A message from Compulab to Inferno backers
Inferno campaign did not reach its goal. Compulab remains committed to providing a small-form-factor silent gaming machine. We will do our best to design it according to user's preferences (performance-price-silence-size) and re-introduce it when ready.
What we tried to do with the campaign
Since launching Airtop we received endless inquiries about a more powerful model with GTX 1080 (or GTX 980 at the time) for gamers. We knew it's possible, but not trivial. We also knew that we cannot make it as cheap as a common gaming PC. Basically we had 3 options :
1. Ignore these inquiries
2. Make Inferno and try to sell it
3. Try to identify what the real demand is
We opted for (3) as a Kickstarter campaign. We set the funding goal at a level that would justify production. The results are clear - there is a demand for a product like Inferno, but the demand is not strong enough to produce it in sustainable volume.
The reasons Inferno campaign did not meet its goal
The general feedback is that as a product Inferno is good, but for most potential buyers the high price tag is a deal breaker. There are several reasons for the price of Inferno:
1. Engineering and design. Inferno is not only compact, silent and high performance, but it also has many bells and whistles that are integral to the design - die cast housing, clamshell opening mechanism, I3M front panel, industrial grade components on the motherboard, premium storage and more. All these extras add to the cost and cannot be eliminated unless the product is completely redesigned.
2. Components are expensive in 2018. Graphics cards, RAM, storage, copper are all expensive now. Since Inferno is using a lot of each, a ready to use Inferno becomes even more expensive.
3. Non-standard components. In order to achieve the aggressive design goals Inferno is not based on commodity motherboard and graphics card (it is reworked to fit). So Inferno cannot be sold as a case-only which is pushing up the entry price.
We are grateful to the dozens of backers who where willing not only to spend a considerable amount but also to wait until Inferno is ready. Unfortunately it takes a critical mass to make a product happen and this mass was not achieved.
What the campaign achieved
- When we announced Inferno the dominant feedback was skepticism about the feasibility of the product. We are glad to observe that this skepticism is all but gone. This is most likely due to the prototype demonstration running at near 100% load for several days, the Airtop2 review by LTT and the opportunity to explain Natural Airflow cooling in more detail.
- Through the dialog with backers and followers we gained better understanding of what matters in such a product. We believe we know now how to make a more attractive product.
- We learned that the fashion in gaming computers design (our designer described it as "a horrible accident between a pinball machine and a fish tank") does not appeal to everybody. We were glad about the feedback expressed by many backers demanding a more subtle design.
What's next for Inferno backers
- Unfortunately we will not be able to supply Inferno at the schedule targeted in the campaign (we would have if the campaign was funded).
- After the campaign is concluded we will open a "keep me posted" form at
Backers and others that consider Inferno are welcome to leave their details there. We will email you once we have news.
- Compulab management and Inferno design team will do analysis of the results to decide what, when and how to introduce a more attractive version. It will not be through Kickstarter this time. Backers that left their details will be prioritized.
Again, thank you all for your support. We hope you are not too disappointed. We did our best to make Inferno happen and to be open and transparent about what we are doing and why. We intend to bring something better as soon as we can.
Compulab Airtop2 Inferno team