Commodore USA unveils Amiga Mini, updated range
Commodore USA has unveiled its first Amiga-branded personal computer. The Amiga mini borrows Mac Mini stylings but packs a hefty punch into the compact package. An updated range also accommodates the lower spec Commodore VIC mini. Updates to the VIC-Slim keyboard-PC and C64x complete the new range.
Commodore USA acquired both the licenses to the Commodore and Amiga brands in August 2010, but the Amiga mini marks the first use of the latter brand, once synonymous with accessible home computing and gaming, since Commodore USA's inception.
With an anodized aluminum case, rounded corners and front-loading slot drive, the Amiga mini is strongly reminiscent of the pre-2010 Mac Mini, though rather less sleek given the extra adornments and vents. The Amiga mini has a 7.5-in (19-cm) square base and stands 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall.
Spec-wise, though, the Amiga mini has rather more grunt than even the current Mac Mini, boasting a quad-core 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7-2700K, 16 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM, a 1 TB hard disk (though a 300 or 600 GB SSDs is optional). Graphics are driven by a 1 GB nVidia GeForce GT 430 GPU, HDMI and DisplayPort are among the outputs, and hiding behind that slot is a combined Blu-ray and DVD-writer.
The Amiga mini comes with Commodore OS Vision installed, described as a Linux distro for Commodore enthusiasts. In reality it's a 64-bit distribution based on Linux Mint, using the GNOME 2 graphical user interface.
The Amiga mini isn't cheap. The 1 TB hard drive entry-level model can be ordered from the Commodore USA website for $2495 in silver or black finish, and you can add a further $495 or $995 to that if you'd prefer a 300 or 600 GB SSD. A "barebones" version is available for $345, which effectively reduces the unit to a Blu-ray player - a costly one at that. Estimated delivery turnarounds are currently four to six weeks after an order is placed.
The VIC mini is positioned as the Amiga mini's affordable sibling, housed in what appears to be an identical aluminum case (sans Amiga branding). Under the hood it's all change, though. A 2.13 GHz Intel dual-core Atom processor makes the VIC tick, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 512 MB nVidia GeForce GT 520 graphics card. Storage options are identical to the Amiga mini, and the same Blu-ray/DVD-writer slot drive also comes installed.
The 1 TB-drive-equipped entry-level model will set you back $995, almost $200 more than the not-entirely-incomparable Mac Mini, which, lest we forget packs a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. Delivery, again, is touted at between four and six weeks after ordering. The 300 and 600 GB SSDs can be added at the same mark-up.
Images for both the Amiga mini and the VIC mini appear to be mock-ups, and the precise final appearance might be subject to change. The VIC mini also ships with Commodore OS Vision, as now do all of Commodore USA's products.
The Commodore 64-styled C64x PC has undergone a spec update that exactly mirrors that of the VIC mini, except that the 1 TB hard drive base model (priced at $1295) can be upgraded to a 3 TB hard drive for an extra $295. Again, you can opt for a more expensive SSD. Yes, this is more expensive than the equivalently-specced VIC mini, but then it looks like a C64 rather than an iffy Mac Mini knock-off, and that has to count for something (if not $300).
Finally, Commodore USA has also upgraded its sleek black VIC-Slim keyboard-PC with the same processor found in the VIC mini, and included HDMI output while they were at it. Updated models will ship in May, and are priced between $345 and $595. Needless to say, both the VIC-Slim and C64x require a separate monitor to use.
Source: Commodore USA
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C'mon Commodore, don't be just another Linux PC maker.