When Valve first discussed bringing the PC into the living room with Steam Machines, it outlined an entire ecosystem. On the high end we'd find $1,000-plus media center PCs, equipped with top-of-the-line hardware. But on the low end, there was a much more interesting proposition for those who already owned a capable PC: A streaming-only device that cost barely anything but relied on your home network and your primary tower for horsepower.
Thanks to GDC we now know Valve is working on its own streaming-only device, the $50 Steam Link. And as far as you-totally-can't-trust-them conference demos go, it worked really great! But it's also not out until November.
Enter the NZXT Doko--a $100 box capable of streaming your desktop PC to your TV right now. Unfortunately, even at twice the price of the Steam Link, it doesn't seem to work nearly as well.
Slim little package
Aesthetically, the NZXT Doko does exactly what it's supposed to do--blend in. The Doko is smaller than my cable modem, at about 5 inches in width and depth and an inch or so in height. The front features a row of USB inputs and a small power button, while the back has an HDMI out, 3.5mm audio out, power input, and Ethernet input.
A lip overhang is the single (sort of weird) design accent to what would otherwise be a small black rectangle. It's an utterly forgettable, utilitarian design that could offend no one. You won't notice it. You won't see it. It's perfect.
Set-up is extremely easy, albeit a bit of a mess. You plug in your Ethernet cable, power, HDMI, and any USB devices you want accessible, then turn the thing on. Great! It works!