updated 05:25 pm EST, Fri January 13, 2012
FXI tech to bring out computer in March for $200
Norway's FXI technologies showed off its tiny USB dongle-looking device that doubles as a computer. Dubbed Cotton Candy, the prototype has a full-sized USB connector, a micro USB connector and HDMI input, letting users access cloud services on their TVs, so long as there is a USB port or adapter for power and an HDMI port. The stick uses a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex processor paired with a quad-core ARM Mali-400MP graphics core and 1GB of RAM.
There is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth onboard, along with Android 4.0 preloaded, though the device will support Ubuntu as well. Local storage comes by way of microSDHC cards up to 64GB in capacity thanks to a built-in slot. When it was shown to us, one USB connected a keyboard and the other powered it. The HDMI cable ran to an Acer monitor. Content is stored in the cloud. Supported file formats include MPEG4, H.264 and other video formats in HD resolutions, along with popular sound and image files. Content can be controlled using a smartphone, keyboard, mouse or other USB peripherals. The screen of a user's smartphone can also be duplicated on the big screen wirelessly, though a commercial app that's still being developed commercially.
As demonstrated, Mac or Windows PCs and notebooks will also have the ability to display content from the Cotton Candy stick thanks to a virtualization client for Windows, Linux, and Mac computers, accessing an Android version of Angry Birds and other apps, for example.
The device weighs 21 grams, and we were told it will cost $200 when it ships in March.