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AOpen is a major electronics manufacturer from Taiwan that makes computers and parts for computers, including motherboards, optical disk drives, and input devices as a subsidiary of Acer. They are perhaps most well known for their "Mobile on Desktop" (MoDT) solutions, which implements Intel's Pentium M platform on desktop motherboards. Because the Pentium 4 and other NetBurst CPUs proved less energy efficient than the Pentium M, in late 2004 and early 2005, many manufacturers introduced desktop motherboards for the mobile Pentium M, AOpen being one of the first to offer such solutions.
One of their more well known MoDT solutions is the AOpen miniPC, a Mac mini look-alike. Critics have called the miniPC's design unoriginal, some have even gone as far as calling the miniPC a flagrant rip-off of the Mac mini, especially since the miniPC was announced after the Mac mini (Mac mini: early 2005, miniPC: late 2005). However, AOpen's technical support staff claims, as of a 2005 November posting on AOpen's support forum, "AOpen has spent almost 2 years developing and marketing the miniPC. The [miniPC] concept came much earlier than the Mac mini" (translated from the original Chinese). Though it is unknown if the miniPC's design was based on that of the Mac mini's, or vice versa, it is interesting to note that:
- Apple has not sued AOpen over the miniPC design, as many critics predicted.
- AOpen's miniPC product page is very similar in both design and layout to Apple's product pages.
- As of 2006 March, AOpen has released a redesigned second-generation miniPC.