But I’m not spending $1,499 on Intel graphics. They get the job done but they’re not nearly enough. Judging by their specs they are using laptop parts on an ITX motherboard so they’re fairly limited. AMD’s Fusion wasn’t available at the beginning of this project so I can understand them passing it up. A regular or stronger Nvidia card would have also been preferable in the Commodore.
Personally I’d just like to buy their integrated keyboard and case and piece together a system myself. If Commodore USA could offer a second, more modern model with micro-atx support then I’m sold. It may be a bit of a novelty to others but the keyboard on those machines felt great the last time I touched a Commodore. It’s also a very unique design that I wish would inspire other manufacturers in pc design. Mac’s differentiated by not being the beige box, Atari was programmable with switchable carts, and Commodores were the pre-cursor to the current form of All-In-One PC’s and iMacs.
Computing advanced to a “good enough” level many years ago for the average consumer, what’s wooing them now are aesthetics, price, stability and the user interface. Basically people now want what they’ve always wanted – A quality machine that looks great and is easy to use. The current Commodore reboot is simply playing off of nostalgia at the moment but I believe that the company has the potential to expand if they improve the craftsmanship of their product.
Since the company is aiming at the fringe right now, why not include a few more oddball features like easily interchangeable keys for the keyboard that report the same ASCII value to any operating system no matter where they are at? Dvorak, Colemak and other users would love that type of functionality.
Take a look at that backend, it’s a bit hampered by the graphics cards currently being chosen. Maybe an AMD or Nvidia desktop card(s) could be added to give users more functionality. In addition to the current ports RCA ports for in and out could be added for both YWR and YPbPr ports. Of course, it may make more sense to just include adapters for the vga and audio ports to achieve the same goal.
Little changes like this can help the Commodore to stealthily enter the living room. The biggest change is to ship with an operating system installed (any core user change it if they want to anyway) along with many core types of software that people care to use. Windows, Mac and Linux distro’s usually ship with syncing software, why not go the extra mile and add in a few preset options for what people are likely to use?
The company has shipped with Ubuntu 10.10 for the system, why not customize it a bit to truly make it your own? It’s all open source and freely changeable. Since the hardware is limited there wouldn’t be much trouble in doing such a thing. Unneeded drivers can be pulled, the kernel and software could all be properly compiled for their specific hardware and the user interface can be experimented with to allow for greater, more intuitive control for using just a keyboard. Commodore USA has a high amount of potential to be tapped with their product, I hate for them to only let it be a novelty when it could eventually grow to be something much more than a modernized nostalgia trip.