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Xi3 Corporation ChromiumPC announced

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May 23, 2011

The Xi3 Corporation has announced that it will add a Chrome OS-based flavor to its modular...

The Xi3 Corporation has announced that it will add a Chrome OS-based flavor to its modular computer family in the second half of 2011

The Chrome OS avalanche looks to be gaining momentum, with modular computer manufacturer Xi3 announcing a desktop computer addition to the mobile solutions announced by Samsung and Acer earlier in the month. Set to be a new flavor of the company's soon-to-be-generally-available, CES 2011 Innovations Award-winning modular computer range, the cube-like, low power ChromiumPC will be available with single- or dual-core processors and will benefit from a host of new input/output (I/O) modules currently being developed by the Xi3 Corporation and its partners.

The Xi3 Corporation first announced its intention to offer a desktop computer running on the Chrome OS almost as soon as Google had taken the covers off its cloud-dependent operating system in 2009. Laying claims to be the first of its kind, the ChromiumPC modular computer will - like its modular siblings - contain three interconnected boards which together form what can otherwise be thought of as a motherboard.

A processor module with built-in system memory is joined by a primary I/O module housing the vast majority of external communications ports and a secondary I/O module which is generally used to cater for video, ethernet and power connections. Any of the modules can be swapped out to change the system parameters and functionality or upgrade components, without having to replace the whole kit and kaboodle.

"Although we've been promoting, discussing and working on modular computers for some time, we feel the market is now ready for a desktop computer with a cloud-based operating system like the one offered by Google," says the company's Jason A Sullivan. "If someone chooses to switch their ChromiumPC to run a different operating system, it's as easy as swapping out one of the three boards inside the computer."

The Xi3 Coporation has announced plans to bring a new batch of I/O modules to its Xi3 modular system, further extending current functionality. Third party modules have also entered into development and all of the new modules will work with existing Xi3 systems, as well as the new ChromiumPC.

The 4 x 3.656 x 3.656-inch (101.6 x 92.8 x 92.8 mm) ChromiumPC is expected to be powered by either single- or dual-core x86-based, 64-bit processors, benefit from a low 20W power draw and come in various colors, including an appropriate chrome-plated option.

General availability of the Xi3 Modular Computer system has been penciled in for American Independence Day on July 4, with the ChromiumPC flavor scheduled for the second half of the year at a yet-to-be-confirmed price.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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4 Comments

Hmmmm I hate it.

There is REAL correlation between minimalist compact systems that are ultra low power consumers, and stupid and useless systems that are incapable of getting anything done.

As I tend to hoard everything, I have copied ALL of the image files out of every piece of software I have evewr bought, and now have a considerable number of them in different formats.

I have about 11K WMF files - and thanks to Microsofts idiot file naming system I have just left all of them in their numerical in a single folder.

When I use my bottom spec all in one motherboard, low spec CPU and 1 Gig of ram, to open the file... it displays the first hundred or so thumbnails... and then bogs down..

Or if I open a 2G AVI video file and want to edit or copy a few frames as images... it bogs down for 10 minutes, then I advance the video a frame or two, and it bogs down for another 10 minutes.... which makes it bucket loads of fun to get the particular frames out of an hour and a half of video.... Not.

For the first time in my life I have invested in a pretty hard running motherboard with 6 GB SATA and USB 3 connections, 8 Gig of RAM, and a fairly fast Intel chip... and BIG and FAST 6G SATA drives...

While I have been happy with the last of the bottom dollar stock, released some 5 years ago - just for my word processing - as I am now doing so much I have started to Hmmm not hate the basic minimal systems, but to dislike trading my valuable time - in bog downs and frustration, and the cost of a system that is about 2 or 3 x as much as the most bottom dollar - but still really capable system.

I don't want cheap and minimalist any more.

Why I hate these systems is because, you being asked a premium price for a crap system, in a small form.

That is it - the funny little box with the funny little motherboards that trots around like Adolf with a lung filled with mustard gas - it's no good to me.

BUT if they made them with REAL processing muscle, in a small box, and it had INTELLIGENT power use - and it's price was on par with the "any corner store" computer with the same specs, I'd buy one.

But with the gutless system, hard to get parts, at many times the price of a much better ordinary system - no deal.

I read this - "Consumer Electronics Association has just named the Xi3 Modular Computer an Innovations Award Winner in the Computer Hardware Category for CES 2011", and I think - these people ARE stupid.

It's a dumb low spec PC in a pretty box at 3 or 4 x the going price - of a bog stock, every PC shop, beige box.

Mr Stiffy
23rd May, 2011 @ 08:17 pm PDT

@ Mr Stiffy, you are sooo absolutely right. And I usually don't agree fully with your comments, but today you hit that nail on the head & drove it through the board!

Anthony N Di Wood
24th May, 2011 @ 05:56 am PDT

"low 20W draw" - what is that - an entry level netbook? If they charge more than $300 for it, probably nobody will buy it. Oh wait - how about mid-level, PC-unawared small company managers wishing to impres collegues? Yes, they WILL buy it )))

Михаил Финогенов
24th May, 2011 @ 04:01 pm PDT

What about just building modular LAPTOPS? Computer manufacturers need to wake up and go in the direction that people are going not in the direction you want them to go.

I love the power and performance of my desktop but if I could upgrade my laptop as easily as my desktop the desktop tower would be history.

Sean Ellwood
25th May, 2011 @ 05:47 am PDT
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