Most desktop PCs look pretty similar, but some try to stand out with a fresh design angle. Samsung is joining this club by pouring the innards of a mid-range PC into a cylindrical, expandable package it calls the ArtPC Pulse, and if the end result looks like a portable speaker, that’s because it’s one of those, too.
Designed for portability, the trend-bucking ArtPC Pulse is wrapped in an aluminum shell, with a circular colored light separating the top section, which just so happens to contain a Harmon Kardon 360-degree speaker. Visuals are handled by a dedicated 2 GB AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics card, with support for 4K video, while the CPU and storage options depend on which bundle you buy.
Like any self-respecting PC, the Pulse’s hardware isn’t fixed, so users can customize their system with expansion modules. Plug-wise, it has four USB 3 ports and one USB-C, and can connect to a monitor via HDMI.
The higher end model is powered by a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with 16 GB of SO-DIMM RAM and a 256 GB solid-state hard drive. That storage space can be increased with a bundled-in 1 TB hard drive expansion module, and the whole thing fits in a cylinder weighing just 8.6 lb (3.9 kg) and measuring 5.5 x 5.5 x 12.2 in (14 x 14 x 31 cm).
Don’t need that much power? There’s also a pared back version that does away with the extra HDD module, halves the RAM and drops the processor back to a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, in the process shaving a few inches off its height, lightening the load by about a pound and of course, saving your wallet a little damage.
While the specs may not be too bad for a portable package, with the price tag of US$1,199 for the i5 model and $1,599 for the i7, gamers on the go might want to consider a gaming laptop instead.
The Samsung ArtPC Pulse will be available October 28.