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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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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.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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