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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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You only need one, two will kill you for sure
By SunAngel on 2/27/2006 5:23:03 AM , Rating: 0
I already have a notebook with a Pentium-M and MCE 2005. Could someone explain to me why I would want or need another Pentium-M computer with no screen, no keyboard, no vga, no card reader, fewer USB ports...practically no portability. I can hook my notebook to my lcd monitor, to my projector, and to my lcd hdtv without occuring the additional expense of a second computer nor the additional energy expense (no matter how few watts the MiniPC uses).

I guess I could love this device if it implemented a HDMI-out interface, mouse touch pad, and a "blackberry" style keyboard. But I still have to tell myself, I already have a computer, do I really need another? Kinda like having two cars. You can only drive one at a time. If I drove from Point A to Point B, how do I get back to Point A to get the other car, hmmm?

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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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