Maingear first introduced its Spark system back in January during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas. At the time, the Spark was supposed to be Maingear's eventual Steam Machine. Valve threw a wrench in those plans by delaying the whole Steam Machine initiative until next year, but it hasn't stopped Maingear from forging ahead in the small form factor gaming department. On the contrary, Maingear just launched its Spark gaming system to the pubilc.
Fanning the flames of Valve's Steam Machine initiative with a Spark
Valve isn't having any trouble lining up hardware partners to build Steam Machine systems of varying power and shapes at different price points. One of those companies is Maingear, a boutique builder out of New Jersey that decided to go with an AMD foundation inside a small form factor (SFF) chassis for its take on a Steam Machine. The aptly named Spark measures only 4.5 inches wide by 4.23 inches deep by 2.34 inches high and weighs less than a pound.
Getting sick of walled gardens, locked bootloaders and over-managed app stores? (We're looking at you, Amazon.) We've got some good news. A few weeks back we shined a spotlight on the Spark tablet, a Linux-based open source tablet being cobbled together by KDE developer Aaron Seigo. Yesterday, it went up for preorder. Time to whip out those credit cards, Linux lovers! Oh, wait, never mind -- the site doesn't force you to whip out the plastic to land a spot in line for a Spark.