Another cheap mini-portable...competition rocks

Another cheap mini-portable...competition rocks

Summary: Everex looks to be the latest to join the ranks of companies offering Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs) at prices educational institutions can afford. While final details will be released early in the year, both Linuxdevices.

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Everex looks to be the latest to join the ranks of companies offering Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs) at prices educational institutions can afford. While final details will be released early in the year, both Linuxdevices.com and engadget picked up on this device. The 7" mini-portable is slated to run the gOS found in Walmart's popular $200 desktop,the Cloudbook and will be called the "Cloudbook" due to the gOS emphasis on cloud computing via Google Apps.

$400 dollars (the same price as the ASUS Eee) will buy you a 30GB hard drive (no solid state option exists yet, reducing durability, but drastically increasing storage space), half a gig of RAM, a flash card reader, USB ports, a DVI port, a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage Via processor, and wired/wireless Ethernet. The gOS itself is a tweaked Ubuntu distribution with a fair amount of integration with Google Apps. It remains to be seen if a touchscreen or an integrated mouse device of some sort will be included (though not pictured in the photo from Everex). While $400 isn't exactly loose pocket change, small devices focused on providing web connectivity and basic productivity in cheap, highly portable packages should be welcome news for educators looking at innovative 1:1 solutions or inexpensive portables for staff.

Topics: Hardware, Apps, Emerging Tech, Google, Laptops, Mobility, Networking, Tablets

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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  • running Windows on cloudbook

    Looks a good win for linux :)

    This thingy is also good as a thin client (much cheaper than safebook ) and can run Windows via ThinServer XP

    http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm
    ThinkFair
    • With 512 M ram, and 30 GB hard drive, this should run normal XP out of the

      box you want. Maybe MS will offer a light-weight XP for a discount. They need to get it down to the $25 range. How about Apple jumping in with a special educational version of OSX for small laptops?
      DonnieBoy
  • Another GREAT entry into the kids laptop field. This may also be motivated

    by OLPC, but not sure. In any case, this is complimentary to OLPC, and validates the idea behind OLPC, With all of this hardware that will soon be available in volumes, I am hoping that we will see some major studies of 1:1 computing, NOT just for developing countries, but for right here in the good old US of A.

    The only fly in the ointment, is that this won't work in school until they offer a smaller flash drive in place of the hard drive. For 1:1 computing, you do not need so much storage, durability is more important. Hopefully, we will see a hardened version of this for school use with say 2 gig of flash and and an SD slot in place of the hard drive.
    DonnieBoy
  • Christopher, is that really you?? We did not see any cheap shots about

    Linux, and how it does not work for education, so we are assuming it really is you.
    DonnieBoy
    • It's really me :)

      This is going to be one area where Linux can really take off - low power (and low horsepower) miniportables that can be fully customized and slimmed down to provide acceptable performance. I really need to get one of these - my 17" beast (running Kubuntu brilliantly, but still a beast) is killing me.

      cad
      mrdatahs
      • Yes, this will be a good category for Linux. Partly because of the price

        point. The lower the price, the bigger problem the price of XP is. I wonder if MS will come out with a stripped down, reduced price, re-branded/updated XP for this size / price point. They need something for this category that they can market as a new OS. XP is over 6 years old now!!
        DonnieBoy
  • If you want to see some pictures of the CloudBook and more info, go to:

    http://linuxdevices.com/news/NS6962839488.html

    Very interesting . . . . .
    DonnieBoy
  • Agreed, competition is great

    Although the OLPC folks may not agree right now. ;-)
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • The idea of OLPC was to get cheap computers to kids in developing countries

      If OLPC can shutdown in 2 years, because there are commercial systems on the market with vibrant competition, the OLPC will have been a great success. Without OLPC, this would still be an ignored sector.

      But, even then, for right now, considering this does not have flash memory, but a 30 GB fragile hard drive, this is complementary, for a different market. Actually, schools do not wand or need 30 GB on every computer, they would much rather have them with a little flash, and a lot more durable.

      But, I am hoping that they WILL offer a school version with a 2 GB flash in place of the hard drive, and cheaper price points. Lots of options are GOOD.
      DonnieBoy
  • HP's crystal ball got fogged over

    Back in 1998 or so, HP had a line of handheld PDAs that used WinCE and had mini keyboards. I had one that had a touch screen and what was referred to as Chiklet keys. It was a clamshell and fit in a pocket. I could not touch type as I had to hold it in one hand. But, it did not depend on my horrific handwriting. It was a HP Jornada 700 series, exact model unremembered. I replaced it with a Jornada 820 that uses WinCE 2.11. I still have it but got tired of carrying it around. Here is why.

    The 820 is the size of all the Linux mini portables now being offered. It has two slots for CF flash cards and a built 56K modem, then the standard. The unit is about 5 by 8 folded with a color screen and moderate size keyboard with a touch pad for the mouse. The down side is the weight, about six pounds. Quite heavy for a system listed as a PDA. And the new MSRP was over $800. I got it close out for about $600. I dust it off and keep the battery charged to just make sure it still works, which it does. No movable parts or hard drive, as suggested by others.

    The form has been around for almost ten years. Hidden away in closets and basements. But, as some of the posters say, time and technology changes. Some items can adapt, others can not.

    I am pleased to see that many of the ideas that did not make the grade a decade ago return to be used now. The laptop idea with built in communications and flashcard storage. A OS designed to have everything needed in a cut down package, even if it was a Windows product. Where using a modem was a hastle, Wi-Fi is everywhere. Progress has cut the price to a quarter of what once was. Had HP continued the 820 in some form, we would have it now. Ah, well. That's the world of computers.

    My Jornada 820 gets dusted once a month. My Palm i705 with a slip on keyboard goes into my pocket every time I leave the house. Anybody know of a Linux that will work on a WinCE 2.11 or Palm 4.0? Like many ideas, the Jornada 820 needed the technology that was ten years in the future.

    Paul
    pfyearwood