updated 11:35 am EDT, Sun March 16, 2008
Shuttle without fanfare has rolled out the finished version of the KPC, its first Linux system targeted at the most basic of computer use. The small form factor box lowers the cost of the PC maker's normally gaming-focused systems in part by switching to Foresight Linux: without the cost of a Windows license, only the hardware affects the price. The low-demand operating system also reduces the need for faster components and allows Shuttle to run its OS well with just a 1.8GHz Celeron, 512MB of RAM, integrated graphics, and an 80GB hard drive; Shuttle also saves money by stripping out the optical drive but replaces it with Wi-Fi for wireless out of the box.
The KPC can be customized with images at the front and can still be upgraded as with any other SFF PC, including up to a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, and larger hard drives. Windows Vista can also be pre-installed for those uncomfortable with Linux. The system should be available on Monday as a $199 barebones kit with just the basic case, mainboard, and power supply. A full system at $299 will only begin shipping on April 11th but can be pre-ordered from Shuttle today.