Lacie continues to bolster the media streaming market and has recently introduced another model into its LaCinema range which, like most of its predecessors, was inspired by designer Neil Poulton. As such the new Mini HD sports a familiar sleek, piano-black design with front and rear USB ports to connect media for local playback, HDMI 1.3, RCA and optical audio along with 100Mbps Ethernet for connecting to a wired network.

What’s most impressive about the Mini though is its size – at 118x118x40mm and weighing just 450g it’s one of the smallest and lightest on the market, a considerable achievement considering it also includes a 500GB hard drive and integrated 802.11 b/g/n wireless.

An impressive array of file support includes increasingly popular formats and codecs including .MP4, .MKV and .MOV along with OGG and FLAC for audio. HD video can be streamed at up to 1080p and the device uses the Twonkymedia UPnP software for sharing, though SAMBA shares and other compatible software such as Windows Media Player can also be used.

At US$399 (£249.99 in the UK) the LaCinema Mini HD isn’t exactly cheap, but as usual you’re paying a premium for such an array of powerful features in such a diminutive shell.

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