Claritas 14.2 VFD
A powerful media centre PC.
- It's powerful enough to play back any current media format, great build quality, VFD screen
- Might be too large and obtrusive for your A/V rack
If you’ve got somewhere to put it, Claritas’ new media centre PC is more than powerful enough for your high-definition media playback needs.
Price$ 2,950.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Claritas is a company that’s dedicated to building powerful, high quality media centre PCs. Its latest, the 14.2 VFD, is a product that has plenty of power, great looks and exemplary build quality.
It’s built into a desktop-style case that is 435mm wide, 150mm tall and 390mm deep. It’s heavy, too; it might be too large for an A/V rack, but it will definitely look good sitting alongside your television. Our test unit was the brushed black metal version and it was very attractive.
The party piece of the unit is the vacuum fluorescent display screen built into the fascia. It has enough room to display plenty of information, and it helps make the 14.2 VFD look like it belongs on an A/V rack.
If you want to get a proper media centre experience it’s necessary to hook the 14.2 VFD up to a Full HD flat panel TV. We used the fantastic Samsung Series 9 (LA46A950), which we connected via HDMI. The Claritas unit has full HDMI 1.3 capability as well as an HDCP-ready DVI port. It can handle 7.1 surround sound through either analog 3.5mm jacks or optical digital SP/DIF. HDMI audio is also supported.
A powerful 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor runs the show on Windows Vista Home Premium, while 4GB of DDR2 RAM and a 1TB hard drive provide plenty of breathing room for storage and programs. In the unlikely event that you fill the hard drive with recorded TV shows, a DVD-RW burner and Gigabit Ethernet allow you to store files somewhere else.
The system produced a gutsy WorldBench score of 111, which puts it far ahead of competitors like the Sony Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-0CS04M) as well as performance notebooks like the Zepto Nox A15. Frankly, it's got more than enough power for all the HD tasks you can throw at it.
Video is outputted through an integrated X4500HD Intel chipset, so the system will handle high-definition content with no dramas, as well as older 3-D games. Television broadcasts are captured with a dual HD tuner card built by Hauppauge, while a year-long subscription to IceTV will keep fans of electronic program guides happy.
As well as a media centre remote, Claritas bundles a Logitech diNovo Mini for controlling the system from the comfort of your couch. We think this is a fantastic addition; it really lends a sense of occasion to watching movies and normal computer browsing.
When it comes to video and audio playback the 14.2 VFD excels. Because it’s based on a fully functional version of Windows Vista, a range of tweaks can be made to get video saturation, contrast, gamma and brightness exactly how you desire. When hooked up to a set of Axiom Audio Audiobytes as well as the Samsung television, the image and sound quality was as good as we’ve heard from any other media centre or high-definition player.
Another great advantage of the 14.2VFD is its silence. With all components securely ensconced inside the heavy case, it’s not audible at all if there’s any ambient noise in the room. This is a great advantage for a media centre; it won’t steal your attention away from whatever content you’re watching.
If you want a powerful, versatile machine that has the ability to handle any HD content you throw at it, consider Claritas’ 14.2 VFD media centre.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Google quietly kills its Nexus Player as Chromecast overshadows Android TV
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCProject Manager | Experimental military technology | NV1ACT
- FTMobility Developer x 2 - iOS and Android positions available!NSW
- FTContract System SpecialistAsia
- CCBiztalk developerNSW
- CCData Warehouse Specialist- Power BI, SSAS DBA, Azure, SQLNSW
- CCApplication Support Analyst and Database AdministratorVIC
- CCLead UX DesignerNSW
- CCInside Sales Specialist / Customer Service - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTSenior Java Developer (Java/Maven/AEM)NSW
- FTIT Support Analyst (Renewal Contract)Asia
- FTLead Tableau Reporting ConsultantNSW
- FTSAP Solution Architect- Data Migration to SAP HR, payrollNSW
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCScrum Master with Java development backgroundACT
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Large Telco - URGENTNSW
- CCSAP Portal DeveloperVIC
- FTService Delivery Coordinator - ApplicationsNSW
- CCTenable Security - Technical ConsultantVIC
- CCProgram Controls ManagerACT
- CCSecurity Engineer - SUMO focusNSW
- CCICT PreSales SpecialistVIC
- CCTechnical Writer | Experimental military technology | NV1ACT
- CCProgram Test ManagerNSW
- FTProject Coordinator / AdministratorNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC