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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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