Earn Style Points with this Home Theater PC

One of the difficulties in swallowing Microsoft's home theater PC concept is the ugliness associated with plopping a boxy tower anywhere near your sleek living room set-up.

This post is neither the time nor place to discuss the merits of HTPCs and Windows Vista Home Premium, but if you've made the decision to go that route, here's a fashionable box that can minimize the eyesore factor: Norwegian company Mesiro's Merium.

It has all the components you'd want, including a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 250 gigabytes of storage, DVD-burner, a powerful graphics card, WiFi, a card reader, and a wireless remote and keyboard. But you've also got the design flexibility of face plates!

All of the solid colors - black, white, slate, crimson - are glossy. But other patterns, such as wood paneling and minimalist floral designs, are also available. You'll pay for the privilege of style, though. The PC is $1,578, while the faceplates (sold seperately) are $87 each. Or, you can buy yourself a cheap and ugly box, and simply hide it behind a potted plant. -Rachel Rosmarin