June 4, 2009 Here at Gizmag we've covered some unusual gadgets over the years, but a computer hidden in a vase? What at first might sound like a joke, actually makes sense when you consider the once-humble PC is arguably more at home in the living room than the study as digital content and media have grown. Computer manufacturers have obliged by producing PCs designed to blend tastefully with the décor – but none of them blend as seamlessly as the PC-in–a-vase from Taiwanese manufacturer ECS.

ECS hasn’t slapped together the prototype PC with the cheapest components they can find either. The specs are actually pretty decent, with the vase boasting an Atom 230 processor, NVIDIA ION Graphics, 2.5-inch HDD, 1GB of RAM, HDMI output and a Blu-ray drive. On top of that the vase is real porcelain.

All the connection ports – including two USB ports, an Ethernet connection, HDMI output and power connection – are located in the base of the vase so there are no wires hanging off the vase to ruin the look. Instead the wires trail out of the back of the wooden base.

We’ve seen PCs crammed into all manner of enclosures, from microwaves to toilets. But they’re mostly one-off custom jobs built by hackers, not something exhibited at a major trade show by a company like ECS.

The PC-in-vase could well be a glimpse of the future with smaller components freeing up manufacturers to play with the traditional form of the PC. At the this stage, the PC-in-a-vase is only a concept but it will be interesting to see whether makes it into production.

Darren Quick

View gallery - 5 images