DreamPlug Looks Like A USB Hub, Packs A Full-Fledged Computer

Measuring 4.3 x 2.7 x 1.9 inches, the DreamPlug looks more like a USB and card reader combo than a full-fledged computer.  Yet, the latter is exactly what is.

Created by Globalscale, the wall wart (the whole frame plugs into a wall outlet) is really a functional PC, complete with a build of either Ubuntu or Debian Linux to play host to your custom programs and scripts (you should be able to port many existing programs from the same platform without modification).  There's no video card, though, so it's not for regular computing -- instead, this is the type of machine you'll want to tap for always-on computing tasks, like media servers, home automation and surveillance systems.

The DreamPlug packs a 1.2GHz Marvell Sheeva CPU, 512MB of DDR2 RAM and 2MB of onboard storage.  A microSD slot is included for additional disk space, in case you need it.  Connectivity options are aplenty, with two gigabit ethernet ports, two USB slots, an eSATA port, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, Wi-Fi (b and g), 48K/44.1 KHz audio (in and out), a 16-bit DAC, a headphone jack and an S/PDIF optical port.  Yep, it's quite the sweet rig.

The power-plug prongs in the backside are detachable, so you can attach a regular wire plug if you don't want it stuck to a wall.  Even better, it's energy use is ultra-efficient.  According to Globalscale, it sips just five watts of power -- the same amount you typically get when charging from a single USB port.

Want one (or a dozen, if you have a laundry list of projects lined up)?  The DreamPlug is available now, priced at $150.