Taiwanese electronics maker AOpen plans to launch an updated version of a small desktop PC that closely resembles Apple's Mac mini. However, it will run Microsoft's Windows OS and carry Intel's latest dual-core processors for mobile devices.

The Intel processors, codenamed Yonah, are scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2006, but samples of the chips are already in the hands of PC developers in Taiwan, said Tony Yang, director of integration brand marketing at AOpen.

The new Yonah-based mini PC will be displayed at the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

The AOpen PC will be heavier than its predecessor, at around 1.3kg, compared with 1.15kg for the initial version of the mini PC it launched earlier this year using Intel's Pentium M microprocessors. But the new mini PC with the dual-core processor should offer nearly the same power efficiency as the older version, running at around 35W, Yang said.

It will also be designed for use as a home entertainment PC, with connections for digital or conventional TV sets and large hard-disk storage space to hold movies and music.

Pricing for the product has not been determined because AOpen doesn't know how much Yonah will cost yet. The dual-core processor will be expensive, but Intel has only given manufacturers a price range so far. Yang would not divulge the price range.