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Everex Launches Asus EEE Rival

In my review of the Asus EEE PC I predicted: “…this is the IT bargain of 2007. Expect other companies to follow…

It’s happened.

Everex announced the CloudBook ultra-portable notebook at CES, a direct rival to the Asus EEE PC.

The CloudBook, sporting a seven inch screen like the EEE, weighs two pounds and crucially ships with a 30 GB hard drive unlike the 2/4/8 GB SSD in the EEE. This means that it should be able to run as a fully functional Linux or Windows XP ultra-portable.

The other specs also support this expectation: 1.2 GHz VIA C7 ultra low voltage processor, 512 MB RAM (likely upgradeable), 802.11b/g WiFi. Also onboard is a 1.3MP webcam, ethernet port, DVI port (nice), two USB 2.0 ports and a 4-in-1 card reader.

The CloudBook will ship with the gOS Rocket Linux-based operating system. Preloaded applications include OpenOffice, Firefox and Skype. Everex claims a battery life of five hours. The notebook will be available from Jan 25th 2008 exclusively at WalMart for $399.

Latest Jan update, Everex has revised the Cloudbook’s shipping date to Feb 15th.

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For me, the hard drive size really elevates this above the EEE from a usability point of view. I would now expect that the planned 8 and 8.9 inch EEE versions will have similar sized drives to stay in the game.
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Stay tuned for a CloudBook hands on…

Feb 17th update: The trackpad implementation on the Cloudbook looks nasty…I bought an EEE today.

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See photos and read CES news about: Laptops & UMPCs, Home Entertainment, Media Players, Cellphones, Gaming and Trick Technologies.
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To read all the CES 2008 articles, click here.
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For details of the new Asus R50 UMPC, click here.
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Neil Berman
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http://www.neilberman.com/
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Jan 13, 2008 - Posted by | Mobile | ,

2 Comments »

  1. You say you expect Asus to add similarly-sized hard drives to the Eee to “stay in the game”. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Adding a hard drive may give you more storage for a similar cost, but it increases the weight and size, and lowers reliability. The result is that you’re no longer directly competing with the Eee.

    I think there’s going to continue to be plenty of room in the market for flash-drive-based machines like the Eee.

    Comment by Lawrence D'Oliveiro | Jan 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. That’s a very good point, I agree SSDs are definitely the way forward.

    In the short term although SSDs do have a weight advantage, it is fairly small right now for larger capacities. For example Toshiba has a regular 1.8 inch 120 GB hard drive rated at 59 grams and the recently announced 32GB Transcend SSD is 48 grams. Reliability is also an important SSD benefit as you rightly mention. Larger capacity SSDs should of course get smaller and lighter as miniaturization sets in over the coming years.

    Back to present day practicalities and the low capacity SSDs in the EEE are very small, but the CloudBook and EEE are in fact both approx. two pounds with a similar physical size. So a CloudBook owner could pop in a 100GB drive for a small cost without significant weight/battery/size penalty. This would probably invalidate the Everex warranty though.

    The larger screened 8.9 inch EEEs are likely to have enough screen space to do a decent day’s work or serve as a main computer. So I expect Asus to follow Samsung’s Q1 strategy and offer consumers the larger screened EEEs with the choice of either a traditional hard drive (cheaper, heavier, more storage) or a SSD (faster, more battery life).

    Comment by Neil Berman | Jan 15, 2008 | Reply


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