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Start-up Oqo to launch hand-size PC

Want a full-fledged Windows XP computer that's about the size of a Pocket PC? Tiny machine debuts after two years of delay.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos
The company that first popularized the concept of a PC that fits in your hand will launch its first model next month, after two years of delays.

Oqo will launch its tiny computer Oct. 14 in San Francisco, according to an invitation from the company. The upstart has created a full-fledged Windows XP computer, called Oqo model 01, that is about the same size and shape as a Palm organizer or Pocket PC. The unit can also be inserted into a docking station.

The small size is possible, in part, because the computer runs on 1GHz Transmeta processors, which consume less energy than regular PC chips. It comes with a 20GB hard drive and 256MB of memory.

The design was first unveiled in April 2002 and was supposed to be released by the end of that year. The company, however, had to delay the launch a couple of times. Last year, Oqo received a cash infusion from venture investors, sources close to the company said.

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Competitor Antelope Technologies, which manufactures a similar device based on a design for IBM, has already released its products. Antelope's computers, however, cost about $4,000. Oqo has said it wants to target a wider audience by releasing a computer that costs between $1,000 and $2,000.

Vulcan Ventures, funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, also has tried to popularize small PCs with its Mini-PC reference design.