In October 2021, Alibaba unveiled a new all-in-one (AIO (opens in new tab)) PC as part of its family of cloud-based computer products. The Wuying AIO PC follows the original Wuying (opens in new tab), a tiny thin client (opens in new tab) that could sit comfortably in the palm of your hand and act as a gateway to Alibaba’s formidable cloud computing (opens in new tab) infrastructure.
A spokesperson for Alibaba has now provided us with more details on the newly-launched AIO, which doubles as a business PC (opens in new tab). Two versions will be offered; one with a 23.8-inch full HD display and a Pro version with a larger 27-inch touchscreen display that offers a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution.
The latter is a potential cloud-connected alternative to the $3,500 Surface Studio (opens in new tab). Like Microsoft’s flagship workstation (opens in new tab), it can be positioned either upright or lying down thanks to a clever folding mechanism, and can be used with an active stylus pen. The only picture shows someone drawing on the device in what looks like Photoshop (opens in new tab), hinting at Alibaba’s ambition to attract designers to its platform.
Other specs shared with us include two 3W speakers with an independent audio DSP, an earphone jack, HDMI in/out, USB-A and USB-C.
We don’t quite know whether the Wuying AIO PC will be a souped-up thin client or a proper video editing PC (opens in new tab)/photo editing workstation (opens in new tab). But it looks more like the former.
The Wuying Cloud Computer is available in several configurations, so users can cater the level of computing power (in configurations similar to VPS hosting (opens in new tab)) to their needs. For instance, dual-core with 4GB of system memory for schools, quad-core with 8GB of RAM for programmers and 72-core with 278GB of RAM for rendering and other memory/compute-intensive tasks. Users also have the option to release additional computing power when it's not needed.
Alibaba has confirmed that the price of the device will be announced towards the end of the year with shipping restricted to mainland China.
Alibaba is one of the largest technology companies in China by market capitalization, with a value that’s currently hovering around $450 billion. It operates in a number of verticals (web hosting (opens in new tab), dedicated servers (opens in new tab), CDN (opens in new tab), cloud storage (opens in new tab), virtual desktop (opens in new tab) etc.) and has one of the biggest e-commerce platforms (opens in new tab) in the country.