Intel announced the Compute Card at CES 2017 a few weeks ago. It’s a credit card-sized device that’s essentially a full computer, complete with CPU, GPU, and wireless connectivity. It’s designed to let hardware manufacturers easily add computer internals to smart devices, all built around a single, upgradable standard.
The new Nexdock is one of the first products we’ve seen announced that looks to take advantage of the Intel Compute Card. The company is actually listed as one of Intel’s regional partners for the Compute Card, and it looks like it takes the concept in an interesting direction.
The Nexdock itself is a touchscreen device with two slots on the sides: one for a Compute Card, which contains the actual “computer” of the device, and a second for a larger, custom USB-C module for swapping in and out ports and battery life as the situation requires. And the device can be converted into different form factors using keyboard and kickstand accessories.
Nex Computer hopes that by separating the OS and processor from the rest of the hardware will help prolong the lifespan of the computer and help reduce environmental impact. It’s an idea that we’ve seen before in devices like the Kangaroo Notebook, which was similarly built around the idea of swappable miniature PCs in laptops, or the Superbook, which looked to use a smartphone as the brains of an empty laptop shell.
It’s worth noting that both the Intel Compute Card and Nexdock are still in the early stages of development: the Compute Card won’t be available until sometime in mid-2017, and the modular Nexdock only exists in computer renderings with no price or release date estimates.