Via and Mini-box announce $300 car PC kit

Via and announced the "VoomPC," a series of compact x86 car PC kits. The barebone platform, based on Via's Epia Mini-ITX mainboards and C3 processors will be available in versions priced between $300 and $400.

According to the firms, the VoomPC is aimed at automotive enthusiasts and vehicle manufacturers alike to integrate a wide range of GPS navigation, communication, entertainment and information functionality into private cars or vehicle-dependent professional service vehicles. The systems integrate a Mini-box M1-ATX 12V power supply unit to prevent system damage from power surges and eliminate car battery drain by monitoring car battery levels, even when the car is turned off. The C3 processor consumes between 15-30 watts, less than the dimmest car parking lights, Via claims.

The chassis of the device measures 21 cm x 25 cm x 6.7 cm and offers "rich peripheral connectivity, multimedia and telematics options, including USB 2.0, Firewire, Ethernet, PCMCIA types I and II card bus interface for GPRS/Wifi, S-Video, VGA and six-channel audio," Via said.