Computer manufacturer Xi3 is gearing up to launch the first desktop running on Google's Chrome operating system, following the upcoming release of Google Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer.
The pint-sized Xi3 ChromiumPC measures 101.6x92.86x92.86mm and has been designed for portability and easy customisation, the firm said.
Xi3 has built the desktop using three interconnected modules instead of a traditional motherboard.
The Processor Module houses primary components such as the microprocessor and RAM. A Primary I/O Module contains external ports, and the Secondary I/O Module features Ethernet, video and power connections.
Exact specifications have yet to be confirmed, but they are expected to be similar if not identical to those found in Xi3's Modular Computer 5.
Customers wanting a Modular Computer can choose to run this on a dual-core 64-bit 3400e 1.8GHz or a single-core 64-bit 2000+ 1GHz chip.
Connectivity comes in the form of six USB 2.0 hubs and three reconfigurable audio connectors.
However, there is no onboard storage so buyers will have to rely entirely on cloud services or plug in memory from an additional source using one of the two integrated eSATA 2.5 ports.
Jason Sullivan, president and chief executive of Xi3, argued that the market is now ready for a cloud-based desktop.
"Technology has advanced and people have become more and more comfortable with using web-based applications and storing [data] in the cloud, so it only makes sense that operating systems will become cloud-based," he said.
Sullivan added that the Xi3 architecture supports any x86-based operating system, including Windows, Linux, Unix or any other open source platform.
"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," he said.
Sales of Xi3's first Modular Computer will begin on 4 July and the ChromiumPC will follow later this year. Pricing is yet to be confirmed and will be announced closer to the time.
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