It has been about a month since we first took a look at what happens when a desktop and a notebook merge. We took our first "desknote" system about a month ago in our ECS i-Buddie 4 review and, as we predicted, more desknotes have hit the market. Not only has ECS expanded their lineup but rumors of some major notebook manufacturers entering the market have been floating around for some time now and for a good reason: desknotes are profitable.
Components made strictly for laptops come at a high cost premium. Since many are made specifically for the notebook market and include space and power saving technologies, notebook parts are fairly expensive. Take mobile processors for example. Intel's mobile version of the Pentium 4 1.6GHz carries a $85 price premium over the desktop one but adds very little hardware wise on top of power saving features. Add in the cost of a mobile chipset, a mobile video solution, a battery, and other laptop specific parts and the price of a laptop quickly rises above the price of a similarly configured desktop system.
Building a mobile computer out of desktop components helps the price of a system quite dramatically. No longer are power consumption and size a large concern. A manufacturer can modify a desktop motherboard, pop in a desktop processor, desktop memory, and use a desktop chipset to create a desknote system at a fraction of the price of a full-fledged notebook.
Curious as to how much these puppies cost to produce? We are too but one thing we do know is that success in the desknote industry can mean big bucks. ECS, for example, recently announced that the profit from their desknote system sales has eclipsed their profit from motherboard sales. That is no small feat, being that ECS is one of the top five motherboard producers in the world in terms of volume.
Today we take a look at ECS' newest addition to their desknote lineup, the ECS i-Buddie XP. The difference between this notebook and the i-Buddie 4? You guessed it, the i-Buddie XP is an Athlon XP based desknote solution.