The past two years have seen the launch of small computers intended to replace the traditional desktop setup. We have Android mobile devices that connect to larger devices, Android-on-a-stick HDMI devices, Windows 8 and its hybrid army, and Canonical’s vision of a smartphone that’s also an Ubuntu desktop. A company called ICE wants to join the race with their xPC.
Like hybrid Android devices like the ASUS Padfone and Motorola Atrix, the xPC uses docks to change shape. However, unlike these devices, the current xPC prototype is not a smartphone and is therefore useless in itself. Its main advantage is that it can run desktop versions of Windows. It houses an unspecified Intel Atom, Intel Core i5 or ARM processor, 2GB to 4GB of RAM, 32 to 128GB of SSD, a camera, accelerometer, gyro sensor, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
ICE plans to launch three docks with the xPC: a tablet dock, a mini-HTPC dock, and a mini-desktop dock. The last two docks both have a few USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack, and a speaker, but the mini desktop dock will also have a hard drive bay.
Pledge at least $ 259 (USD) on Indiegogo to get an ICE xPC and mini-HTPC docking station. I think the mass market will soon be inundated with cheap screenless computers like the xPC. But if I were to buy a low budget work computer right now, I would always go for a cheap laptop.