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31 May 2011, 15:44

PunkThis: two PCs in one

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Zoom The PunkThis module replaces a system's stock SATA hard drive
Source: CUPP Computing
The idea is enticingly simple: CUPP Computing's 2.5-inch PunkThis module can be inserted into an x86 laptop or netbook in place of its stock SATA hard drive, creating a hybrid machine that can switch between Windows running on the device's base hardware and Android running natively on ARM. Users can switch between the two processors and operating systems using a simple keyboard shortcut. The power-saving ARM technology allows users to browse the internet for hours on end.

The small form factor PCB board features a Texas Instruments OMAP 3 processor (Cortex-A8 core) that clocks in at 1 GHz. It has 512 MB of onboard RAM, a Wi-Fi module and two MicroSD card slots. The PCB also has a mini PCIe connector for an SSD, from which it will be possible to boot the host netbook. One of the two SD cards contains the Android operating system, the other is used to exchange data between Windows and Android. Asus is exhibiting a prototype of the Eee PC 1015PN with the PunkThis module at this year's Computex PC trade show.

Single modules should costs less than $200 and are especially suitable for programmers who want to experiment with both Windows (or Linux) and Android 2.3 "Gingerbread. Although the idea sounds elegant, it will only work in specially prepared laptops as the PunkThis board also needs to connect to the device's display, keyboard and USB ports.

More details about the PunkThis module can be found in a post on the CUPP Computing blog. A video of the module running on an ASUS Eee PC Netbook is available on YouTube.


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