Mac mini-styled PC coming this Christmas

Last June PC maker AOpen displayed a small PC-compatible desktop computer that closely resembled Apple’s Mac mini. Now the company plans to put them into product, and says the tiny PC will hit store shelves in time for Christmas at prices starting at US$399.

The small system features a low profile and compact dimensions, along with a front slot-loading optical drive. They were first unveiled by Intel earlier this year as part of an effort to spur interest in using Intel’s Pentium M microprocessor in small desktops intended for living rooms and entertainment centers.

At the Computex trade show in Taiwan, an AOpen spokesperson said the said the small PC was the result of about two months of engineering. The company said that the machine was based on AOpen’s existing XC Cube line.

In announcing the forthcoming availability of the Mac mini-styled machine, a spokesperson for AOpen indicated that the systems will come equipped with Linux for $399 and Windows for $499. $499 is the retail price Apple has set for its entry-level Mac mini model.

Further information on the system’s configuration and specifications were not available. The Web site hadn't been updated with info on the new model as MacCentral posted this article.

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