The PlanetPC XR Series is a compact desktop computer with an ARM-based processor, Ubuntu Linux software, plenty of ports and storage options. There’s also an unusual touch panel on the front that can be used to control some of the PCs functions or display information.

There’s just one catch: it’s unclear if you’ll ever actually be able to get your hands on one. Planet Computers showed off prototypes of the XR Series at Mobile World Congress in February and launched a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the money to bring the PC to market. But only 14 people backed the campaign and it raised less than 1% of its funding goal.

PlanetPC XR2

In an update to the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the company says there was “tremendous interest in the XR PC” at Mobile World Congress, and that despite very few contributions to the crowdfunding campaign the company has seen “extremely strong interest from business to business customers,” so there’s a chance that the device will eventually come to market.

If that happens, you may still be able to pick one up from an Indiegogo InDemand campaign. The PlanetPC XR1 and XR2 are also still listed on the PlanetPC website, with prices starting at $632 and $797, respectively. But given the failure to raise money through crowdfunding, I’m not sure I’d put much faith in the estimated delivery date of September, 2023.

PlanetPC XR2

Planet Computers is a company with a somewhat mixed track record of delivering crowdfunding products. The company has been producing smartphones for the past five years that also function as pocket-sized laptops thanks to touch-typable keyboards and support for dual booting Android and Linux. And the Gemini PDA, Cosmo Communicator, and Astro Slide have featured some truly fascinating designs that blur the lines between smartphones and laptops (or at least handheld computers).

But the company has also offered limited software support for its devices and has failed to keep up with demand for hardware from its most recent crowdfunding campaign, leaving a trail of disappointed backers.

PlanetPC XR1

The PlanetPC XR series mini PCs could have been a way to provide something a little more traditional that wouldn’t have required quite so much unique engineering. Sure, the touch panel on the front helps set the system apart, but for the most part it’s an ARM-based computer using hardware that’s similar to many existing products. And on the one hand, that left some people wondering why the prices were so high. On the other, it probably increased the chances that Planet Computers would have actually been able to produce and ship these mini PCs… if it had raised enough money to do so.

PlanetPC XR1

Here’s a run-down of the key specs for the little computers (which may or may not never see the light of day):

PlanetPC XR1PlanetPC XR2
ProcessorRockchip RK3568
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
Rockchip RK3588
4 x Cortex-A76 @ 2.4 GHz
4 x Cortex-A55 @ 1.8 GHz
GraphicsMali-G52 2EEMali-G610 MP4
RAM & Storage4GB / 32GB4GB / 32GB
8GB / 64GB
16GB / 128GB
32GB / 256GB (IGG exclusive)
Additional Storage512GB to 2TB M.2 SSD
256GB to 2TB M.2 SSD
Ports1 x HDMI out (4K)
2 x Gigabit Ethernet
2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x USB 2.0 Type-C
3 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x microSD card reader
1 x 3.5mm audio line out
1 x 3.5mm mic in
2 x HDMI out (4K & 8K)
1 x HDMI in (4K)
1 x VGA
2 x Gigabit Ethernet
4 x USB 3.0 Type-A
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C
1 x USB 2.0 Type-C
1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x microSD card reader
1 x 3.5mm audio line out
1 x 3.5mm mic in
1 x 3.5mm audio line in
WirelessWiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
4G / 5G card (optional)
OSUbuntu Linux
Dimensions290 x 260 x 60mm

thanks James!

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9 replies on “PlanetPC XR mini PC dramatically fails to meet crowdfunding goals (Linux PC with ARM-based processor and integrated touch panel)”

  1. No wonder… their reliability is somewhere around zero.
    They did a lot to make as many enemies as possible.

  2. Honestly, although it’s a neat concept… after seeing how poor their Linux support was for their previous devices (especially long-term), there’s no way I could justify dropping that kind of money on something like this that’d likely be unsupported within a few years. When I buy a desktop I expect to be able to continue using it for a very long time, and Planet Computers’ reputation for that isn’t great at this point.

  3. A swing and a miss!

    I can half understand the appeal, but the price is just ridiculous.
    RK3588 devices are ranging from less than 100 bucks for the devboards, up to 400 bucks with tiny desktop solutions with innovative ideas in them like that mini-drawer like thing. This one costing almost 800 bucks makes absolutely no sense, a sleek case and touch panel do not justify 2x price, even less when these days you can get a powerful Intel or AMD portable for that kinda money.
    But I guess the thing I like the least about this is about it using a friggin’ touch panel… put some goddamn physical buttons and dials there. I hate designs that half ass usability for looks.

  4. With tose prices, 14 backers, and eve reaching 10% of its funding goal, is too much. It simply was a Rockchip SBC with case and a very small touch display on case, so that premium price tag was crazy.

    Now we know there are at least 14 crazy people on crowdfunding campaigns. I suspect some of them were PlanetPC themselves. It is hard to think there are 14 free people on that campaign.

    1. They actually made less than 1% (but <1% is still less than 10%). Most of the “backers” just contributed the minimum amount so they could comment, and thus warn you not to buy it. So, about 3 people actually selected a product.

    2. Oof! Yeah, $500 too steep for front touchpanel controls and zero coffee heating or stirring function.

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