R-Comp Interactive have been producing ARM-based computers for a few years now, starting with the ARMini, then the ARMiniX, and now the newly introduced
ARMSX ARMX6 – but the company has been selling computers based around x86-compatible processors, running VirtualRiscPC on Windows, for far longer, in the form of RISCubes, SpaceCubes and RISCBooks.
The latter of those ranges, the RISCBooks, now has a new member – RISCBook Essential.
A detailed specification hasn’t been provided, but the announcement does say that “Thanks to the latest RCI tech, you’ll be able to share resource between the two OSs, print to more or less any printer, and take advantage of the USB2 and USB3 ports for external drives and more. Wireless networking is included, as well as HDMI and SD card reading” – so the new laptops include both USB2 and USB3 ports (a common configuration on laptops seems to be 2 x USB2 and 1xUSB3, but mileage may vary), a HDMI port, and an SD-Card reader – and, of course, wireless connectivity, though that should go without saying on a laptop these days.
The starting price for a RISCBook Essential is £399 including VAT, which bumps up to £500 (with some change) for a version that has an SSD instead of a traditional hard drive, which gives the computer a performance boost, with its boot time reduced and faster launching applications, as well as disc-intensive tasks being much smoother.
R-Comp’s Andrew Rawnsley said of the new addition to the range, “The RISCBook Essential series allows us to offer laptops priced in line with those outside the RISC OS community, whilst still offering all the goodness usually associated with our RISCBook range. There aren’t many suppliers offering SSD-powered laptops for under £500, and to have RISC OS included… well… it’s great!”
The new range will be available to see and buy (while stocks last) at this year’s Wakefield Show – Saturday, 25th April, 2015 – and, presumably, will be available to order from the RISCube website soon after.