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Hive Amplicity Anywhere is Powerful Pocket PC

Imagine if you could carry a PC packed with the latest and most powerful software for all your needs, including gaming, video editing and professional design, in your pocket wherever you go. That's what Hive aims to make possible with its Amplicity Anywhere program, which kicks off this spring.

What separates Amplicity Anywhere from other pocket PCs is its unique subscription model. Instead of paying once to own the pocket computer, you'll pay $99 to lease it for six months. That price includes access to premium programs such as Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud ($30 per month for new customers), which come pre-installed. After the six months, you can renew your lease and get a device upgrade or return the PC.

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At a private demo in Las Vegas, Hive showed off its small, hard drive-sized device and how it plugs into various expansion pack-like setups that boosted performance. Unfortunately, since Hive declined to share details on the innards its device would carry, it's hard to tell what kind of power the PC will provide.

When I explored the world of a first-person shooter on an Amplicity hooked up to a gamer-oriented setup, the system was smooth and responsive. Hive's reps docked the base unit into a black shoebox-sized shell, which they said packed more powerful graphics chips and CPUs for better gaming performance. It was also hooked up to a gaming keyboard, mouse and three large monitors.

The idea is that you'll have your personal files and documents to take with you wherever you go, but when you're at home or in the office, you can slot your pocket PC into a more powerful station for extra oomph. Hive also said the Amplicity Anywhere device will come with 1TB of cloud storage, and will support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting to your wireless gadgets. 

Another intriguing part of Amplicity Anywhere is its potential collaboration with restaurants and coffee shops, which would provide shell setups with keyboards, mice and displays that let you plug in the pocket PC and get right to work.

Staff writer Cherlynn Low wants her laptop to be smaller and lighter. Follow her @cherlynnlow. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide on Facebook.