Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Small & Perfectly Formed?

It seems that everyone's at it; making PCs smaller is the order of the day and in August, Compulab will start taking orders for its new micro-computer - the Utilite.

Designed to run Linux & Android operating systems, this isn't a bad looking piece of kit: sadly, it'll probably end up fixed to the rear of a flat panel monitor with some sort of VESA mount! OK, I'm being cynical, but it makes you wonder why they don't just put all this inside the monitor and be done with it: if you want a PC so small that it's all but invisible, you might as well hide it to begin with.

The technical specs aren't too shabby though: top-end, the Utilite boasts a quad core Cortex-A9 MPCore and up to 4GB of DDR3 although the headline price of $99 will only snag you a Freescale i.MX6 single core processor and (I'm guessing) less memory. Ports galore and a low-energy supply it looks versatile and capable of saving the planet from all those 500W electricity guzzlers out there.

Ironically, for such a small product, the market in micro-computers is remarkably crowded and users are almost spoiled for choice. Take your pick from the Raspberry Pi, Intel's NUC, Gigabyte's BRIX, or a thousand handsets running Android, IOS, Windows, and (hopefully) Ubuntu.

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