Xi3 unveils palm-sized Z3ro Pro PC with dual-core x86 chip for $399

By on January 14, 2013, 3:00 PM

Although most of the attention Xi3 received during CES came courtesy of its Valve-funded Piston PC, the company also unveiled a nifty palm-sized computer late last week that's only just now cropping up in the enthusiast press. The Z3ro Pro is said to be the company's smallest offering to date, measuring a diminutive 1.87 x 4.87 x 3.62 inches (47 x 123 x 92mm) -- or about the size of a small paperback book, Xi3 notes.

Despite its size, the system packs enough horsepower to serve as a basic Windows machine, with key specs including a 64-bit dual-core x86 processor running at 1.65GHz with 2MB of L2 cache, an 80-shader integrated graphics processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 16GB to 1TB of flash storage.

Unfortunately, the company hasn't specified exactly what x86 chip the Z3ro uses, but given that the whole device only consumes about 15W, you can bet it won't replace your workstation or gaming rig. In fact, Xi3 founder and CEO Jason Sullivan kind of admits that much, saying "The Z3RO Pro Computer is the ideal size for the ultimate in small form factor x86-based general computing."

Considering its size, the system offers a decent array of connectivity, including gigabit Ethernet, four eSATAp 3.0 ports, and two display ports (one HDMI/DisplayPort v1.2 and one Mini-DisplayPort v1.2) providing support for resolutions up to 2560x1600.

The Z3ro will ship with openSUSE Linux v11.2 preinstalled, but you can reformat with your preferred x86-based operating system, including Windows 8. Xi3 says it's taking preorders immediately with prices starting at $399. Units are expected to ship in the second quarter of this year.

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