With all of the new micro PCs, Netbooks, tablets, smartphones and other wiz bang small form-factor but super powerful computers out there it is high time we had one in our car dashboard. Here is a look at some of the car PC kits and components that will allow you to convert the space owned by your current stereo system. It is time to rip out that 1990's technology stereo and replace it with a touch screen, DVD, GPS, TV, Bluetooth, wi-fi,MP3, Video playing, Internet surfing powerhouse PC. Is the Car PC revolution upon us? Perhaps; lets see what we can build today.
The first and probably the best type of PC would be one that fits right into a double din slot on your dashboard. Something like this one below:
This beauty has the following specs:
- 1.5Ghz Intel CPU, 1GB RAM
- 6.95" 800x600 Touchscreen display with LED backlight
- AM/FM Radio
- Amplifier (4x 35W) for direct connection to car speakers
- Bluetooth integrated (only for telephony)
- USB, SD-Reader in front
- Starts/Stops automatically based on ignition plus
- Fast Boot (can run Linux, XP, vista, or Win7)
- VGA-connector for additional displays
- 1x free internal Mini-PCI slot
- DVD Slot-In drive
- The customized BIOS enables cold start to Windows XP Pro within only a few seconds (even faster from Stand-By)
- It can take any 2.5" SATA HDD/SSD storage drive
- An optional USB GPS unit can be added
- An optional USB WiFi adapter can be added
Pretty slick right. Sure the processor could be faster and more RAM is good but still this thing rocks!
The other option is to build a car PC that you put in your trunk or under a car seat. The advantage of these systems is you can load them up with all of the latest and fastest tech. To keep the form factor small most folks will use a small form factor micro-ATX enclosure with an ITX motherboard. These cases average about 12"x12"x3.5". These systems are then paired up to a power supply that works off your car electrical system and your good to go. For monitors you have several choices. The most popular of which are either single din or double din touch screen 7" SVGA screens that fit in your dash. You then run a VGA cable back to your PC. Check out this system:
Here are the specs for this system:
-Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 processor with 2MB L2 cache and a 1066MHz FSB,
-2GB Memory, 500GB SATA Storage Brain Unit
-External slim DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive
-GPS Navigation Hardware and Software with voice recognition
-Sound Blaster Audigy2 NX
-Gyration RF Wireless Mini Keyboard and Mouse
-Powermate USB Controller
-Microsoft Vista Ultimate Operating System
-USB and VGA Extension cables
-Easy installation Pre-wired Battery Kit
-WiFi and Broadband wireless support
-With Xenarc 700TS 7" Touchscreen LCD Monito
- Fully Automated system start-up/shut-down based on ignition key position, incorporating full MS Windows shut-down sequence.
- Software is fully preloaded and configured for easy operation.
- Optional AM/FM Radio
- Optional TV Tuner
One of the options that is not quite here yet in full force is using a car mounting kit for tablets like the iPad or Galaxy. Here are a few examples:
This one is a kit from Schoshe.
This one is a custom job by sound man.
The opinions and information presented here are my PERSONAL views and not those of my employer. I am in no way an official spokesperson for my employer.
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