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Home / Hot Stuff / This mini Linux-powered desktop PC has a built-in touchscreen for slick controls

This mini Linux-powered desktop PC has a built-in touchscreen for slick controls

A perfectly compact computer for those looking for something a little different


Desktop PC launches don’t turn many heads today (unless, of course, they’re fire-breathing, RGB-laden, insanely expensive gaming PCs), but every now and then we come across one that catches our eye. In this instance, its Planet Computers’ new XR  — a range of ARM-powered Linux-running desktop PCs announced at MWC 2023

Pre-loaded with Ubuntu OS, it’s touted as the first out-of-the-box mini Linux desktop experience, with the aim of bringing the open-source benefits of Linux to the masses. With everything already pre-installed, it makes for a hassle-free introduction outside the world of Windows and macOS, on paper at least.

Software aside, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a similarly built PC, thanks to its combination of an angular compact form factor, and built-in front-facing touchscreen. The former makes it a viable portable workhorse that won’t infringe on desk space, while the latter opens up plenty of possibilities for intuitive controls and extra functionality. Even at its most basic level, the ability to access and change settings with a few instantly-accessible taps appeals to our efficient nature.

While the company has previously released other quirky products like the sliding keyboard-toting Astro Slide smartphone in the past, the XR range marks its first foray into the PC world, and there are currently two systems available to pre-order at Indiegogo.

The cheaper base XR1 model can currently be pre-ordered with 22% off the RRP, for £385/$465. It’ll land with 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage, while the XR2 model bumps those numbers up to 8GB RAM and 64GB storage for £569/$688 (13% off). You can spec units all the way up to 32GB RAM and 256GB of memory, though at £988, only serious Linux enthusiasts will likely be willing to part with that much cash.

Fancy diving into the wonderful world of Ubuntu? You can read more about Planet Computers’ XR series on Indiegogo.

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Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.