That's right, that cube with curves being held by some hand model is an actual desktop computer. Its potentially capable of accommodating a 35watt 64-bit AM2 2.2GHz dualcore processor, 4GB of RAM, with a host of externally accessible sata and e-sata ports so you can connect any sort of sata storage device you like to it. Other then that I'd say it was a pretty slick concept not to mention its very easy on the retina, but at $50 short of $900 its not the cheapest of options on the mini PC front as a single unit. I guess that's the price you pay for the amount of desktop power you get within such a compact package of a machine and the exclusivity of getting your hands on one of the limited numbers available in its pre-production run.

Random thought... It kind of reminds me of a mini version of the Mac cube from way back when but sideways.

 

A couple of cents on it... (skip over if uninterested or click the pictures to go to the website and sign up for one now)

Just because you make a PC significantly less power consuming, more compact and purposely designed to be modular it doesn't make it any more upgradable then a regular PC. Potentially most regular desktops PC's are "upgradable forever" (or at least for as long as that particular motherboard form factor standard is maintained) since there will always be the internal components that will fit within the enclosure/PC box. The Xi3 in principal is exactly the same as this. Provided the manufacturers of the internal boards continue to operate and manufacture the internal custom components for it which again is pretty much like all regular PC's, they'd in fact be launching a new standard of motherboard form factor if they can get the market wide adoption like previous standards such as ATX, MATX, ITX etc. You only have to look at how shuttle PC do things and they're still going.

However modular in this instance also refers to its processing potential. you could potentially just simply buy another unit to increase processing power but again given the price its not exactly the cheapest way of doing it for the general consumer given its current price. In a corperate setting sure where didicated task orientated machines are more likely needed.



There is nothing special about the CPU standard or RAM since that's set by the makers of the processors and the industries use of RAM technologies at any given time that's being slowly released onto the market. Sure, the fact that modular technology gets outdated is nothing new but potentially this machine is "upgradable forever" since all they'd have to do is release a new board with the same form factor to go inside with any new technology standards that come along to then be included on it.  The point of modular upgradability is to keep the cost of upgrading down and to prolong use.








As for the green aspect, it has a tiny form factor meaning less materials required to make it. It consumes significantly less electrical power whilst giving you the ability to do just as much if not more then other machines that perform more slowly whilst consuming significantly more electrical power.



If anything this could be a good alternative to the net top (most of which use ITX boards, the same as most car computers) but obviously the Xi3 understatedly has a little more clout then a net top to say the least given its specs of having dual display support with 1080p DVI, VGA, HDMI, LVDS and DP output, plus 6 USB and 2 SATA Ports, and PCIe. Apparently the built in GPU can pump out a ridiculously high resolution of up to 2560x1600@32bpp which I can only assume they've tested for its ability to competently handle. Yeah, on second thoughts I'd say a lot more clout then a net top but I'm still not sure I'd pay an additional $600 to $700 more for it just to browse the internet on it. Less materials, less waste but at a higher cost? I think it would be a more decent proposition if it was a little cheaper then the modular/distributed computing concept would seem a lot more realistic.


Alternate uses... although still potentially expensive at the current price.

I guess alternately it might be a very good candidate for a take anywhere cloud computer? But having said that its still a little expensive for a cloud computer unless your money is actually going toward gating off a fair amount of cloud resources for dedicated use for the duration of its entire lifespan? In which case you could potentially genuinely use the same machine forever for all hardware changes to take place back at the cloud. Your computer becomes more powerful as the servers are upgraded back at the cloud or more resources are allocated to your VM without you having to upgrade a thing. Although you would be a little screwed if all the servers at the cloud should ever go down, but what are the chances of that ever happening?