Intel Preparing Release of Mac mini Look Alike

Intel is expected to release a prototype PC this week which looks similiar to the Apple Mac mini, a published reported said over the Memorial weekend.

Wired News reported Monday "working prototypes of the Mac mini look-alike running Microsoft Windows and based on Intelis Pentium M CPU have already been built by Taiwan-based PC maker AOpen, according to two sources in Taiwanis PC manufacturing industry who have seen them."

The sources also said a prototype was built at Intelis request, and that the Mac mini clone will be announced at the Computex trade show, which runs May 31 through June 4 in Taipei, Taiwan.

AOpen manufactures PC and components as a subsidiary of the Taiwanese corporation Wistron, and is affiliated with the giant Acer group.

The Mac mini was launched in January by Apple CEO and company co-founder Steve Jobs.

Analysts contacted for this story said they did not believe Intel will easily coattail on Appleis Mac mini success. "The Pentium M and Windows XP are pretty expensive components. It would be hard to hit the Mac miniis $499 price point with that combo," said IDC analyst Roger Kay.

Another problem with a Mac mini-like Windows PC: itis small size will limit expansion, something larger PC boxes have played up as a marketing plus over Macs like the Mac mini, eMac, and iMac.

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