Cybernet Zero-Footprint-PC Elite-4

Cybernet Zero-Footprint-PC Elite-4

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OK, so you've seen small PCs, but how about a nonexistent one? At first glance, Cybernet's Zero-Footprint-PC Elite-4 appears to be nothing more than a flat-panel display, a mouse, and a chunky keyboard. But the 7.4-pound keyboard is more than it would appear; a full-fledged computer is hiding beneath the keys.

Upside: You'll find current desktop technology under the keyboard. The unit pictured here is based on a 2.66GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 256MB of DDR memory, and a 40GB 7,200rpm hard drive, and it features a DVD/CD-RW drive and built-in stereo speakers. Despite its compact design, the PC squeezes in a nice selection of ports, including the usual parallel, serial, modem, and LAN connectors, plus four USB 2.0 and two FireWire ports. Including the optional 15-inch LCD, the whole package sells for $1,425.

Downside: If you count the keyboard as a given occupier of your desk space, then, yes, the Zero-Footprint-PC's name is accurate. But its design brings to mind a 1980s word processor rather than a twenty-first-century PC.

Outlook: The company is targeting "PC users who are in desperate need of space," says Joe Divino, vice president of marketing at Cybernet, suggesting vertical applications in environments such as financial institutions, hospitals, and factory floors. No doubt space-constricted urbanites will also see the appeal of this PC-in-a-keyboard.