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Who needs a 6-inch touchscreen Windows desktop?

Ockel's Sirius A and Sirius A Pro are a hit on Indiegogo, but that's about it.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
January 6, 2017
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Dutch startup Ockel believes that what the world needs right now is a 6-inch Windows 10 desktop PC that's also kind of a tablet. Ish. The nonfunctioning prototype was on show at CES, with final models expected to reach Indiegogo backers in May. Which give us a few months to wonder what exactly we'd ever use it for.

Gallery: Ockel Sirius A | 4 Photos

Ockel made a name for itself building credit card-size PCs for people who wanted to take their desktop with them wherever they went. The Sirius B (and its pro-edition brother) were both hits, prompting the company to build a version that you could use on the go. That product was the Sirius A, a wedge-shape device with eight regular-sized ports at the back and a touchscreen up top.

Both versions are pitched as full-bodied desktops that you can happen to use in motion, with full-size USB (and also USB-C) ports, HDMI output, a DisplayPort and even an Ethernet jack. The vanilla edition will run Windows Home and ships with 4GB RAM/64GB Storage while the Pro version runs Windows Pro and packs 8GB RAM/128GB storage. Both, however, will use the same Intel Atom x7-Z8750 processor. The company won't get specific on the battery size, but it's claiming runtime of up to four hours on a charge.

As Ockel's marketing director Nathalie van Wijkvliet explains, the idea was to create a desktop that you could take with you and use, should the need arise. She said that "it's not a smartphone, not a tablet and not a PC," but an amalgamation of the three. It's hoped that the device will be used by doctors on their rounds in a hospital and as a more elegant remote control for a smart home.

That's great, except for the fact that the Ockel Sirius A will retail for $700 (the "Regular" version) or $800 ("Pro") and also: Have you heard of these things called laptops? If you want a desktop you can take with you, then you can pick one of those up for a lot less than $700. If you want a portable computing device that's a little less demanding that can also double as a smart home control, then grab a $200 Android tablet.

This device reminds me a little of the Neptune Pine, another crowdfunding success that looked great on paper and wasn't great in reality. The notion of having a slightly shrunk-down smartphone on your wrist was great in theory, but... not so much in use. I'm sure a small subset of people will find a reason to love it but everyone else should probably steer clear.

Nick Summers contributed to this post.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.
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