We've always thought that Xi3's Modular Computer was a downright brilliant design, but up until now, we've had no real understanding of how it would be exploited. Here at CES, the company has answered that very question, and answered it well. The new Z3RO is little more than a dumb terminal, but if you're considering a second household PC for the most mundane of tasks, it just might be the solution you're looking for. You'll need one of the firm's Modular Computers to start, and from there you can connect up to three Z3RO terminals. Each one is equipped with a VGA port, USB sockets and audio jacks; once it's connected to the mothership (read: the Modular Computer), each Z3RO taps into its 2.0GHz computer and creates an entirely new instance on whatever monitor it's connected to. It's generally meant for small businesses and libraries, but we're certain the educational world could benefit from the setup as well. It's expected to hit mass production at the end of March, but we're told that it's available today for an undisclosed amount in limited quantities. If you're interested in doing the math, a single Modular Computer along with three Z3ROs will net you a per-seat price of $350. A shot of the rear awaits you after the break.

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Xi3 Corporation Unveils the Xi3 Z3RO

A low-profile and low-cost modular device, the Xi3 Z3RO allows families, businesses, schools, non-profits and more to simultaneously expand, extend and share the power of the Xi3 Modular Computer with up to 3 other people

2011 International CES
booth #26527 in the South Hall


SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xi3® Corporation today unveiled the Xi3 Z3RO™.

"Simply put, the Xi3 Z3RO is a way of extending, expanding and sharing the power of an Xi3 Modular Computer with multiple users, all at the same time"

The Xi3 Z3RO is a low-profile, low-cost modular device that allows schools, businesses, non-profits, families and more to simultaneously share the power and functionality of an Xi3 Modular Computer™ with up to three additional people, dramatically reducing energy consumption and cost per user. {NOTE: The word Z3RO is pronounced "zero."}

The Xi3 Modular Computer is a small cube-like computer that is completely modular in nature and measures less than 4 inches per side. The first Xi3 Modular Computer (the 5 Series model) requires an average of 20 watts or less to operate, even though it is uses 64-bit x86 dual core processors running at 2.0GHz and can launch Windows 7 Ultimate in less than 30 seconds.

"Simply put, the Xi3 Z3RO is a way of extending, expanding and sharing the power of an Xi3 Modular Computer with multiple users, all at the same time," said Jason A. Sullivan, President and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "Today's processors are so powerful that most of the time they're idling along, barely being used. We take advantage of that fact and allow up to four people to simultaneously work off of the same Xi3 Modular Computer. This makes it possible to simply plug a keyboard, mouse and monitor into an Xi3 Z3RO, connect it to an Xi3 Modular Computer and be up and running in a matter of minutes.

"Clearly, the Xi3 Z3RO is not designed for power users. But for groups of up to four people doing basic computing – word processing, working on spreadsheets, surfing the Web or running business apps – the Xi3 Z3RO (coupled with an Xi3 Modular Computer) is a very affordable computing alternative that reduces energy consumption by 95 percent or more in most cases. This dramatic savings in energy will pay for the acquisition costs within the first few years of ownership."

Xi3 has created a Green IT calculator at http://www.Xi3.com/cost_calculator.php to allow companies to see the dramatic cost savings of owning Z3ROs coupled with Xi3 Modular Computers as opposed to the standard desktop approach. Most companies will find they can pay for the acquisition cost of this Xi3 modular virtualization approach to computing within the first years of ownership, effectively costing the organizations nothing to switch over, hence the name "Z3RO."

The handsomely built Xi3 Z3RO aluminum casing features rounded edges, honeycombed and chrome-plated end-caps and a backplate that houses various built-in connectors. The Xi3 Z3RO measures 4.9375 X 3.625 X 1.6875 inches and weighs 11.52 ounces.

An Xi3 Z3RO is connected to an Xi3 Modular Computer via a USB cable that can be up to 15 feet long. With a convex top that sports two thin guides raised slightly above the long edges of the device and two matching channels on the concave bottom, the Xi3 Z3RO utilizes the SLID3™ Interlocking Technology™ system. As such, the Xi3 Z3RO can be permanently or semi-permanently mounted to an Xi3 Modular Computer or attached to a table, desk, monitor or just about anything that will accept mounting screws or bolts. {NOTE: The word SLID3 is pronounced "slide."}

The Xi3 Z3RO is available today in limited quantities on an evaluation and proof-of-concept basis when purchased along with the Xi3 Modular Computer, with mass-market availability slated before the end of March 2011. When purchased as a set of four devices (one Xi3 Modular Computer and three Xi3 Z3ROs), the price per seat is only $350. Volume pricing for distributors and resellers is also available.

Xi3 Z3ROs, Xi3 Modular Computers and other Xi3 products will be on public display for the first time at the 2011 International CES trade show in booth #26527 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 6-9, 2011.

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