The Asrock Vision 3D arrives in a dramatic black accented box, which immediately reminded me of Apple packaging. Meant as a compliment, I might add.
Inside, the Vision 3D system is shipped, protected between two pieces of foam, and encased in a soft felt cover.
The bundle comprises a media center remote, a power adapter, video adapter and DVD software disc. We received an early version of the product so the disc is not professionally printed. It is worth pointing out that the Vision 3D system does not come with an operating system installed. ASRock keep the cost down by letting the end user install their own copy.
The remote sends the signals direct to the Infrared receiver on the HM55-MXM motherboard and it worked well throughout our testing. It is a full function design and supports all the MCE extensions.
The product measures 7.87″ x 2.76″ x 7.87″ (WxHxL) and the aluminum mini ITX chassis is available to order in either silver or black. On the top there is a plastic cover which is coated to a gloss finish. The finish is not that receptive to finger print marks, due to the grain like texture applied, which is a pleasant surprise.
Our silver version is the 137B model which is supplied with a Blu Ray drive and 802.11 b/g/n adapter. If you need to count the pennies, they also sell the 137D version which omits the BluRay functionality. There are a total of six different versions on offer, with various processor configurations. The Intel Core i3-370M CPU (Vision 3D 137B/137D), Core i5-460M (Vision 3D 146B/146D), or Core i5-560M (Vision 3D 156B/156D). We have the Core i3-370M which offers high levels of power while still delivering good value for money. After testing this particular specification we feel very few people would need more power, however more on this later in the review.
The front panel offers a slim line Bluray player (or DVD optical drive) with ‘slot-in’ disc opening. There are also two lightning fast USB 3.0 ports here, audio input/output jacks, and a 4 in 1 card reader which supports MMC, SD, MS and MS Pro.
The rear has support for Dual Link DVi (VGA with the supplied converter) and native HDMI 1.4A audio/video out. There is also an eSATA port which never goes amiss and five USB 2.0 ports and another single USB 3.0 port for good measure. There is a single optical audio Toslink output which pairs up with the 5.1 channel analog audio outputs. Connectivity is offered by the onboard Wireless and a Gigabit Ethernet port beside the audio ports. At the very top is a button to open the top flap for access to the internals.