Despite Acer's best efforts when it comes to denying that they're working on what is known as the Hornet, an Nvidia ION based small form factor PC, it seems like the leaks stay one step ahead of Acer's PR machine.
Engadget got sent a 20-page document which outlines three different SKUs that are in planning and the base model could end up costing as little as US$149, although we'll believe it when we see it. The mentioned $299 price point seems much more reasonable, although the entry level SKU doesn't really seem like a big seller to us considering the specifications.
Common features between all three SKUs include a single core Atom 230 processor, the Nvidia Geforce 9400M chipset, HDMI output and most likely a 160GB hard drive, although the so called standard SKU might end up with a smaller 80GB drive depending on the cost of the drives. The standard SKU will come with 1GB of RAM, Windows Vista Home Basic and a USB keyboard and mouse, while a VESA mount and a webcam will be available as options.
The new SKU is the Deluxe which ups the game with 2GB of RAM, Vista Home Pro and an instant on OS called Boxshell, a pair of speakers and optional WiFi. The final and possibly most interesting SKU is the Media Center which offers everything the Deluxe has, but it comes with WiFi as standard as well as a wireless keyboard and mouse and a "game paddle" (think Wii remote).
We hope Acer can meet the $299 retail price as it would make the Hornet a very appealing home cinema PC despite a fair few question marks about performance and connectivity so far. The screen shot posted from the document Engadget received suggests that the Hornet should launch sometime this quarter.
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