DESKTOP PC MAKER XI3 has announced the launch of its Chromium PC, making it the world's first desktop computer to run Google's Chrome operating system (OS).
We don't know how much it will cost yet but the first desktop to tip up with Google's Chrome OS will arrive on 4 July. XI3's Chromium PC has a modular architecture unlike a traditional desktop and is housed in a tiny chassis measuring 4x3.6x3.6in.
It's called a modular architecture because it has three separate boards, or modules, that are interchangeable. The first is a processor module that houses the processor, as you'd expect, and the RAM. The remaining two are called the primary and secondary I/O modules.
The primary I/O module has external communications ports such as USB whilst the secondary houses things like Ethernet, video and power connections. Talking of power, the Chromium PC apparently runs on just 20 Watts.
There is no specifications sheet thus far but XI3 said, "The ChromiumPC will be powered by a dual- or single-core 64-bit, x86-based processor." There doesn't appear to be any internal storage but this isn't necessary for the cloud based Chrome OS.
There will also be the option of using external storage via the primary I/O module if you feel the need.
The Chromium PC isn't locked to Chrome OS though, with Jason Sullivan, CEO of Xi3 stating, "The Xi3 Computer Architecture is designed to support any x86-based operating system, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and other open source-based operating systems."
It will need an external disk drive to boot up anything other than Google's Chrome OS, of course.
If you're keen to get your mitts on Chrome OS, it will arrive sooner than the Chromium PC in the form of Chrome netbooks from Samsung and Acer, which will be tipping up next month. µ