The concept of a single processing unit to serve as muscle for all our devices is something people have toyed with for a long time. With more and more gadgets being powered by processing units, we imagine the desire to consolidate smartphones, tablets, desktops, game consoles, and even wearables is just going to increase. The ICE xPC is a new effort towards this end.
Billed as a "modular pocket PC," it's a smartphone-sized CPU (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.35 inches) that you can, literally, carry in a pocket. Despite the size, it's a full-fledged desktop computer, able to run Windows 8.1 just like the laptop you keep at home.
Inside, the ICE xPC houses a custom motherboard with an Intel quad-core processor, up to 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB of storage, a 720p camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, accelerometer, and a gyro sensor. Despite the hardware, there's really not much you can do with the box on its own. Instead, its utility reveals itself when combined with ICE peripherals.
When combined with the ICE xAdapter, for instance, it can be hooked up to a display panel and put to use as a regular desktop PC, a set-top box for your media center, or a gaming device. There is, of course, the 10-inch xPad tablet, which comes with a slot on the backside for holding the xPC, as well as the xPad, a Bluetooth keyboard stand that can pair with an xPC-powered xPad.
Want to use Android? They also plan to build an xPC that runs Android, as well as another for running Windows 7, both of which you can easily slot into the same ICE peripherals you use the xPC on.
ICE Computer is currently raising funding from Indiegogo. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $259.