VIA has introduced a new member to its family of ultra-compact Artigo machines, which can be used for applications ranging from basic desktop computing to home automation, media streaming, surveillance and digital signage. Said to be the world's smallest quad-core x86 system, the Artigo A1250 measures only 17.7 x 12.5 x 3.0cm (6.96 x 4.92 x 1.18in) -- about 10% smaller than the A1150, which has a dual-core 1GHz chip.
The A1250's E-series processor has 1MB of L2 cache and can use up to one 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory module (which you'll have to purchase separately it seems), while its VX11H media system processor features a Chromotion GPU that provides support for DirectX 11. As would be expected of such a system, the A1250 is reportedly capable of decoding H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1 and WMV9 video at 1080p without any hiccups.
The computer can output display resolutions of up to 2560x1600 and it offers plenty of connectivity, including HDMI, VGA, two USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, as well as mic, headphone and line jacks. There's also an optional 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi antenna accessory. As with the RAM, it appears as though you'll have to supply your own 2.5-inch storage drive, be that flash or mechanical. The system has a TDP of only 32 watts.
As with many compact system designs, the A1250 has a 10x10cm VESA mount so it can be hung on the back of a display. VIA says its latest Artigo machine officially supports Windows XP, Embedded XP, 7 and Embedded 7 along with Linux, but we don't see any reason why it couldn't run Windows 8. Pricing and availability are currently unknown, but for whatever it's worth, the older Artigo A1200 is still fetching $320 directly from VIA.