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Voodoo's colorful mini PC moves to consumers

Want a Mac Mini look-alike, in powder pink, with an Intel processor? Voodoo Computers has the PC for you. Photo: Mac Mini-size Voodoo PC

Voodoo Computers is now selling two PCs for consumers who want some style in their technology. Voodoo Idol

The Idol is roughly the same size and shape as Apple Computer's Mac Mini but runs on an Intel Pentium M processor. The design is based on a blueprint the chipmaker released earlier this year, but Voodoo has added additional cooling technology so that the computer can sport faster processors than PCs built to the original specifications.

Starting at $900, the Idol comes in 11 colors, including pink and olive, and can be configured with hard drives ranging in size from 40GB to 120GB. Consumers can choose whether they want the Windows operating system with it.

While Voodoo's machine costs more than Apple's, Taiwanese manufacturer AOpen is also planning on releasing a Mac Mini imitation based on the Intel designs but will cater to bargain buyers.

Additionally, the company has upgraded its Doll PC line. The Doll is roughly twice the size of the Idol and is shaped like a cube. However, it also contains two graphics cards and a desktop Athlon 64 processor from Advanced Micro Devices.

The two new machines are part of the ongoing, and sometimes successful, attempt to change how people use and view their computers. The Idol, for instance, is mostly aimed at people who already have more than one PC and may want another to store music, videos and pictures.

It is also one of the few PCs designed with children in mind since the ill-fated BarbiePC. Rahul Sood, founder and chief technology officer of Voodoo, liked the idea of the Idol because of his daughter. Although he wanted to get a computer for her, he didn't want to set up a corporate box in her room.

"It is based on a reference design from Intel. It is a fantastic design. It is very easy to build," he said. Nonetheless, "I don't think she needs so much computing power. She's only eight."

By contrast, the Doll is more for the serious user. The system was originally designed for gamers who need a PC they can lug easily to different tournaments. VooDoo, however, is finding that engineers and graphic designers are buying them as well.

Sood recently made headlines by speaking out about the AMD-Intel antitrust suit.