to beat in the sub-$100 price range. Top notch file support, 2.5-inch HDD bay, a new and improved UI, and its small size make the media player hard to ignore if you don’t want to go the HTPC route.

Check out our gaming gift guide

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  • 6 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , November 29, 2010 1:38 AM
    First non-spammer to post!!!!!

    Anyway, for me I'd gladly take the ladies over all those things combined; those ladies are, indeed, very pretty. :) 
  • 5 Hide
    Nesto1000 , November 29, 2010 3:49 AM
    What do I gotta give to get the chick?? ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    masop , November 29, 2010 4:20 PM
    nesto1000What do I gotta give to get the chick??

    Yeah, I'd take any of those girls over the tech, but particularly the blonde in the red santa clause outfit. She can sit on my lap anytime. :-)
  • -1 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , November 30, 2010 2:08 PM
    Not to be nitpicky but the one in the green needs to lay off the spray tanning. It's a little uneven in spots.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 30, 2010 4:15 PM
    Your battery life and charge times are way off according to the ar drone web page. Run time is listed as 12 minutes.
  • 1 Hide
    cookoy , December 1, 2010 1:31 PM
    after the first page, forgot why i'm reading this article. those are pretty gals. cheers to all!
  • 1 Hide
    eyemaster , December 1, 2010 4:43 PM
    No love for green? I'll take the girl in the green suit! Yum.
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