Everex, makers of the popular $200 Linux-based PC that sold out of Wal-Marts almost the moment it was put on shelves is getting into the laptop game. And it looks like the low-cost PC makers are taking aim at Asus. The Everex Cloudbook, which the company plans to show off at CES in January will feature a 7 inch screen, run Linux, and cost $400. Sound familiar?

There are a few differences. While the Cloudbook will basically be about the same size at the Eee PC, Everex plans to pack a standard 30GB notebook hard drive in there to save costs. Sure, the Eee PC only comes with 4GB or 8GB of storage, but solid state memory is still pretty expensive. It's hard to decide who has the advantage here. While the Eee PC will certainly boot up and perform some operations faster than the Cloudbook because of its SSD, I have to say, it would be nice to have a 30GB hard drive.

The Cloudbook will also reportedly sport a 1.3 megapixel camera, a 1.2MHz VIA processor (compared with the Eee PC's 900MHz Celeron chip), and the gOS Linux distribution which is based on Ubuntu. gOS was widely reported to stand for "Google operating system" at first because the OS features tight integration with web services like Google Docs & Spreadsheets. But it actually stands for "green operating system" because it's supposed to consume less power than some other operating systems.

While gOS is pretty user friendly, Everex didn't take the time to develop a special Linux variant for the Cloudbook the way Asus did for the Eee PC. gOS is available as a free download for anyone who wants to try it or install it on their PC right now.

Linux Devices reports there will also be a special developer edition that will come with source code, tool chains, and a touchscreen. That would be a killer feature. One of the first things people say when they look at my Eee PC is that it would be nice if it had a touch screen. Something tells me the developer edition is going to cost more than $400 though.

If Linux Devices' sources are correct we should see a demo at CES on January 7th and retail availability as soon as January 15th. I'm a bit skeptical that Everex will be able to get a quality product out so quickly. As far as we know, the company wasn't even planning to develop this PC a few months ago. But the success of the Eee PC and the Wal-Mart gPC seem to have given the company some ideas. I just hope that the finished product lives up to its potential and doesn't show signs of a shoddy concept pushed to market without adequate testing first.

While it was a bit frustrating that Asus missed its initial shipping date for the Eee PC, I have very few complaints with the finished product. Part of the reason for that delay was that Asus was still conducting extensive product test. Hopefully Everex and any other competitors in this space will take the same kind of care that Asus did.

[via Gizmodo, Electronista, and jkkmobile]

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