Hello Mr. Future!
I have seen the future of personal computing, and it looks like some sort of futuristic pencil holder. The Xi3 Modular Computer will debut at CES 2011. This 64-bit x86 dual-core machine draws 20 watts or less of power. It measures under 4" per side. As the name suggests, the Xi3 is completely modular.
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The Xi3's motherboard is divided into three separate board. One with the processors and RAM, and two I/O boards for connectivity and input/output. Each board is easy to pull out, alter or replace. Xi3 bills this as "the last computer you ever need to buy". Which could be true for many people.
Most users don't want dual graphics cards and four monitors and enough RAM to run multiple MMORPGs simultaneously. The Xi3 can be updated to remain a zippy, midline PC. And it takes up virtually no space.
This thing is basically the perfect media box, box. Build a cheap PC with enough power to push 1080p and enough space to hold a good chunk of your media library. A little 4" cube is tiny enough to hide behind your TV or in the drawer of an entertainment center. When you need an upgrade, just pop out the tray and get to work.
There are even a series of universal mounting supplies. Exact specs for the launch models have not been revealed, but the retail price looks to be pretty steep. $849 is a bit much for anything but a power rig.
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We'll see if the Xi3 is worth the price at CES 2011.