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Tango PC packs an AMD Kabini APU into a phone-sized chassis

by Mark Tyson on 3 February 2014, 10:41


Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacadj

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The Indiegogo project for a very small AMD APU powered PC by the name of Tango has gone past double its crowdfunding goal with over 30 days left of the campaign. This smartphone-sized PC packs a quad-core AMD Kabini APU and features upgradeable RAM and storage. The docking station provides most of the ports you would need and you can install pretty much any PC compatible OS such as Windows, Linux, ChromeOS or SteamOS.

The makers of the Tango say "We believe Tango is the next step in the evolution of the PC." It can run most of the PC apps you use for work or pleasure and also play games pretty well. On the Indiegogo campaign site the makers describe it as "the world's most portable computer with the power to run demanding applications; namely graphic intensive games."

Despite its small size (125mm X 80mm X 13.5mm) it's still upgradeable - hard drives or RAM can easily be swapped out to expand the computer's capabilities. The docking station (135mm X 135mm X 27mm) allows a good range of connectivity options, with the following connections available; 1x HDMI, 3x USB 2.0, 1x USB3.0, RJ45, internal Wi-Fi, AV jack, DC 12V jack. Also in the docking station are the cooling components including a fan and large heatsink.

Here is a specifications list for the Tango PC:

  • Processor: AMD A6-5200 Quad Core 2GHz, up to 25 watts, with integrated GCN GPU HD8400
  • Memory: SODIMM DDR3-1600 socket x1 (from 2GB to 8GB). Laptop RAM
  • Storage: SATA III mSATA SSD Socket x1. (from 32GB to 512GB or higher)
  • Operating System: Any laptop PC compatible OS can run on Tango (Windows 7, 8 Pro, Linux flavors, Chrome, etc). Windows 7 and 8 Pro will be certified to run.
  • PC Size: 125mm X 80mm X 13.5mm
  • DockPort Size: 135mm X 135mm X 27mm
  • DockPort Connectivity: 1x HDMI, 3x USB 2.0, 1x USB3.0, RJ45, internal WiFi, AV jack, DC 12V jack
  • AC Adapter: 60W, 110-270V input. Connects to Docking Port.
  • Warranty: 1 Year return to base warranty

To get a Tango PC from the initial production run costs $349 and the computer is expected to be delivered to end users sometime in April 2014. For the $349 price (add $29 shipping for outside of the US and Canada) you get a Tango PC with 4GB of RAM and 32GB SSD with Windows 7 trial version installed. There are also prices for factory RAM and storage upgrades available.

Tango PC has an interesting idea to save customers money; "Instead of spending thousands of dollars on Computers at home and office, and not to mention HTPCs and gaming consoles, all you need is just one Tango PC which you can carry just like a smart phone. Replace the Computers, gaming consoles and IPTV boxes with inexpensive and tiny docking stations," the company suggests. The Tango PC goes into standby when you extract it from the dock and wakes up when plugged in again (to any dock). PC state is saved thanks to a small battery, if this goes low then the system hibernates (Windows).

If you think the one Tango PC with multiple docks system is a good idea you can get a single additional dock for $89 or two for $169.

Right now the campaign has raised nearly $230k with 32 days remaining. There are two stretch goals that you should be aware of; Reaching $250k of funding results in all Tango PCs being bundled with a free Bluetooth dongle and faux leather carry case. The $500k goal provides a chassis upgrade to the system which will become a "forged toughened, chamfered aluminium alloy CNC machines PC body," probably thanks to economies of scale of manufacture.

HEXUS Forums :: 23 Comments

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“Windows 7 trial version”…

That's an awfully fancy way of saying “No OS included”.
Like this idea, think it looks very cute. However, unless you're going to take advantage of the multiple docking stations idea why not just get a NUC or similar?

Also, I've said it before but this trend towards tiny PCs would be so much more exciting if thunderbolt had taken off properly - then you could have a dock with an external GPU at your desk for ‘proper’ gaming, and then pop the unit out and stick it into the dock under the TV for casual gaming/media duties. Much more versatile!
Ok I'm calling shenanigans here.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on Computers at home and office, and not to mention HTPCs and gaming consoles,
You can buy a laptop for the same price and use it anywhere you like without needing a docking port!!

all you need is just one Tango PC which you can carry just like a smart phone.
How is this like carrying a Smartphone?! I can check my Email, the weather, football scores on my smartphone while travelling around. The TangoPC can not. No one is going to carry around something all day that is useless unless plugged in to a docking port.

That TangoPC reads like a load of marketing twaddle for me. Conveniently ignoring comparisons with a laptop which is a much better and cheaper option.
Cracking idea with great potential. Flexible for businesses giving hot desking and work from home potential for reasonable costs. Useful for a family where kids want their own computers but you don't want to give them a complete setup in their room. Education establishments with a dock in each classroom for projection.

Great idea but very much 1st gen. If I didn't have more computers than rooms it would be a tempting setup for a secondary PC and media PC duties (though not replacing the main gaming PC despite the claims).

As CK_1985 points out, there's so much potential with thunderbolt to add proper expansion rather than just ports. And a laptop docking case would be a good option as well.

Using the docking station as a cooling solution is clever, but I imagine would limit flexibility of dock design. Rev 2 either needs an open standard or a large manufacturer behind or or this will just become one of those niche ideas that comes and goes.
I think its good but one key thing is missing (or I am blind… if so then please correct me!), you cannot use the system without the dock… now this has limited uses simply because you either take a dock with you at all times (bit large) or you must ensure that a dock is going to be at the place you're going to which for me is useless but I can see the appeal for businesses and schools.

What they need to do is let it work on its own with limited connectivity i.e 2 usb and 1 hdmi port job done and then have a standard power connection (maybe wait for USB 3.1 for 100w power supplies?) then you're golden.