Small PC maker Shuttle drew an outsize share of attention at the Consumer Electronics Shows earlier this year when it announced a $199 Linux-based desktop PC.
Shuttle said Monday that it still plans to offer the KPC for $199, in addition to a $299 upgraded version. A $99 bare-bones version will also be available. The company is taking preorders on its Web site, and says the KPC should begin shipping in mid-April.
The $199 KPC will get you an Intel Celeron 430 processor, 512MB of memory, and an 80GB hard drive. That version will be available at retail--the only outlet announced so far is NewEgg.com--but note that doesn't include a monitor or keyboard, or an optical drive or PCI Express slot.
And for $299, ordering directly from Shuttle, will buy an Intel dual core processor, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard drive (the upgrade to 160GB is free if you pre-order), and a 2GB flash drive installer for Linux.
Inexpensive Linux-based PC offerings are on the rise of late, but it still remains a smaller niche of computing. Though Wal-Mart Stores began offering the Linux-based gPC from Everex for $198 last fall, and reported that it quickly ran out of its stock, last week the retail giant announced it would be pulling the gPC from its store shelves because it "wasn't what (its) customers were looking for."
Note: The guys at CNET Reviews have informed me they have the KPC in hand and are poring over it. Look for their full review next week.