Print 81 comment(s) - last by Clauzii.. on Jan 16 at 6:03 AM

Everex decides to take the fight to ASUS

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 Linux.

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 port.

"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 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.

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Even though a bit thick :)
By Clauzii on 1/9/2008 8:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
I like the design with the speakers possibly getting a bigger cabinet for better Bass. I'll have to hear them first though. And even if it's no first, the opening is nice to grab-it-by, if the hinges are ok with that.

So which CPU is best, Celeron or C7?

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Chadder007 on 1/9/2008 8:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what I would like to know. Hopefully Anandtech will review each. :D

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By TomZ on 1/9/2008 8:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that the Celeron is going to be faster. Most of the Via processors are generally pretty slow.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By overzealot on 1/9/2008 9:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
Strange, my guess was going to be that the VIA was slightly faster - very close in performance IMO.
I'm only using Sandra scores to approximate a comparison, though.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By sprockkets on 1/9/2008 9:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Seeing how I can encode in realtime mpeg4 and mp3 video with my tuner card on a 1.2ghz Celeron based on core arch, and if I try doing the same on a 1.5ghz VIA C7 processor it just manages to encode 3 frames or less a second, I'd say VIA's C7 sucks.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By elpresidente2075 on 1/9/2008 9:35:08 PM , Rating: 5
FYI, the Celeron in the EEE (the obvious comparison) is not Core-based. C7 vs Celeron in this instance, the comparison is much closer. I too would like to see a direct comparison for real numbers though.

Of course, your Core-based Celeron would blow both out of the water, but then again it costs 3-10 times as much.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Gravemind123 on 1/9/2008 11:27:44 PM , Rating: 1
Although it isn't Core based, it is still Pentium M based, and Core was based heavily on that design. The Core based processors gain a small amount over the Dothan core Pentium M.

The CPUs will probably end up being close, as VIAs CPUs have poor amount of instructions processed per clock. According to Whetstone benchmarks I had found the Celeron M based on the Dothan core scored nearly twice as high at the same clockspeed as a C7M, same was true of Drystone score. These are the only comparative values I could find for the two differing architectures.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By drebo on 1/10/2008 10:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
I guess it's important to note that the C7 in the Cloudbook is clocked at nearly twice what the Celeron in the EeePC is clocked. And battery life doubles.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By sprockkets on 1/15/2008 1:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
OK, I'll clarify, it was the first gen D201LGY board, which was core arch (which people say was PM), not core2. You know, how Intel likes to mess around with names.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By stmok on 1/9/2008 9:10:41 PM , Rating: 5
The following is what I found to be the approx performance equivalents using Sisoft Sandra 2007

VIA C7 1.0Ghz = Intel PIII 466
VIA C7 1.2Ghz = Intel PIII 560
VIA C7 1.3Ghz = Intel PIII 606
VIA C7 1.5Ghz = Intel PIII 700
VIA C7 1.8Ghz = Intel PIII 840
VIA C7 2.0Ghz = Intel PIII 933

Please note: I only compared the FPU and ALU numbers. This is the closest I can get them.

Also note: Sisoft gives you a ballpark idea of how a CPU performs. It does NOT reflect usage or user experience.

In non-FPU intensive apps, the VIA setups feel faster than the PIII ones. They seriously lag in FPU area though.

This is what VIA is gonna be addressing in their next processor, called "Isaiah" (or VIA CN). It'll be a 64bit capable solution similar to AMD64 or EMT64 capable processors.

I estimate that the next generation ones will be a lot more closer to the performance of Intel and AMD CPUs...Well, at least the late PIII or early P-M era.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Clauzii on 1/9/2008 9:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks a lot :)

Well, for a laptop I would use mainly for writing, this should be ok :)

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By TomZ on 1/9/2008 10:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
Intel will probably crush Via for next-gen processors for these types of devices with Menlow:

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By stmok on 1/10/2008 1:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
Oh of course!

VIA's processors were never meant to compete with Intel's or AMD's in a head-on comparison.

The main goal is to develop a low cost CPU that adequately does the job for the consumer. Low power, low cost, in a relatively small footprint. Its an interesting concept that many fail to grasp.

However, the current situation with more processor hungry applications like HD video playback has made both the C3 and C7 become long in the tooth. They are woefully inadequate for the task.

This is what VIA's next processor hopes to address.

On paper, this newer CN processor sounds impressive compared to their current C7, and they claim...

= 2x VIA C7 (in Integer Performance)
= 4x VIA C7 (in Floating Point Performance)

Whether that be true or not, time will tell. (They say its projected to come sometime in THIS quarter. But knowing VIA, I'm guessing about a year before we see a Mini-ITX product from them based on this CPU.)

I'm estimating that it'll match a PIII pretty closely, in clock for clock performance comparison. But it'll be beaten by a P-M and newer.

That's OK. As long as someone can offer a 2Ghz fanless solution, I'll be very happy.

I'm just getting tired of midtowers, etc. Need something the size of a novel, but silent as a mouse for 24/7 operation...And LOTS of them!

That would be cool.

What annoys me currently, is that their (VIA) drivers for their IGP features are poor. (It doesn't matter if its Windows or Linux. The choices are poor or unstable for the user).

If Intel can offer something of the same price range, then I wouldn't hesitate to give them a shot. (Intel support in Linux is FAR superior in the IGP department. They are very active in supporting open source. And it shows when you install a distro with an Intel IGP based system. Everything works out of the box!)

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Samus on 1/10/2008 2:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
its very funny to me that Via cpu's are low heat, energy efficient now, when the roots of Via's cpu's come from Cyrix, the first cpu's ever made to require a heatsink/fan ;)

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By adntaylor on 1/10/2008 3:01:52 AM , Rating: 4
Although VIA own Cyrix's designs, they also bought Centaur Technology who designed the IDT WinChip which was a very cool running design for the time - IIRC it didn't even need a heatsink. The C7 family is based on an evolution of the IDT (Centaur) design, not the Cyrix one.

Confusingly VIA branded their first Centaur-designed part the "Cyrix III". Helpful.

In fact, the only company shipping CPUs based on a Cyrix design is AMD - the Geode LX / GX & older series are all derived from the Cyrix MediaGX.

BTW if you're holding out for VIA to release the Isiah to save themselves, they promised it would be launched in H1 2006... I think they're a bit too cash strapped to realistically release a new x86 CPU family these days, but I could be proven wrong in 2008! Even if they do, my guess would be that Silverthorne will make their lives very difficult.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By 16nm on 1/10/2008 9:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
VIA's processors were never meant to compete with Intel's or AMD's in a head-on comparison.

Whether or not VIA's procs where ever meant to compete with Intel's is irrelevent. The fact is they do directly complete and fail miserably. Both companies are making small low power, low cost procs for this market. The difference is that Intel's are more powerful, cost less and draw less power! VIA - the last chipmaker to get crushed under the foot of Intel.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By djtodd on 1/10/2008 11:09:33 AM , Rating: 2
Intel needs to develope more robust micro, nano, and picoATX form factor boards using their chipos before they can truly crush via. VIA has a very large portion of a niche market with ultra small form factor products. The first that comes to mind is carp-pc's. Almost every car-pc is running a via board. That's not to say they are great products, but they have very little competition in that market.

I would love to see intel, or amd for that matter push the nano and pico atx market forward.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By TomZ on 1/10/2008 2:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
Are you familiar with the Intel D201GLY series?

This product/price crushes VIA in that form factor. Cost is around $65 retail which includes the pricessor.

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Clauzii on 1/14/2008 6:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
More like $90,- but still pretty nice. Thanks for showing me this nice alternative :)

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By onwisconsin on 1/15/2008 6:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
The price at Newegg dropped to $65 since the article was published ;)

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Clauzii on 1/16/2008 6:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, ok :)

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Xenoterranos on 1/11/2008 11:29:46 AM , Rating: 2
The first that comes to mind is carp-pc's

Although I've never tried it, a fish-based PC might not be that bad of an idea...

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By Clauzii on 1/16/2008 6:03:49 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Even though a bit thick :)
By drebo on 1/10/2008 10:43:00 AM , Rating: 4
However, the current situation with more processor hungry applications like HD video playback has made both the C3 and C7 become long in the tooth. They are woefully inadequate for the task.

One wonders exactly how much HD playback you'll be doing on a screen that's 800x480.

Complaining about that is like the people who complain that the GeForce 8300 can't play Crysis on max settings at 1280x1024. It just doesn't make sense. Choose the appropriate tool for the job and you won't ahve a problem.

Low-power, low-cost for highly-mobile applications, big power, big cost for applications which need it (games, video encoding, etc).

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