The Everex Cloudbook is $400 ultra portable-ultra mobile notebook running gOS Linux (gOS for Good OS but g can also be for green as these utilize low voltage processors and g for Google for their bundled apps). I am going to examine why the Cloudbook simply doesn’t matter and why it is a mistake for Everex to pursue.
This is Everex’s attack on the a couple markets. First, its going after the ultra portable niche market where the Asus Eee resides. These devices more commonly seen as the abbreviation UMPC are low appeal for most consumers. Why they are small and light, they also lack the functionality that a full size slightly more expensive notebook offers. The 7 inch screen is certainly going to sip power compared to the behemoth 17 inch notebooks many consumers flock after now. A 7 inch screen is also going to be harder on the eyes for many older folks thus losing its appeal to one group. My other big problem here is that the CPU and RAM combination. The processor is a nice Via C7-M which is about as easy on the battery as it’ll come for 1.2 GHz. Its still underpowered for most Linux distros today and gOS won’t be an exception for long. Maybe this would be okay with more RAM but the unit comes with 512 MB and it can only be upgraded to 1 GB. A basic Sempron or Celeron would have afforded better performance even if cutting down battery life slightly. Heck, throw in a ultra low voltage Core 2 Duo and see it fly.
Why do I attack the specs on this little thing? Many consumers are looking for a new laptop computer that can do it all. Throwing an under powered under achiever in front of them at Wal-Mart with a slick low price tag is just hurting Linux and Everex tremendously.
Don’t doubt my knowledge of what typical consumers are after. I’ve worked tech retail for many years. The average customer will come up, state that they want a typical computer for typical things. Wwhat they really mean, after some prodding, is that they want a laptop with a big screen (at least 15.4 inch) for the Internet, some e-mail, storing photos, and playing a couple games. It’ll mostly stay at home. The games they talk about are solitaire. The Internet is probably the e-mail and eBay. Its not a whole lot. Honestly, its not much different than what I do. The key thing is that it will stay at home.
Very few people are after ultra mobile devices like that. Yes, it does fill a void between PDAs/Smartphones and full size notebooks. The problem is, Everex is trying to bring Linux to the masses via Wal-Mart and Google. The masses don’t want something this small. I believe Everex needs to fully focus on creating a strong line of Linux systems for the average folks. The gPC was a great step (even if an under powered one again).