FXI Taking Preorders for Cotton Candy USB Computer, Bundling Polkast, Gaming

FXI Cotton Candy

When we first saw the FXI Cotton Candy, a dual-core Android / Ubuntu computer on a USB stick, we were blown away by the unique device’s tiny size and enormous promise, but we were also left wondering when we could buy one. This week at Mobile Wold Congress, FXI took its diminutive device to the next level, as it started taking preorders for a Cotton Candy development kit, announced partnerships with the Polkast content-sharing service and Exent’s Gametanium gaming service, and showed off a new, more-polished industrial design for the computer’s casing.

Cstick.com: Selling Cotton Candy, Helping Developers

This week, the company launched its developer portal, Cstick.com, which provides a community for the many developers and potential partners eager to program softwae or develop their own hardware accessories for the Cotton Candy. Using the forums, developers will be able to trade tips with each other and interact with FXI’s staff. The hope is that the community will develop new uses for the device that FXI CEO Borgar Ljosland and his team haven’t even dreamed of yet.

Whether you’re a serious developer or just an early adopter who wants to play with the Cotton Candy, Cstick.com will allow you to order the device and it has started taking preorders now for a limited March 2012 production run. A single Cotton Candy will cost 189 Euros or $199 in the U.S. As of this writing, the site only shows the European price, but Ljosland told us that the U.S. price should be $199.

When users first get the device, they will go online to register it and have a choice of downloading and installing either Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Ubuntu. Though there’s more interesting software right now for Android, Ubuntu’s more desktop-like experience may offer a better experience for developers hoping to use the Cotton Candy to write their code.

New, Sleeker Look

Prior to this week, FXI was showing off a preproduction design of the cotton candy that had a rather inexpensive-looking black and translucent plastic shell. For its first production run, the company has completely changed the casing to a hard, smooth white-metal material with rubber caps over the now-gold-colored USB and HDMI connectors on either end. When you remove the rubbe caps, they even stay attached as they are part of a rubber strip that lines the button of the device. Even the Bluetooth button and the microUSB port have a more polished look about them.

Cotton Candy Sideview

As before the device is extemely thin and light. In holding the new Cotton Candy, it felt even lighter than the original. Though Ljosland told us he hasn’t weighed the new chassis yet, it should be under 21 grams.

Polkast for Sharing Files

Users who opt to install Android on their Cotton Candies will have access to Polkcast, a service that allows you to wirelessly stream content like photos, videos, music, or documents that’s stored on their PC or Mac’s hard drive. In a brief demo, Ljosland showed us how photos he snapped on his iPod were immediately uploaded to his MacBook Pro’s hard drive, which then made them available to the Cotton Candy so it could display them on a large screen TV. 

With the Cotton Candy in your pocket, you’ll be able to display content from your PC on any screen, whether it’s on the other side of the house or the other side of the globe.

Exent GameTanium 

Cotton Candy users will also be able to play titles from Exent’s GameTanium Android subscription gaming service on any screen they attach it to. According to FXI, gamers will be able to use their smartphones or tablets as controllers while the Cotton Candy displays content on a large screen monitor or TV. The company hasn’t demoed this technology yet, but we expect to see it in action sometime later this week.

AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch on
Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Dave Says:

    Sounds like a good way to get scammed out of $199 to me.

  2. Ken Says:

    Do they not realize you can buy a fully functional Kindle Fire for $199? I mean, this is a really cool concept, but the price is a bit ridiculous.

  3. Mark Says:

    Ken, I think these will be used for a completely different reason. Based on your logic, there is a Kindle for $79, so why purchase the Kindle Fire?

  4. orkmork Says:

    @ken: this device is a myriad more flexible than a kindle fire.

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE