Media centers seem to fade in and out of popularity with mainstream users. As of right now, they’re seemingly picking up again. In addition to media centers, “4K” is all the rage these days, as is getting 4K content via smaller and smaller hardware boxes connected to your TV. On both fronts, traditional PC peripheral and PC manufacturers have been pushing into this mini/micro-sized world with a vengeance. But is a full-fledged PC really needed for a set-top box in the living room? Corsair hopes you think so as their new “Bulldog” case/bundle gets you on your way to not only 4K in the living room, but usable and powerful gaming in a relatively small footprint, too.
The Bulldog is “cool” in our eyes, though it’s definitely not made to blend in per say or look at home next to ultra modern/simplistic hardware. It’s a box for gamers first it seems. That said, if you decide to pick one up you’ll get the chassis, mini-ATX motherboard, SFX power supply and the proprietary but tiny liquid CPU cooler. You will, however, need to provide the CPU, RAM, storage, video card and any other components. For the price ($399) it’s not bad, especially if you’re the type that’s looking for a tiny chassis but also one that can house a robust system inside of it.
The more intriguing part in our eyes, though, is the keyboard/mouse “Lapdog” which corsair dubs a “gaming control center”. Basically, it’s lap-friendly contraption that houses a keyboard and mousepad. You’ll be able to pick it up for $99 bare (no keyboard or mouse) or $199 with keyboard (mouse still on you).
For those wanting a small gaming PC/media center box and the comfort of being able to sit on the couch and continue to game with a keyboard and mouse, the Bulldog and Lapdog look to be nice options on paper, particularly the Lapdog. Only time will tell though.