The ASUS Eee PC has had the market to itself for the past
few months when it comes to sub-$400 sub-notebooks. The two-pound Eee
PC 4G comes with a 7" 800x480 widescreen display, 630Mhz Celeron M
processor, 512MB of DDR2 memory, a 4GB solid-sate disk (SSD) running Xandros
The Eee PC, however, is finally getting some competition in
the form of the two-pound Everex CloudBook (formerly
known as the NanoBook). The CloudBook also retails for $399 and comes with
better specs than ASUS' popular Eee PC.
The CloudBook features a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M ULV processor, 30GB
(4200RPM) HDD, 4-in-1 media reader, two USB 2.0 ports, DVI output, a 1.3MP
webcam, 4-cell battery (good for 5 hours of battery life) and the gOS
V2 "Rocket" operating system. Like the Eee PC, the CloudBook has
a 7" 800x480 widescreen display, 802.11g wireless and a 10/100 network
"The overwhelming success of our gPC desktop generated
countless inquires from customers seeking additional Open Source mobile
platforms," remarked Everex General Manager John Lin. "With the launch of the new CloudBook
our vision remains the same: Provide
mainstream users with their favorite applications wrapped in a no-compromise,
low-cost, consumer friendly product."
ASUS had better get on the ball with its second
generation Eee PC because Everex is definitely upping the ante with
comparison to the Eee PC -- especially when it comes to storage space. The Eee
PC maxes out at 8GB of storage space and that is with the $499
8G model. The Eee PC might have the advantage of faster response times with
its SSD, but it’s really hard to ignore 30GB of storage space in a device of
similar dimensions – even if the HDD only spins at a mere 4,200 RPM.
Everex was able to incorporate a 30GB HDD and longer battery
life in a form-factor that mirrors the Eee PC (9.06" x 6.73 x 1.16"
for the CloudBook vs. 8.9" x 6.3" x 1.3" for the Eee PC) -- even
the weight for the two devices is exactly the same.
The first shipments of Everex CloudBooks are already on
their way for sale on Wal-Mart.com. Wal-Mart.com sales will begin on January
25; however, there is no indication that Wal-Mart brick and mortar stores will
carry the CloudBook.
The introduction of the CloudBook marks another missed
opportunity for Microsoft to win over an expanding portion of the computer market.
If the Everex CloudBook turns out to be as popular as the Eee PC (with Wal-Mart’s
backing, that shouldn’t be a problem), Microsoft might find itself in the
position of trying to rethink its strategy on inexpensive, lightweight
operating systems for ultra-mobile devices.