It's no taller than an iPhone and super-easy to upgrade.
Wednesday Xi3 Corporation announced the Xi3 Modular Computer, slated as the last computer you may ever need to buy. The bold statement is backed by six U.S. Patents and an award-winning design aimed to make upgrades super-easy for consumers.
The rig was showcased Tuesday night at the CES Unveiled@NY Showcase and Networking Reception and was named as an Innovations Award Winner in the Computer Hardware category for CES 2011. It sported a cube-like aluminum chassis measuring less than 4-inches per side, and a motherboard that was divided into three separate sections-- one section for the processors and RAM, and two sections handling all connectivity and input/output requirements.
"We reject the concept that computers should have a useful life of only two to four years," said Jason A. Sullivan, President and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "Instead we believe that computers should be upgradeable and updateable over and over and over again, and that’s how we’ve designed the Xi3 Modular Computer, making it (potentially) the last computer you ever need to buy."
According to Xi3, the rig's aluminum casing serves as a heatsink, while the flow-through design and the placement of the 64-bit x86 processors combine to help mitigate and dissipate heat blooms inside the enclosure itself. Three of the external sides even play host to universal mounting slides, allowing users to mount the Xi3 Modular Computer to almost anything.
As for specific specs, the modular computer will feature an AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor (2000+, 3400e, 4200+), up to 2 GB DDR2 667/800 RAM (4 GB in later models), dual display support for 1080p DVI, VGA, HDMI, LVDS and DisplayPort, and 128 MB of side port memory. It also offers six USB ports, 2 SATA ports, Xi3p, PCIe 1x and more.
The Xi3 Modular Computer isn't expected to go retail until early 2011--currently the company is offering the rig for evaluation and proof-of-concept purposes. However when it finally reaches the market, consumers should expect to pay a base price somewhere around $850 USD. Based on the specs, three models will be available to consumers.