This Russian all-in-one desktop is just quirky enough to be interesting

The PC from Tavolga Terminal runs a MIPS chip and Debian Linux

Russia isn't known as the PC capital of the world, but when a new homegrown machine comes along it's sometimes curious enough to get our attention.

Last year brought the Elbrus-4C, a PC with a processor so slow that it might have been left over from 1999. The latest entrant seems more promising but is still one to file under "curiosity."

It's a 21.5-inch all-in-one desktop from Russia's T-Platforms, and it's another example of how Russia -- like China -- is trying to be more self-sufficient in IT by producing its own computer parts.

Called the Tavolga Terminal TB-T22BT, the desktop shuns the usual x86 processors from Intel and AMD in favor of a Baikal-T1 processor, from Russia's Baikal Electronics.

It's a MIPS system-on-chip, an architecture found in set-top boxes, networking gear and a few low-cost smartphones and wearbles. But Imagination Technologies, which designs the graphics chips for the iPhone, is trying to revive the MIPS architecture with new investments.

The CPU in the Tavogla Terminal is a dual-core P5600 that runs at a respectable 1.2GHz -- though it's only a 32-bit chip. The desktop can be configured with up 8GB of DDR3 memory and 64GB of storage. It has up to four USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet port.

It's designed for basic computing tasks and might make a decent thin client. It runs the Linux-based Debian OS, and users can browse the web and install a productivity suite such as LibreOffice.

It's due to ship later this year, but we couldn't get a price for you yet. T-Platforms also plans to release a small-form-factor desktop with a similar configuration, Imagination said.

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