Samsung builds on the cylindrical digital assistant design by cramming in a full PC

While Amazon and Google are fighting over the artsy, rounded digital assistant space, Samsung is taking that unique design a step further by launching a desktop with the same cylindrical design centered around a giant speaker. Samsung calls this new class of desktop the “ArtPC,” and the name of the launch device itself is Pulse. This unique desktop measures just 5.51 x 5.51 x 10.7 inches and should fit snugly into any small space throughout the house.

Samsung officially revealed Pulse on Friday after the device popped up in two configurations on Amazon earlier this month. The rounded, main body of the PC matches the Harmon Kardon 360-degree omni-directional speaker module mounted on top, with ambient blue pulse lighting emitting from between the two components. Pulse is a modular PC, allowing customers to add and remove components, such as an optional 1TB storage unit.

“The Samsung ArtPC Pulse is a completely new type of computer. It features a gorgeous premium aluminum body with an exquisite expandable design,” reads the product description on Amazon. “It’s approximately 87 percent more compact compared to average desktop PCs, yet delivers a similar level of performance as bigger machines. This is more than just a PC. You can place it anywhere, whether it’s your living room or your home office.”

Here’s a listing of the components for each:

Model number

DP700C6A-X01US

DP700C6A-A01US

Price

$1,200 $1,600

Processor

Intel Core i5 @ 2.7GHz (quad-core) Intel Core i7 @ 3.4GHz (quad-core)

System memory

8GB DDR4 16GB DDR4

Storage

256GB NVMe SSD 256GB NVMe SSD

Storage module included

None 1TB 5,400RPM HDD

Graphics

AMD Radeon RX 460 (2GB) AMD Radeon RX 460 (2GB)

Operating system

Windows 10 Home Signature Edition Windows 10 Home Signature Edition

Ports

  • 4x USB 3.0
  • 1x Ethernet
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x headphones jack
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • 1x Ethernet
  • 1x SD card reader
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x headphones jack
  • 1x USB Type-C

Pre-order one now from

Amazon Amazon

Note that both units come packed with a sixth-generation Intel “Skylake” processor, and not anything from Intel’s new seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” family. Also note the use of Windows 10 Home “Signature Edition,” which provides a cleaner desktop, a cleaner start menu, and doesn’t come packed with bloatware. That means the PC will be protected by Microsoft Defender too, and won’t be sold with pre-loaded memory-hogging junk with a 90-day trial.

According to Samsung, both models feature a full metal body design in black. They weigh 8.6 pounds and come with three AA batteries, indicating that the two PCs likely have an included remote control to handle media functions. The installed Radeon RX 460 is the low-end model of AMD’s new “Polaris” family, meaning you can get some decent PC gaming out of these cylinder-shaped desktops as well. That said, we’re actually rather curious to see how all the components fit together inside the unique cylinder-shaped desktop form factor.

Additionally, the pulsing band of blue light between the main body and the modules can be customized. Owners can change the lighting and pulse to match a specific notification, such as flashing yellow indicating that new mail has arrived, a steady green hue for a new chat message, a blue hue for a new notification from Facebook or Twitter, and more. Both units also come with an Hourly Chime function that serves as a wall clock of sorts that can provide a visual (via the pulsing band) or audio alarm, indicating the time of day without displaying an actual clock face.

Finally, Samsung said the standalone 1TB hard drive module will be available at a later date. Based on a provided image, the module resides between the base PC and the speaker module. The HDD unit measures roughly 1.48 inches tall given the ArtPC with the included hard drive measures 12.18 inches tall while the cheaper model without the hard drive measures only 10.70 inches tall.

Currently, Samsung does not provide a product page for its new ArtPC Pulse desktop.

Article updated by Kevin Parrish on 10-14-2016 to include information on official product release.

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