OK, yeah, we think the Artigo is cute. But is it functional? Via has just taken advantage of its ultra-small, ultra-lower power (though admittedly less than state-of-the-art chips) to pack what used to be Dell's top of the line gaming PC (in 2001) into a teeny, tiny package.
Of course, the Artigo, as shipped, is bare-bones, and will take quite a bit of labor before actually accomplishing much, but it is an interesting statement. The $300 device (yes...we agree, that's expensive) ships without RAM or a harddrive (or a keyboard, mouse, monitor etc.) What it does come with is Via's low-power 1ghz C7 processor, a network adapter, build-in HD audio and video, and a weight of barely more than 1 lb. But the statement I'm seeing here is more than "Look! It's tiny!"
It's more like "Look, 70% of us don't need your fancy gaming PCs." In fact, the Artigo won't even run Vista; you're stuck either with XP or pretty much any form of Linux. The thing is, most people can't tell the difference between XP and Vista, and a vast majority of users just need something that'll run Firefox and Word without crashing (so that's everything except Windows ME...right?) And the great thing is, by using new technology to build slower computers, power use drops dramatically...even at peak consumption the Artigo comes in under 30 watts.
Unfortunately, this isn't really built for those users. You need to buy the RAM and the harddrive and the operating system...and then install all the software yourself. So while it's an interesting experiment, I think I'll stick with something that someone built for me, even if that does decrease the amount of Geek Cred I have.
Nonetheless, you should check out this excellent review at ExtremeTech.
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