Why the Cloudbook Doesn’t Matter

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.

Mike Cane 2008

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).

11 responses to “Why the Cloudbook Doesn’t Matter

  • mikecane

    Asus has sold over 350,000 EeePCs. Sure, there are consumers looking for Do-It-All notebooks, but then there are people like me who want small and light and totable with a price tag that won’t hurt *too* much if the unit gets smashed or stolen.

    The 7″ screen is fine. People are using *iPhones* with smaller screens.

  • muddygeek

    Maybe I should have clarified my position on the average consumer a little more. Most of the people buying computers (especially from Wal-Mart where Everex likes to sell) are either first time buyers or are upgrading their primary computer.

    For many, the Cloudbook doesn’t serve well as a primary system for these people. It does work well for a very small niche market. Yes, 350K people is still a very small market. Compare that to the likes of Lenovo or Acer and still sell more than that in a month.

    The difference with the iPhone is that its small enough to fit in your pocket. The Cloudbook doesn’t.

    I do admit the cost is very tempting. However, I’ve still seen significantly more powerful 14 and 15 inch notebooks in the $400 to $500 US range. It just doesn’t make sense to buy this.

  • MrCopilot

    I think your missing a very important consumer in the market. The Children! Won’t someone please think of the children?

    If I go to walmart to get my tween his/her first laptop, which do you think I am most willing to open my wallet for? The $2000 easily breakable Sony or the $400 semi Rugged cloudbook?

    Yeah, thats what I thought. Myself personally, I would love one of these, I use Linux all but exclusively and desperately need a lighter notebook that plays nice with Linux.

    Expect these to sell out even faster than the gPC.

  • bob

    I just don’t see them putting ‘THE STAY AT HOME COMPUTER FOR EVERYONE’ on the boxes of these things. These are specifically targeted at the throngs of nerds who read Digg, hear about a new $400 toy computer to play with and can’t stop themselves from going to Wal-Mart to buy it because it’s so cheap and easy to do.

  • muddygeek


    You’ve had the first valid point from anyone on this. I’ve received more attention here than I would have imagined. However, you are right: this would be nice as a cheap starter for children. Its also a good step towards worldwide distribution of technology to children. I just wish the focus was on that instead. Its not sadly.

    To Bob,
    You’re right, its for geeks like me. I wouldn’t mind buying one but I think my money would go much farther on a full fledged notebook.

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  • Nilotpal

    I think you have missed the point about these computers. These are meant as an additional mobile computer for those who already have a desktop or laptop. As a standalone primary system, it is a bad option, but as an option for people who have already a primary computer at home, this makes much better sense for doing just a few documents or presentations or surfing than a full fledged laptop which is inconvenient because of its weight. Furthermore, the absence of a hard disk means that this is a more rugged option for really mobile PCs.

  • muddygeek

    I think these are a bad idea for several reasons, besides what I’ve previously stated. I think I’m looking at a second part post to why the Cloudbook is bad.

    I do intend on examining the better aspects of it, such as the pricing and the portability. Stay tuned for that.

    By the way, the Cloudbook uses a standard hard disk drive to achieve its 30 GB capacity. The Asus Eee uses a solid state or more likely flash based drive for its whopping 8 GB. The HDD is not a likely option for something rugged, semi rugged perhaps. Expensive and durability versus competitive pricing and capacity. Hmm…

  • Rob

    I disagree with you completely.
    Getting your hands on an Eee was nearly impossible for awhile there, ZaReason has already filled their pre-orders and are not taking any more requests until the 15th.
    People don’t buy Eee’s and Cloudbooks for a “do it all device” they buy them to be a very portable entry level laptop.
    I have both a 4G-701 and a 2G-Surf, I gave the Surf to one of my kids, and when I get the Cloudbook for myself I’ll give the 701 to my other child. These things are perfect for students (I’m back in college) and both of my daughters have already used the 2G-Surf countless hours.
    While these may not be what your looking for, it seems that the market that these are for exists, and is very large.
    /shrug, no big deal if it isn’t for you, but with this second wave of UMPC’s hitting the market and selling out while in pre-order status, seems to me these little guys are here to stay, and with well designed linux distro’s shipping with them stock, it can only expose people to a way of thinking about operating systems and software that they may have never known existed.
    Anyway, I think these UMPC’s running Linux will perform exactly as advertised. Just my 2cents.

  • marc

    these are what i have hoped for since my first laptop.. a crappy little IBM.. perfect for coffee shop sittin watchin utube and browsin and checkin emails.. and with the 30GB space (the major selling point for me) i can actually load sharazza or something on there and get sum music.. i dont really see what else you could ask for with these? even at $600 it would be well worth it.. and have you ever tried carting a 15.4″ lappy around all day? it SUCKS.. this is something i can fit in the inside pocket of my jacket and always be connected with no extra fees (another huge seller for these.. sure blackberrys have WiFi but that monthly data fee will rape you and i would never want to have to carry one of those around all the time.. much prefer a slim phone and a UMPC.. but then again i always prefer to keep my electronics unbundled)

    and like i said.. and other people have said.. at $400 you are getting more than you pay for.. i mean even a blackberry is klike $250 with a 3yr contract.. and other UMPCs are much more poorly designed and still cost twice as much

    cheap enough that you can brick it while modding and not cry about it

  • Ja

    You are crazy!? …30GB space?! What are you talking about?

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