Mobile computing might be all the rage, but let’s face it: most notebook computer and even nettops aren’t really all that portable. They have these big bulky things called screens, and these big bulky things called keyboards. And they take up a lot of space in a bag—don’t even think about trying to pop one in a pocket! Keyboards and monitors are available almost everywhere—wouldn’t it be great just to unplug your PC, drop it in your pocket, and be done?
That’s the theory behind the fit-PC Slim, a Windows and Linux-capable computer jammed into a 330 cubic centimeter enclosure that’s maybe the size of a couple decks of cards. And the fit-PC Slim doesn’t skimp on features, offering three USB ports, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, an upgradeable 60 GB hard disk, 512 MB of RAM, 100-BaseT Ethernet, VGA output, and stereo input and output. The fit-PC Slim operates using an AMD Geode LX800 CPU running at 500 Mhz, and uses an integrated Geode LX graphics controller capable of driving a display up to 1,920 by 1,440 pixels. The unit can also boot over Ethernet, and can user Etherlink for BIOS updates. The whole unit consumes between 4 and 6 Watts, and operates off a 12 Volt power supply.
The fit-PC Slim is available with either Windows XP Home SP3 or Ubuntu 8.04 + Gentoo 2008.0 Linux preloaded. A (ahem) slimmed down version with 256 MB of RAM and no Wi-Fi or hard drive is available for $220; adding Wi-Fi takes it up to $247. With 512 MB of RAM, Wi-Fi, and Linux the fit-PC Slim will run $295; with Windows XP the same unit runs $335. We know these sorts of systems won’t work for everybody, but we can think of any number of techs, consultants, and IT folks who might start drooling over the fit-PC Slim as a viable alternative to notebooks.