IBM unveils world's smallest PC

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IBM has launched the ThinkCentre S50 ultra small, a PC which it claims is the smallest in the world.

IBM has launched the ThinkCentre S50 ultra small, a PC which it claims is the smallest in the world. Targeted at SMB customers, the S50 is the smallest full function desktop on the market today and is four "tennis balls" wide and one and a third high, according to IBM.

The unit is 75 percent smaller than traditional IBM desktops and weighs 6kg.

It ships with the Intel 865V chipset with Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of RAM standard, a 40GB HDD, CD-ROM drive, integrated Intel Extreme Graphics2 controller, integrated audio and Windows XP Professional pre-installed.

It also included 6 USB ports, an integrated Intel PRO/1000 network port, one PCI slot, and serial and parallel ports.

Prices start at $1450 (inc. GST).

A redesign of the main board is this machine and a unique system design had resulted in less noise and was 35 percent smaller than the previous model.

Rubber bumpers on the caddy decrease vibration and help to lengthen the life of the machine, IBM said.

The front of the machine is hinged and lifts up allowing the user to access the swap optical drives without opening the case.

The box will take a 45kg monitor. "I've actually stood on the machine myself so I know that it will take more than 45kg," said Erin Mikan, brand manager at IBM PC division.

Despite the rise and rise of mobile computing, Mikan claimed a healthy market still existed for commercial desktop sales.

Mikan said there were still vertical markets such as call centres and travel agents where a small form factor desktop is "going to be the product of choice" despite rapid price drops in the laptop market.

Mikan said the previous S42 small form factor PC now makes up 60 percent of IBM Australia's desktop sales since its launch 18 months ago.

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