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Commodore USA has launched an "Extreme" edition of its modernized Commodore 64. The C64x-EX is priced at $1,499 and comes outfitted with a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-2720QM processor, a mini-ITX motherboard and power supply, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a slot-loading DVD burner, a 2TB 7200RPM hard drive, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The back panel sports a legacy PS/2 port, five USB 2.0 ports (one eSATA combo, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, three audio jacks, as well as HDMI, DVI-D and VGA outputs.
Although $1,499 sounds like a hard pill to swallow for a machine with integrated graphics, Commodore USA says the system is "competitively priced" with keyboard-less nettops like the Mac Mini. It's worth noting that price doesn't include a Windows license. The system supports Windows 7, but it comes with Linux Mint 11 preinstalled and Commodore USA is working on Commodore OS Vision. The C64x-EX is in production now and if you purchase one by November 25, your order is guaranteed to ship by December 15.
In case you missed the announcement last summer when Commodore USA first acquired the rights to produce Commodore 64 replicas, there's also a lower powered Atom-based version. The C64 Ultimate made it to market earlier this year for $999 with a dual-core Atom D525, an Nvidia Ion 2 graphics core, 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. Its rear I/O panel loses the USB 3.0 ports. If you'd rather use your own hardware, there's also a $349 barebones unit with only the nostalgic mechanical keyboard and beige chassis.
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