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PCs recently have taken on a new look when it comes to small form factors giving compliment to Apple

As the PC market continues to show its age, many manufacturers are changing focus and research to reflect niche markets – with or without the help of the channel partners.  AOpen received much fanfare for the original MiniPC; a small desktop PC running on Intel’s Dothan and Yonah CPUs.  The MiniPC is strikingly reminiscent of the Apple Mac Mini, but in reality the two are quite the opposite.

At Cebit 2006, AOpen will announce the next generation MiniPC.  DailyTech was able to get an exclusive look at the unannounced unit inside AOpen’s Research and Development offices. 

The next MiniPC has an even smaller form factor than the original MiniPC.  A proprietary motherboard design houses a Pentium M socket, Intel 945GT core logic, DDR2-SODIMM memory banks and mini-PCI expansion slot.  The majority of these MiniPCs sold in the US will ship as barebones systems, but there are plans to build fully furnished systems in Taiwan for a little under $1000 USD.

Like the original MiniPC, our evaluation unit will feature infrared sensors for remote control functions (an MCE certified remote ships with every unit), Gigabit Ethernet, DVI, Firewire and USB 2.0.  The PCI expansion bus will support a Wi-Fi adaptor or a combination Wi-Fi adaptor with Bluetooth support.  A SATA riser allows the 2.5” hard drive and slot-loading DVD player to easily detach and reattach to the motherboard.While the feature set of the MiniPC is quite tame for Intel 945G motherboards, the fact that the entire unit consumes a 6” by 6” footprint and weighs less than five pounds speaks volumes for AOpen’s design team.  Expect to see more news of the MiniPC within the next few weeks during the Intel Developer Forum and Cebit 2006.

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at that price.....
By marvdmartian on 2/24/2006 11:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
At $1000, I'm guessing most of that price is for the over-priced pentium cpu??? ;)

RE: at that price.....
By Tegeril on 2/24/06, Rating: 0
RE: at that price.....
By Xenoterranos on 2/24/2006 12:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the 6x6in motherboard cost practically nothing to develop, design and perfect. And i'm certain the thermal engineer's who got the whole thing not to fry itself work for free.

RE: at that price.....
By mlittl3 on 2/24/2006 1:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point he/she was trying to make is that the Macmini costs $499 and all ye fanbois tend to fault Apple with high prices. Now the PC version of the Macmini costs $1000. I think PC loving fanbois are starting to see that good engineering costs money.

RE: at that price.....
By saratoga on 2/24/2006 3:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt engineering is a huge cost here. Not 500 anyway. You make up for that on volume.

The big difference probably is the CPU. The G4 is CHEAP. Really cheap. Intel's profits on the (tiny) Dothan and Yonah cores are the stuff of Freescale's dreams.

RE: at that price.....
By karrock on 2/24/2006 4:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
OK... Wait til the new Intel Mac Minis show up -- they'll be the same size as the G4 ones. Then we'll see what excuse comes mext.

RE: at that price.....
By Cygni on 2/26/2006 10:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ya... and one is based on Yonah+DDR2... and the other is based on a low end G4+DDR1. The point is that this little guy is likely going to be, roughly, twice as fast as the MacMini. And is twice the cost.

RE: at that price.....
By Clauzii on 2/27/2006 4:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
And You don´t think the Mac Mini will evolve? It is the best priced Mini out there.

bad choice ( Pentium M )
By Xajel on 2/24/2006 12:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Waiting For AMD's 65nm version :D

RE: bad choice ( Pentium M )
By SavantasBE on 2/24/06, Rating: 0
RE: bad choice ( Pentium M )
By Brassbud on 2/24/2006 2:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
The new Mactel mini will be out very shortly (possibly within the week), since Apple is really into keeping the same price points as the pervious generation, the Mac mini is looking to be a fairly good deal, and I must say I'd consider one

RE: bad choice ( Pentium M )
By DigitalFreak on 2/24/2006 2:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
Care to provide some proof that the "Pentium M/ Intel Core Duo kick AMD's ass."?

Frakking troll...

RE: bad choice ( Pentium M )
By jfmiller52 on 2/25/2006 12:07:57 AM , Rating: 2
RE: bad choice ( Pentium M )
By Darth Farter on 2/25/2006 12:54:20 AM , Rating: 3
super!! an overclocked dothan against a 130nm stock FX55 from almost a year ago...

Indeed, it's proof that you really are THE smartest 1 around here....


RE: bad choice ( Pentium M )
By saratoga on 2/24/2006 3:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
Core for core, Dothan and Lancaster are remarkably similar. Power consumption, overall performance, etc are remarkably similar.

Of course a 65nm Yonah is much more attractive then a 90nm Lancaster, but that will change in a few months.

Real Prices
By othercents on 2/25/2006 10:05:42 AM , Rating: 3
Sure quote the retail price from Aopen instead of the actual prices these units are going for. You can get one for $499 with Cel 1.4ghz, combo drive, and 40gb HD or $799 with a Pentium M 1.73, DVD-RW, and 60gb HD. Both come with 512 MB ram.

I personally would rather build up a "real" computer that can actually rip DVDs and have some processing power to them instead of getting this little overpriced box, but hey if you want to compare this box to the MacMini you should at least have the right pricing.


RE: Real Prices
By heulenwolf on 2/28/2006 1:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it. I've always been told that most of the price of a laptop is its screen. You can get laptops with similar specs for within $140 but they're fully functional systems:

I guess the economies of scale are killing htem.

RE: Real Prices
By othercents on 2/28/2006 6:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
They want you to believe that most of the cost of a laptop is the screen, but it really isn't. Screens now days are way cheaper than you think. Take a 15" LCD screen only costs $150 and the 17" ones cost $200. There is even a company that will send a replacement LCD for a laptop for way cheaper than the manufacturers like Dell would ever sell you one.

Laptop manufactures keep the price on screens high so you purchase new machines instead of fixing the old ones. Over the long run it will cost them less. Usually everything costs the same to a manufacturer like Dell for laptops and desktops, but since they can charge a premium for the laptops they will.


RE: Real Prices
By mindless1 on 3/2/2006 8:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
You're only considering retail pricing, volume LCDs to a manufacturer must necessarily be alot cheaper.

Size-reducted systems like this one don't have to adhere to normal profit margin models though, it'll always be disproportionately higher priced to buy something relatively unique.

By worldd on 2/24/2006 2:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand what the big deal is. AOpen bascially use a Mobo of a laptop and put it inside a square box without the LCD screen. I'm surprise it took someone this long to come up with the idea.

RE: So...
By essjae on 2/24/2006 7:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
exactly, and mini size computers were around many, many years before there was every a Mac Mini. This is just another side effect of the Job's reality distortion field.

RE: So...
By BladeVenom on 2/27/2006 8:45:54 AM , Rating: 1
It's no big deal, except to the ignorant people in the media who don't think something exists until Steve Job tells them about it.

There's been Cappuccino PC, Saint Song PC, Mini-itx, and embedded PCs modded into stand alone mini-PCs for a decade or more.

You only need one, two will kill you for sure
By SunAngel on 2/27/06, Rating: 0
By mechwarrior1989 on 2/27/2006 9:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
No one's asking YOU to buy it. Just because you might have a notebook doesn't mean everyone's got a note book and LCd HDTV and projector and LCD monitor. The world does not revolve around what you do and do not have.

There's obviously a market for this PC no matter how small it might be otherwise there'd be no reason for companies to produce such products.

By othercents on 2/28/2006 6:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think the mini PC is good for LCD TVs and projectors, but I still would rather build a decent machine. Not everyone knows what they can build a machine for, so just buying a small off the shelf product is easier for most even though it is more expensive with less power.

For power users it does make a great door stop, but so does a brick from the hardware store.


New Mac Minis with Core Duo = $799.
By psychobriggsy on 2/28/2006 2:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the new Mac Minis make this thing look like a poor joke.

By maybury on 3/1/2006 6:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'll have the mac please

Blue and Silver...
By Sunbird on 2/24/2006 10:38:36 AM , Rating: 1
Blue and silver? What are they thinking?

RE: Blue and Silver...
By techrob on 2/24/2006 11:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, i know that sucks.
Well you always have spray paint, but they did a good job of creating it that small.

By MercenaryForHire on 2/26/2006 8:03:51 PM , Rating: 1

"Revealed" indeed.

/me rolls his eyes

- M4H

By Cygni on 2/27/2006 12:42:15 AM , Rating: 2
The unit in the news shots looks considerably different... read: worse. Doesnt look like a repost.

Mini Media Center... FINALLY
By Cygni on 2/27/2006 12:47:01 AM , Rating: 3
This MiniPC will be capable of being a mini Media Center, with full MCE 2k5 support, thanks to the MCE compatible USB2.0 TV Tuners, and its built in S-Video out. Equipped with a 1gig So-Dimm and the 1.73 Pent M, it should be plenty quick at the task too, and it looks like the unit will be very quiet as well.

THIS is what ALOT of people have been waiting for. :)

Darth Farter Rulez the Airways
By SunAngel on 2/27/06, Rating: -1
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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