updated 05:00 am EST, Thu November 11, 2010
Xi3: “Obsoleting obsolescence”?
Xi3, a Salt Lake City start-up has formally introduced its Xi3 Modular Computer. The mini-desktop cube-like design incorporates separate mini-boards, which includes a processing board with the user's choice of CPU, GPU and RAM, as well as a separate board with video, input and USB connectivity. At any time, the user can replace any component as newer technologies become available making the device perpetually upgradeable - theoretically.
It differs from traditional PC designs that incorporate all the components of the system on a motherboard. In the Xi3, the boards are referred to as 'sisterboards', which in combination comprise all the necessary components required to function as a fully-fledged PC.
Currently, it is only shipping with a choice of AMD Athlon processors with integrated graphics. The connectivity sisterboard can support up to six USB ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet port, VGA port and Xi3's proprietary Xm3dia (Xmedia) port.
The Xi3 starts at $849 for the base configuration that comes with a 1.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage. It is expected to begin shipping in early 2011. Its long-term viability is questionable, as it will appeal largely to a niche market and comes at a significant premium over similarly equipped PCs that can be had for $300. However, it does make for an interesting alternative to other PCs on the market. [via Computerworld]