Intel surprised many industry watchers when it introduced its NUC series of micro PCs based on ULV silicone and in recent weeks it expanded its lineup with fresh CPUs and a slightly taller form factory that can accommodate 2.5-inch drives.
The first NUCs relied on mSATA storage and they lacked USB 3.0 connectivity, but the new ones addressed these shortcomings. However, apart from a few efforts from the likes of Gigabyte and Zotac, there are practically no AMD-based barebones or complete systems with a similar form factor.
Tango is a curious Indiegogo project that hopes to deliver an affordable mini PC based on AMD’s Kabini APU. For some reason we missed it when it was originally launched back in January, but Business Insider picked it up over the weekend and almost a month after it hit Indigogo the project seems to be doing well. The team raised $228,000 with a month to go, yet their original goal was $100,000.
Backers who pledge $349 will get a plain system with 4GB of RAM, 32GB SSD and Windows 7 Trial Version on top. The spec is not bad, but it could have been a bit better. The system is based on an A6-5200 quad-core APU clocked at 2GHz, with on-die HD8400 graphics. Like the original NUC, it relies on mSATA for storage and it features a single slot for SO-DIMM DDR3 memory.
However, this is where it gets interesting. The actual system measures just 125mm X 80mm X 13.5mm, but it slides into a docking station which offers HDMI, USB 3.0, LAN and WiFi connectivity. The idea is that you could use the tiny Tango PC in various settings, using compact docking stations. For example, if you have a home office you can use it for work and once the job is done simply slide it into another docking station in your living room, as a media PC.
It might not work for everyone, but it is an interesting concept and it might even find some uses outside the home, i.e. in education or certain niche industries that could benefit from the modular approach. However, we still feel a simpler and cheaper NUC-like system from AMD would be a good idea with more mass market appeal.
Check out the video after the break or head over to tangopc.com for more details.