We've seen plenty of Ice Computer at various trade shows in recent years, most recently at Computex in Taipei, but the company has yet to ship a product. Under most circumstances, we'd label its flagship xPC as vaporware, but there does seem to be progress, which gives us some hope that the modular computer solution will finally be available sometime this year. The company is targeting a ship date in late summer, with a production version expected at Computex in June. In the meantime, Ice Computer reps have made the trip out to CES to demo the first functional xPad tablet, which is one of several platforms for the xPC, a smartphone-sized device that contains a complete computer and slides into desktop or home theater components (xDock), laptops (xTop) and the xPad we saw today.
The 9.7-inch tablet is a less polished version of the ASUS PadFone Station, but it's expected to be very affordable, at just $200 (plus another $200 for the xPC). There's a 1,366 x 768-pixel capacitive touchscreen, a front-facing camera and a battery that Ice expects will keep the duo running for six to eight hours. All of the other components fit within the xPC, which slides into the xPad's rear. The version we saw today was running Windows 8, and the experience seemed solid enough, though it's clear that the company's prototypes still have a long way to go before they're ready for a final nod of approval. We're excited to see a working prototype, though, and we've been promised a more complete version this summer in Taipei. In the meantime, though, you can check out the current xPC and xPad prototypes in our hands-on after the break.
Ice Computer xPC and xPad hands-on