It's not the first Mac mini clone announced, but it's the first one you can actually buy: Performance PC maker Voodoo PC today introduced a "premium" mini PC that closely resembles the shape of the Apple original, but can be customized with various colors and designs. The "Idol" comes with higher-end components than the Mac mini and starts at $900.
It's no secret anymore that several PC makers, including Aopen, are planning to launch mini PCs that copy the idea and design of the Mac mini within the coming months. A wave of such devices should be expected once Intel's new mobile processor "Yonah" will become available early next year.
If you can't wait and budget is not too much of a concern for you, there is already an option today. Voodoo PC, known for its gaming and performance systems, today launched the first available Mac mini clone we know of. The machine is named "Idol" comes in bright colors and other custom design options. Compared to the Mac mini, the Idol is aiming for a different market: Instead of going after the entry-level market, the Voodoo PC device is a general purpose system that is capable of running mainstream games and all popular multimedia applications.
|Voodoo PC Idol|
The most apparent enhancement over the Mac mini is the graphics system: While the Apple unit relies on a mobile ATI Radeon chip, the Idol integrates an overclocked Radeon 9200 chip, according to Voodoo PC founder Rahul Sood. Harddrive options include 5400 and 7200 rpm models with capacities ranging from 40 to 120 GByte. At the core of the system is a Pentium M processor 740, with 750 and 770 models coming available "soon." According to Sood, Voodoo PC overclocked some of its systems internally to "past 2.1 GHz."
Just as the Mac mini, Sood believes that there are multiple uses for the Idol PC. The original idea for the device came from his 8-year-old daughter who requested her own PC and Sood did not feel like "setting up a full on system for her." However, he also believes that the mini PC can serve as entertainment or car PC. To support the different uses of the computer, Voodoo offers the Idol with or without an operating system, mainly to allow Linux enthusiasts to quickly set up their system.
At the time this article was posted, the Idol PC was not yet featured on Vodoo PC's website.
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