A Silicon Valley-based firm called PQ Labs has a new micro PC called the iStick that is about the size of a breakfast snack bar, and costs about what you’d pay for a snack bar at Whole Foods – $69.
Apple’s lawyers will no doubt be noodling whether to bother sending PQ a “To Whom It May Concern” note about the whole iName thing. The company is in the same zip code, after all.
Anyway, the unit in the bombastic video (PQ Labs Reinvents the Computer – really???) suggest the little guy is pretty powerful, but methinks what is shown in action is not the base level 1 GHz thingie that costs $69, but one of the more powerful units that are not priced or available to pre-order.
• 1GHz to 1.8GHz Dual Core Processor
• GPU accelerated 2D & 3D graphics
• 1080p High Resolution Video Playback
• Built-in WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
• Support USB Mouse/Keyboard, USB Hard Drive, USB Hub, etc
• Support Over 600,000 Touch Apps
It also suggests it has a digital signage kiosk mode.
As noted a few times, the whole size thing got to be a non-issue once things were at the Mac Mini form factor, so getting much smaller is, for most projects, a shoulder shrug. Price, however, always gets people interested, and this just adds to the growing pile of options that come in at sub-$100.
Don’t know much about the company, but based on the heavy marketing focus on touch screens, this is a bit of a sideline that may owe to ties with some manufacturer in Shenzhen, China. I wouldn’t build a business plan around these kinds of gadgets, but if I was a software co or integrator, I’d drop the money to get one on a lab bench and see what it can actually do.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.