The Volta V is the first commercially-produced, handcrafted wooden computer and, if you have the cash, it can pack some serious gaming power.
Back when I was a kid, most of the electronics in our home featured a large amount of wood. Our television was 22 inches of screen in a 50-inch wooden box, and we loved it. So when I got the second email about the launch of the Volta V after missing the first one, I was overjoyed.
The Volta V is a watercooled PC in an American hardwood box. It's meant to be a sustainable, upgradable system that will stay with you as PC hardware improves, instead of a metal or plastic enclosure that's the next pretty LED-lighted thing away from extinction.
Each Volta V case is cut from American hardwood, precision tooled and assembled by hand. It's wood all around, save for the aluminium base that forms the feet, keeping the unit elevated for a keyboard to slip underneath.
I worried about heat upon first seeing the Volta V's design, but the world's most knowledgeable PR person explained that the chassis is designed with airflow in mind. The CPU is watercooled. A pair of magnetic dust covers slide off for easy cleaning access. They use only blower type graphics cards. The system is designed to pull cool air from the bottom and dissipate hot air out the sides, and they have laminated the wood in 5cm staves to help prevent potential warping.
This is the sort of computer system one might expect from Computer Direct Outlet, a company with a CEO named Gary Underwood, a designer named Ty Underwood and a engineer named Dale Woodard. Seriously. These guys were born to make a wooden PC, or possibly be garden gnomes. One of those. They chose wisely.
But what price, all of this wood? Right now interested parties can reserve a Volta V for $US399 ($535), with configurations running between $US2000 ($2684) and $US5000 ($6710). The first completed units begin shipping in March 2017. Unfortunately, they only ship within the US, so Australians will have to pile on a bit extra for a mail forwarding service.
They're a bit on the pricey side, but they look so damn elegant, and should the cooling ever fail they will no doubt smell amazing.