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Akasa prepares to ramp up assault on HTPC market

Lamborghini started life as a tractor company, yet – in some ways – managed to eclipse the Ferrari designs that it initially coveted. In a similar way, we’re now seeing some interesting industrial designs making their way across from the commercial sector and into our living rooms. Akasa has designs on your TV and products like Euler are aimed squarely at your open VESA mounting zone. KitGuru pretends its the cable guy for a quick sniff of the HTPC goodness on offer.

Digital signage is like white lines down the middle of the road. Everyone is aware of it, we all make some kind of use of it, but no one knows who the key players are in that multi-national, multi-million pound industry.

Systems designed for this environment need to be able to operate in a wide variety of environmental conditions and, ideally, won’t have any moving parts that can ‘stop spinning and result in a maintenance call’.  So reliability and efficiency are important.

When humans focus strongly on function, often, beauty evolves from that need for a specific kind of perfection. Keeping with the car theme, a good example is Formula One. An F1 team boss would not care if his car looked like a floating turd, as long as it went around the track faster than anyone else. But nature’s fundamental laws mean that the fastest, most functionally fantastic forms are actually the most gorgeous in terms of eye candy.

Enter the Akasa Euler.

Looks as good as anything we've seen from Silverstone - and that's a serious compliment

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As a company, Akasa has been going for a very long time, but it’s first claim to real fame came in a bygone era where PC enthusiasts were considering brands like Alpha, Kanie, Taisol, Vantec, Thermosonic and Spire – with challenges like “How can I keep a processor as powerful as a Palomino cool when it’s running faster than 1.3 GiggleHurts?”

If any of those names make sense to you, then you’ll remember the little hunk of coated copper called the Silver Mountain, which helped put Akasa’s name on the map.

So that brings us to the 21st century.

The Euler started life in the digital signage market, but has now been rebranded for the HTPC market. When we say ‘rebranded’ – Akasa’s sales guru, Alex, was keen to point out that the biggest change was switching the box colour from brown to black. Nice.

Essentially, it is a 2Kg cooler, into which you mount a thin, mini ITX board and processor ‘upside down’ – maximising the chip’s chances of staying cool by dissipating its heat energy through the clever fin system.

It uses an external power supply, so no nasty heat build up – and it can drive processors up to 35w (or, possibly, a little more – if Alex’s wink was anything to go by).

Euler is available from the major players like Scan and OcUK for about £70 and Akasa told KitGuru, “If you think it’s good now – just wait for the Haswell versions!”

Gorgeous simplicity and the 2Kg weight feels great in your hand. VESA mounting is always possible.

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KitGuru says: We will investigate this and other options over the coming months – specifically looking at how the HTPC environment might feed back into AMD and Intel’s plans for industrial/embedded and vis versa.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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