$199 Green PC (or is it the Google PC?)

How is Walmart able to sell a $199 PC ? I mentioned this briefly in a previous blog. This is a very low end machine, of course (and you will note the monitor is not included)

Hardware Specifications
1.5GHz, VIA C7®-D Processor, 512MB DDR2 533MHz, SDRAM, 80GB Hard Disk Drive, DVD-ROM/D-RW Optical Drive, VIA UniChrome Pro IGP Graphics, Realtek 6-Channel Audio, (1) 10/100 Ethernet Port, (1) DB 15-Pin VGA Port, (6) USB 2.0 Ports, (1) RJ-11 Port, (1) Headphone/Line-Out Port, (2) Microphone/Line-In Ports, (1) Serial Port, (1) Parallel Port, (1) Keyboard, (1) Mouse, (1) Set of Amplified Stereo Speakers

 

It’s really about the OS

Lower level hardware (though this is a respectable system) does help account for the low price , but a good deal of the savings is in the use of a GNU/Linux OS rather than an MS Windows based OS for two reasons.

  1. The price would increase 50% (or more) with a Windows OS license.
  2. Windows XP would barely run on this low-end system and forget about Windows Vista – it would crawl. It is the OS that really makes this system possible:

gOS screenshot

 

This $199 PC manufactured by Everex utilizes the gOS (pictured above). (You can even download it yourself and try it .) This is a customized OS based on Ubuntu which uses the enlightenment windows manager. This creates an OS that is lean, fast and designed to run without using a great deal of resources. And speaking of resources, this computer uses less of them from (from the Everex site):

Green

Imagine a computer that averages just 2 Watts of power consumption and operates at a whisper quiet 28dB.

Wow, a Green PC that saves you some green.

Another noteworthy mention is that for this price you also get most of the productivity tools (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, image editing software etc.) you would have to pay extra for, plus you do not have the added expense of anti-virus and anti-spyware software (nor the time spent fighting these nasty threats.) Check out the user reviews on the Walmart site for some interesting comments.

Update: here’s a great review of gOS .

I downloaded the live iso and played with it a bit and it is definitely Google-centric with links to virtually every Google web-based service out there. It really is quite smooth. I was really impressed that it was as fast as it was running from the cd. This is definitely a very easy interface, one well suited for someone unfamiliar with computers because it is so clear and easy to use.

One comment about the size of the case should be attributed:

Even at the low end, however, image is everything. The gPC is built using tiny components, but put inside a full-size case because research indicates that Wal-Mart shoppers are so unsophisticated they equate physical size with capability.

This from a wired blog.

LCG

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6 responses to “$199 Green PC (or is it the Google PC?)

  1. What’s with all the green stuff lately? Did I miss arbor day or something?

  2. everything is about the enviroment now days, some companys basically use it as a marketing tool. windows is so recourse intensive its annoying.

  3. librarycomputerguy

    Green is the new black.

    Speaking of marketing, the guts of this PC are actually for a small form factor, but testing showed that Walmart shoppers judge capacity by size, so Everex stuck the tiny components in a big box.

  4. That seems like a waste of case space to me. if there gonna make it with small form factor parts then they should atleast include the advantages of having a small form factor case!

  5. librarycomputerguy

    Yes, admittedly a waste of case space as well as a waste of materials. So, perhaps a bit of a mixed message on the whole green thing, eh?

  6. Pingback: Give 1, Get 1 starts November 12. « Library Computer Guy’s Weblog

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