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Shuttle's Atom-powered mini desktop gets a price: $189

Tiny desktop's price tag is far below the Eee Box and Dell Studio Hybrid. And that's not the cheapest PC Shuttle makes.

The Shuttle X27, which we reported on last week, is small physically. Turns out, so is the price.

Shuttle X27 desktop

Shuttle let us know Thursday that the miniscule desktop will start at $189--sans monitor, and peripherals, like all Shuttle PCs. It will be available in mid-September.

Now, $189 isn't the cheapest PC Shuttle makes. But that's the lowest price we've seen thus far in the emerging Nettop category, or small desktop PCs bearing Intel's low-power Atom processor.

The Eee Box from Asus, another Nettop, goes for $350. CherryPal, a newcomer to the space, makes a tiny desktop that keeps most data in the cloud, has a Freescale processor, and is to sell for $249.

Cheap is good, but as my colleague Rich Brown points out, is there actually a large market for these small, low-power PCs when you can get a full-fledged desktop for about the same price?

Shuttle plays to the nichiest of niche markets--people who love Linux--so that's probably not its biggest concern. But the company is clearly hoping PCs that can cut down their power usage and space, as it promises with the X27, will catch on.