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.
- The price would increase 50% (or more) with a Windows OS license.
- 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:
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):
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.