Computex 2005 PC maker AOpen has been quick to attempt to stamp out any suggestions that its remarkably Mac Mini-like "Mini PC", jointly demonstrated at Computex 2005 this week with Intel, is intended to compete with the Apple product.
The company even went as far as to quote a well-known computer market analyst that the Mini PC, which AOpen said was "a giant leap forward", is not the Wintel world's answer to the compact cut-price computer Apple began shipping earlier this year.
No, no, said AOpen, dismissing comments that the Mini PC was a Mac Mini rip-off, of course we're not competing with Apple - it's competing with us.
AOpen's 'logic' is that since the Mac Mini is all about winning over Wintel users to Apple's product line, the Mac Mini competes with PCs, not the other way round.
Either way, the two machines are remarkably similar. The dimensions may be a little different (16.5 x 16.5 x 5cm for the Mac Mini and 15 x 15 x 5cm for the Mini PC) but the two boxes share the same round-edged design, square profile, rear-facing air vent and ports, and front-mounted slot-loading optical drive. Slot-loaders have, of course, been a common feature of a variety of Macs for ages, whereas they're rather rare in the Wintel world. There's no Apple logo on AOpen box, natch, and it sports an unappealing on/off button on its front.
The Mini PC incorporates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, both optional on the Mac Mini. It's powered by a Pentium M processor running alongside Intel's 915GM chipset.
Apple announced the Mac Mini back in January. The Mini PC actually made its first public appearance in February at the Intel Developer Forum, where it was described as a concept design. ®
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