When Atom's not enough
Dorset distie Spire jumped on the ION bandwagon pretty early and has carved out a niche for itself making small form-factor (SFF) desktops with the HTPC market in mind. It exclusively launched the ASRock dual-core Atom-based SFF PC last summer and now it's followed-up with one with a bit more CPU grunt.
The new AOpen XC Mini GP7A-HD is a mini ITX HTPC combines NVIDIA's ION IGP, not with an Atom, but an entry-level full Intel CPU - the T3100. While this should already offer more than an Atom-based system, it also provides the opportunity to further upgrade the CPU.
While AOpen has been producing SFF barebones chassis for some time and first announced this particular model late last year, it looks like Spire has exclusive UK distribution rights. The complete system is expected to cost around £399 and Spire expects it to offer a lot of opportunities to the channel when it becomes available in the middle of next month.
Incidentally, Spire has also announced that it's now the main UK distributor for SOHO networking kit maker TP-LINK, which is currently the leader in this category in China.