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Biostar races into the miniature PC market with its Intel Atom-driven Racing P1

Kevin Parrish
After introducing the device in June, Biostar is now shipping its Atom-powered Racing P1 miniature PC. It packs a glowing logo, 4GB of system memory, 64GB of internal storage, and more. The device does not come with an operating system.

During Computex 2016 in June, Biostar showcased a mini-PC called the Racing P1. The device had a smartphone-like form factor, enabling owners to shove a fully enabled PC into their pocket. The unit had a surface mimicking steel and a “Racing” logo illuminated with customizable backlit RGB LEDs. The company said it would arrive in the third quarter of 2016, and now it’s listed as available on the company’s Racing P1 product page.

Here’s a brief list of the specs:

  Racing P1
Processor Intel Atom x5-Z8350
Cores/Threads 4/4
Base clock speed 1.44GHz
Boost clock speed 1.92GHz
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 400
System memory 4GB DDR3L @ 1,600MHz
Storage 64GB eMMC Flash
Audio Realtek ALC5645 2-channel

On the front panel, the new Racing P1 mini-PC provides one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, one Micro SD card reader, a line-out/microphone input jack, and the power button. On the back, the unit provides four USB 2.0 ports, one gigabit Ethernet port, and one HDMI port for connecting the unit to a monitor or HDTV. That means professionals could stuff the unit in their briefcase and connect the device to a hotel room’s TV instead of carrying a laptop.

Related: Biostar takes aim at PC gaming market with its very first mouse, the $10 AM2

The mini-PC is sold with an included disc packing the company’s Racing GT, BullGuard, and BIO-Remote 2 utilities. Given that the Racing P1 doesn’t come with an operating system installed, customers will have to pay an additional $120 for Windows 10 Home or $200 for Windows 10 Pro. The device supports either 64-bit versions of Microsoft’s new operating system.

The Intel processor packed inside isn’t all that old, and was released in the first quarter of 2016. Surprisingly, Intel says that the maximum memory capacity this chip supports is 2GB yet the device provides 4GB. Windows 10 demands 2GB for the 64-bit version, which would indicate why Biostar crammed 4GB into the unit. The processor and memory are integrated (soldered) into Biostar’s motherboard, so maybe Biostar figured out a way to work around the processor’s 2GB limit.

Although the unit provides gigabit connectivity for wired networking, the Racing P1 also provides Wireless AC to connect to wireless networks. It offers Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity as well for pairing Bluetooth-based devices like a smartphone, tablet, headset, mouse, and/or keyboard. The overall dimensions are 129.4(L) x 83(W) x 27(H) mm, and it weighs just nine ounces.

The new Racing P1 mini-PC is part of the company’s new “Racing” family of products that includes the Z170 GT7 motherboard and an SSD served up in three capacity options: 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB. The company said in August that it spent three times the marketing budget for 2016 than it has in the past few years to promote this new family of products.

The Racing P1 mini-PC is available to purchase now for $160 although it hadn’t shown up on Newegg or Amazon at the time of writing.