Apple, HP and MSI aren’t the only ones big on super-stylish, trash can-shaped desktop PCs. Samsung has quietly started taking pre-orders for the ArtPC Pulse, a cylindrical computer that bears more than a passing resemblance to the current-generation Mac Pro. The two systems couldn’t be more different in terms of focus, however. While the Mac is aimed squarely at workstation users, the ArtPC is most definitely intended for home use. Its centerpiece is a top-mounted, 360-degree Harman Kardon speaker with ambient lighting — much like HP’s Pavilion Wave, this could sit in your living room just as easily as it could in your den.
Logically, the hardware under the hood is very different as well. About the only thing in common with the Mac is an included 256GB solid-state drive. Instead of a Xeon processor and workstation graphics, you’re getting a 2.7GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM and entry-level Radeon RX 460 graphics. You won’t be rendering advanced 3D models on this rig, in other words, but it should be enough to play 4K video and indulge in some light gaming. As it is, Samsung is counting on expansion modules to pick up some of the slack. It hasn’t detailed all of them or how they’ll work, but you can get a 1TB hard drive module if you need more space.
The shift in focus leads to a much lower price than Apple’s machine, although the $1,200 you’ll pay isn’t cheap for what you’re getting. You’re most definitely paying a premium for both the design and that speaker. At least you shouldn’t have to wait long to see whether or not the ArtPC is worth your attention. If Amazon is correct, the desktop ships on October 28th