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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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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.


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