Next-gen AOpen MiniPC unveiled

It seems that the engineers over at PC manufacturer AOpen have been studiously reading the reviews of the first generation of their Mac mini ripoff homage, the miniPC, as the latest version is promising to eliminate the loud whine that made its predecessor almost unusable. The company has just formally announced the Core Duo-powered version of what is now called the MiniPC (with the capital "M" presumably meant to further differentiate the box from its Apple counterpart), which is essentially the same machine that was being shown off at CeBIT 2006, except with a black case that makes it look less like an external DVD burner. Besides Yonah CPU support and a slight bump in RAM speed, the MiniPC model MP945-VXR sports nearly identical specs to the MP-915 (version one), although you do get a built-in mic and the Media Center Edition version of Windows XP. The price this time around, however, is decidedly less "mini," with AOpen claiming a MSRP of $955 -- compared to only $500 for the 915 -- whenever the new model hits stores.

[Via Reg Hardware]