Round is the New Square

If you’re familiar with any of the currant assistant devices from Amazon, Google and now Apple you’ve probably noticed one particular thing they have in common. They’re all round. There’s a few reasons for doing this, including making a better footprint for microphone pickup.

There’s also something to be said for the form factor. Round is sexier than square or rectangular. I can’t think of a single square body part, but I’m quick to recall a few well-placed round ones. I’m speaking of course, of eyes. Did you think I was referring to something else?

For most of their thirty plus year existence, home computers have been square or rectangular. That’s just a shape that makes sense when you’re dealing with technology products. Manufacturing, assembly and even deployment is made simpler by using squares.

For the end user, it’s easier to stack a monitor, or prop the thing up on end when the edges are square. For practical purposes desktops have maintained that shape because of expansion possibilities like graphics cards, hard drives and other plug-ins.

But the era of the network connected device is ushering in a new design sensibility. Round is the new square. When you have a self-contained unit, with little or no expansion capability you have much more freedom of design. Roundness is an expression of that freedom.

Over the years there have been attempts to sell other technologies in non-standard forms. Apple created a series of computers back in the nineties that looked like they belonged on the deck of the Starship Skittleprise. All those cute little plastic pastels were nice eye-candy, but they were a bit ahead of their time in a world still fixed upon upgrades and expansion.

More recently HP introduced a the Wave computer.  While not round, its triangular shape and conal top make it a solid deviation from tradition. The specs are pretty good for these systems but they don’t seem to be selling well and the jury is out on whether the market is ready for a full-size desktop to cater exclusively to design.

On the other hand, the Stick Computer and TV Box market is just ripe for these sort of design variants. With little-to-no expansion ability, there’s no reason to confine our thinking to the square. We’re free to experiment with all kinds of shapes. And, in a market that’s moving in the direction of round, we’d expect no less from TV Boxes.

Measuring about the size of a beer can, this Windows 10 Mini PC has all the features you’ve come to expect from TV Boxes, including an Intel Atom Quad Core Bay Trail Z3735F, 2GB RAM and 32GB ROM, WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 and a 2MP Webcam. Loaded with Windows 10 and an Intel HD Graphics card, it will do a great job as either a media streamer or a low-end desktop.

If you’re looking for something to compliment your Amazon Dot or Echo, this will do the trick. The black aluminum and plastic casing is a good match. Or, you can use the included Cortana to make it the center of your own Internet of Things.


Windows 10 Smart TV Box Mini PC Desktop Media Streaming Player

Product Highlights

  • Material: Aluminum+Plastic
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • CPU Brand: Intel
  • CPU Model: Intel Bay Trail CR,Z3735F,Quad core,1.8GHz
  • CPU Cores: Quad Core
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphic(Gen7)
  • Memory: DDR3L 2GB
  • Internal Storage: eMMC 32GB
  • Wireless LAN: WIFI (802.11 b/g/n)+(2.4G-5.8G)
  • Camera: Built-in 2.0 Megapixel camera
  • Microphone: Built-in Microphone
  • Bluetooth: V4.0
  • HDMI Port: Standard HDMI female
  • HDMI Version: HDMI type D,1080P
  • Other Interface:
  • 4 x USB 2.0 Host
  • 1 X Audio Jack
  • 1 x TF card slot
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN port 1 x DC port
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • Power INPUT: 100-240V OUTPUT:5V 2A


Some Customer Reviews

Size: Wow such a small form factor. Very easy to hide behind a monitor.
Attractive case: Would start a conversation if someone saw it.
Set up: Took like 5 minutes. You will need a QR scanner program which you can get for free from any phone app in order to get your windows activation code.
Sound: VERY quiet. I have no idea it’s on.
Price: Honestly component wise, this cost about as much as a Windows 10 license does…incredible value.

I was surprise how well this device works. I bought a Lexar brand at Sam’s Club. This device is faster; doesn’t suck all the power from my cell phone, and operates at much cooler temperatures compared to Lexar storage devices. It’s very simple to use this device.

I use it for my backyard observatory to run an automatic weather station and an all sky camera so I don’t have to rum my mainframe all the time.