Unlike some of the larger offerings knocking about the shops these days, the Area-51 5300 delivers a smaller, more compact solution.

It comes with the Intel Pentium 4 processor, but specification isn’t quite up to the high standards we’ve come to expect – the bog-standard hard drive is only 74GB – but it’s relatively cheap and it’s small, which means it’s ace.

Menus and detail

Once it’s set up and perching snugly on your kit rack, the Area-51 5300 looks fab. The menu system is an absolute cinch to use and DVD images boast the detail and contrast of a thousand UCI cinemas.

It does, however, sound a little off-colour when compared to some better options on the market, and the insufferable racket the fan makes it sound a little like a dysfunctional, asthmatic hair dryer.

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