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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Everex - The Alternative PC

Everex, a company whose name has been around since I was first building PCs, has made a comeback in recent years, and this little creation is just the thing to make them a common name. The Cloudbook, this cloudbook, will be available starting Friday (January 25th, 2008, er, February 15th... er, sometime this year maybe*) at ZaReason.com (a Linux system builder) and WAL-MARTs (yes, really) across North America. This lightweight wonder is the new competition to ASUS's Eee PC, a wonder in itself.

While this new entry into this MID notebook market is a wonder for availability, the price is what may distract those, including myself, from the high-end Eee PC. Both systems use a variation on Linux and are designed with ease-of-use and accommodation of needs for their user, the trade off being in disk size versus disk technology.

Comparable in many ways the use of Solid State technology affords the Eee PC user a comfortable 2-8 gigabytes (Gb) of disk space, while this new Cloudbook offers 30 Gb in a more commonly used hard disk. The trade-off is coolness alone it seems.

There are other notable differences, the Eee PC has a VGA monitor connector and SD Reader, while the Everex entry has a DVI (Digital Video) connector (allowing a better video image, but necessitating you remember the converter for use with a typical VGA monitor) and a 4-in-1 Media Reader (ie. more than simply SD Cards). I have no details on whether you can upgrade the RAM in a Cloudbook, potentially leaving you at a respectable 512Mb of RAM, while this compares well to the Eee PC 2G-4G Surf models, the 4G (non-Surf) allows for an upgrade to 1-2Gb through memory replacement.

The new Everex - The Alternative PC: "Think CloudBook Experience the Ultimate in Mobility"

9 Inches, 2 pounds, 5 hours of battery life. Surf, email, blog, IM, Skype, compute. Cloud computing makes it simple and easy for everyone.

Keep your shorts on... this might be a winner. Though... Acer is reportedly entering this race too.

I am thinking that this may be the type of device that will revolutionalize the road-warrior's toolkit. There's nothing, really, these devices can't do for the business and the software licensing is significantly cheaper than the Microsoft Windows model (at present). Microsoft's Windows CE was presenting to this manner of platform a few years ago but with restrictions on functionality and viability for the mobile user, the CE OS has been relegated to the advanced cell-phone market as PDA's are almost impossible to find. I'm not a fan of these devices for cost and would sooner see my money in an Eee PC or this new Cloudbook than another high-end cell-phone.

While my attention has shifted to this new device, my time-line to purchase is 4-5 months out so I have an opportunity to see all of the players, ASUS has done a wonderful job with delivering their product to market, let's sit back and watch as the early adopters fight and finesse this new tool for the well-connected. At $399 for a completely capable traveller tool, I'm pleased so far.

* UPDATED Dates... This spooks me and while there are some advantages, I'm favouring the ASUS as an AVAILABLE product. That said, apparently ASUS is taking the Eee PC branding and diluting it with new formats, but we'll see what they turn out.

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