A new competitor in the keyboard PC market has emerged just before CES 2010 and while the technology in it is less powerful and less visually appealing than what ASUS has come up with, you can’t beat the price! For $99 you will be able to get this Norhtec Gecko Surfboard computer-in-keyboard running Linux, or for $150 it will have Windows XP on it.
The system will reportedly only draw 5 watts and utilize a Xcore86 (Vortex86MX) SoC clocked at 1.0GHz – so don’t expect any benchmark records to be set here. To quote the initial preview:
NorhTec, which rebrands the Vortex86MX as the Xcore86, characterizes it as a “light-duty” processor, but says the SoC provides enough power to run Windows XP, Windows CE, or one of several different Linux distributions. The SoC runs fanlessly, and includes graphics and other typical northbridge/southbridge functions while using just five Watts, the company says.
What kind of connectivity will the unit have?
There won’ be any HDMI ports here, but you do get VGA and composite output along with 10/100 Ethernet, audio input and output, USB and even a legacy serial port if you need it. For storage connectivity there is an SD card reader as well as an IDE connection with room for a 2.5-in hard drive. While wireless technology isn’t included in the $99 price tag it apparently does have an upgrade module that will support 802.11b/g and even 3G cellular connections!
Expect to see more on this unique keyboard PC from NorhTec at CES in January!