By Rob Beschizza EmailOctober 31, 2007 | 7:00:59 AMCategories: PCs
Everex’s TC2502 gPC is the first mass-market $200 desktop computer, featuring a custom distribution of Ubuntu Linux and headed for selected Wal-Mart stores.
“It’s $200, with no gimmicks or subsidies,” Everex spokesman David Liu said.
The gPC aims to joins a popular gang of low-end economy computers leading into the holiday season, such as Asus’ $300 EeePC Laptop and VIA’s $600 Nanobook. Unlike these machines, however, Everex’s latest model is a full-size desktop, and $100 cheaper than even the slightest models from Dell or HP.
Touted as a “green” machine, it has a 1.5 Ghz VIA C7 CPU embedded in a Mini-ITX motherboard, 512MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. Normally, this would simply mark it as unacceptably low-end for use with modern software. By using the fast Enlightenment desktop manager (instead of heavier-duty alternatives like Gnome or KDE), the makers say it’s more responsive than Vista is, even on more powerful computers.
“It’s almost like a Google PC,” Liu says, pointing to the desktop’s rack of pre-configured links to all of Google’s online applications. It is, he says, the mass-market Linux PC we’ve all been waiting for. “That’s our dream. … we go the final step to make it work out the box, to go the whole nine yards.”
The gPC also has a DVD burner and, for those not drinking the web-app cool-aid, OpenOffice and lots more local software. There’s free phone support and a regularly updated app called “Faqly” that contains the latest tech support info for folks stuck offline.
If users want to install Windows on it, they can, though Everex cautions that Vista will not run well without a RAM upgrade. Recent games will not run well, if at all, on the gPC: the requirements of even humble titles like World of Warcraft exceed the system specifications.
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.
The machine is, technically, little different from sexier, geekier basic models like the Zonbu, only pitched to a different crowd. It does, however, offer a complete, upgradeable system for the lowest possible price, making the gPC a great candidate for home file/media servers and other “experiments.” Everex says it wants advanced users to “play with it” and make suggestions for further development.
If nothing else, you get a ready-to-roll Mini-ITX system ready to be hacked into a CarPC or any of these weird and wonderful SFF designs.
The team working on the gPC has about 10 members, including volunteers from the open-source community. With the limited release, Everex expectes to sell “under 10,000 units” at first — a limitation perhaps related to the need to provide good tech support for less savvy users unfamiliar with Linux’s conventions.
Update: Here’s a bumper list of the 630 Wal-Marts that’ll have these in stock:
Anchorage (S), Ketchikan, Anniston, Attalla (Sw), Boaz, Centre, Clanton, Daphne/Lake Forest, Decatur, Greenville, Guntersville, Huntsville, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Leeds, Madison, Mobile (West), Moulton, Northport, Ozark, Pell City, Russellville, Saraland, Scottsboro, Springville, Talladega, Thomasville, Ashdown, Clarksville, Harrison, Little Rock (S), Little Rock (Sw), Malvern, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Page, Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix (East), Phoenix (Maryvale), Phoenix (North), Prescott (W), Sahuarita, Scottsdale, Tempe, Antelope, Antioch, Apple Valley, Bakersfield, Barstow, Brea, Ceres, Chico, Chula Vista (W), City Of Industry, Corona, Corona (S), Dinuba, Fairfield, Folsom, Fontana, Fremont (W), Glendora, Highland, Huntington Beach, La Habra, Lake Elsinore, Livermore, Lodi, Manteca, Martinez, Milpitas, Mountain View, Napa, Norwalk, Oceanside, Orange, Panorama City, Perris, Placerville, Pleasanton, Poway, Rancho Cordova, Riverside, Riverside (E), Rohnert Park, Sacramento, Sacramento (Nw), San Bernardino (N), San Diego, San Diego (E), San Marcos, Santa Ana, Santa Maria, Simi Valley, Sonora, Stevenson Ranch, Temecula, Tulare, Victorville, Visalia, West Hills, Woodland, Brighton, Canon City, Delta, Fountain, Glenwood Springs, Lajunta, Littleton, Pueblo, Rifle, Salida, Avon, Branford, Hamden, Lisbon, Newington, North Windham, Rocky Hill, Shelton, Stratford, Waterbury, New Castle, Wilmington, Auburndale, Boca Raton, Brooksville (E), Chipley, Cooper City, Crawfordville, De Land, Destin, Jacksonville, Jacksonville (Clinton), Jacksonville Beach, Jupiter, Kendall, Kissimmee, Lake Worth, Lakeland, Lehigh Acres, Margate, Miami (Airport), Naples, Naples (N), Okeechobee, Ormond Beach, Pensacola, Perry, Quincy, Sebastian, St Petersburg, Starke, Tampa (West), Venice, Vero Beach, Yulee, Zephyrhills, Atlanta (Castlegate), Atlanta (Gresham), Bainbridge, Bremen, Cedartown, Commerce, Duluth (Nw), Eastman, Fitzgerald, Fort Oglethorpe, Hartwell, La Fayette, Lawrenceville (S), Lithonia, Macon(Ne), Madison, Milledgeville, Savannah, Stone Mountain, Swainsboro, Thomson, Trion, Tucker, Vidalia, Honolulu (C), Kahului, Kailua Kona, Mililani, Pearl City, Waipahu, Cedar Rapids, Creston, Oskaloosa, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Blackfoot, Boise, Mountain Home, Ponderay, Addison, Bedford Park, Benton, Bridgeview, Carbondale, Charleston, Chicago (W), Counry Club Hills, Darien, Decatur (S), Elgin, Glen Ellyn, Matteson, Morton, Niles, Princeton, Rolling Meadows, Vandalia, Villa Park, Wheeling, Aurora, Boonville, Brownsburg, Goshen, Hammond, Indianapolis (N), Jasper, Lawrence, Logansport, Merrillville, Monticello, Portland, Scottsburg, Tell City, Arkansas City, Bonner Springs, Emporia, Leavenworth, Liberal, Newton, Overland Park, Parsons, Roeland Park, Topeka, Bowling Green, Bowling Green (Nw), Lawrenceburg, Lexington (Se), Louisville, Morehead, Nicholasville, Oak Grove, Paducah, Russellville, Amite, Boutte, Galliano, Harvey, Jena, La Place, New Orleans, Walker, West Monroe, Bellingham, Brockton, Danvers, Framingham, Lunenburg, Methuen, North Dartmouth, North Reading, Springfield, Swansea, Ware, Westfield, Weymouth, Abingdon, Baltimore/P. Covington, Bowie, Columbia, Fruitland, Germantown, Glen Burnie (North), Hanover, Laurel, Nottingham, Oakland, Towson, Waldorf, Brewer, Brunswick, Oxford, Palmyra, Presque Isle, Scarborough, Windham, Cheboygan, Comstock Park, Escanaba, Hastings, Sandusky, Sterling Heights, Tawas City, Traverse City, Troy, Warren, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Detroit Lakes, Maple Grove, Pine City, Thief River Falls, Branson West, Camdenton, Carthage, Cassville, Chesterfield, Chillicothe, De Soto, Desloge, Dexter, Eureka, Excelsior Springs, Fenton, Independence, Kennett, Kirksville, Kirkwood, Malden, Maplewood, Marshfield, Maryville, Moberly, Neosho, Nevada, Osage Beach, Owensville, Ozark, Richmond, Saint Robert, Springfield, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. Joseph (S), Warsaw, Biloxi, Clarksdale, Hernando, Mccomb, Natchez, Pearl, Philadelphia, Pontotoc, Ridgeland, Waveland, Kalispell, Belmont, Burlington, Charlotte, Charlotte, Elkin, Fuquay-Varina, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Kitty Hawk, Lincolnton, Mayodan, Murphy, New Bern, Roxboro, Siler City, Spruce Pine, Washington, Fargo, Omaha (W), York, Bedford, Concord, Derry, Epping, Manchester, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Seabrook, Tilton, Brick, Burlington, Cedar Knolls, Cinnaminson, Clinton, East Windsor, Hamilton, Ledgewood, Lumberton, Manville, Marlton, Mays Landing, Millville, Newton, Old Bridge, Phillipsburg, Piscataway, West Berlin, Albuquerque (N), Artesia, Portales, Henderson, Las Vegas, Las Vegas (Northeast), Pahrump, Albion, Central Square, Clarence, Elmira, Latham, Massapequa (Li), Middle Island (Li), Mohegan Lake, Rochester, Rochester, Springville, Town Of Greenport, Westbury (Li), Akron (S), Austintown, Bainbridge Township, Bowling Green, Centerville (Southeast), Chardon, Chillicothe, Circleville, Coshocton, Eaton, Elyria, Fairlawn, Hillsboro, Kenton, Macedonia, Marietta, Medina, Middlefield, Millersburg, Newark, North Olmsted, Norwalk, Oxford, Poland (Boardman), Springdale, St Clairsville, Stow, Strongsville, Wapakoneta, Warren, Washington Court House, Ardmore, Atoka, Duncan, El Reno, Enid, Grove, Mustang, Oklahoma City (C), Pryor, Purcell, Sapulpa, Stillwater, Tulsa, Yukon, Eugene, Lagrande, Lebanon, Mcminnville, Medford, Portland, Roseburg, Salem (S), Bristol, Clearfield, Coal Township, Delmont, East Norristown, Edinboro, Erie (C), Erie (South), Erie (West), Harborcreek, Honesdale, Huntingdon, Kennett Square, Milford, Palmyra, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Philadelphia (Ne), Shippensburg, Warminster, Fajardo, Guayama, Isabela, Mayaguez, Ponce, Santa Isabel, Cranston, Newport, North Kingstown, Warwick, Woonsocket, Columbia (E), Conway, James Island, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston, Walterboro, Huron, Ashland City, Bristol, Camden, Clarksville, (N), Collierville, Jacksboro (Lafollette), Jefferson City, Kingsport, Lafayette, Martin, Memphis, Oneida, Ripley, Rockwood, Sevierville, Soddy-Daisy, Tullahoma, Union City, Winchester, Aransas Pass, Austin, Balch Springs, Bastrop, Beaumont, Bellmead, Brenham, Burleson, Canyon, Center, Cleveland, College Station, Conroe, Corsicana, Crockett, Denison, Desoto, Dumas, Edinburg, Fort Worth (N), Ft. Stockton, Gatesville, Grapevine (Southlake), Harlingen, Hereford, Hillsboro, Hondo, Houston, Houston (C), Jacksonville, Kingsville, Levelland, Lindale, Mckinney, Midland, Palestine, Palmhurst, Pampa, Port Isabel, Port Lavaca, Portland, Rockport, Rockwall, San Angelo, San Antonio (Sw), San Benito, Seguin, Silsbee, Taylor, Waxahachie, Wharton, Alexandria, Alexandria (East), Alta Vista, Ashland, Bedford, Colonial Heights, Pounding Mill, Suffolk, Tuckahoe, Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach (Se), Woodbridge, Williston, Aberdeen, Federal Way, Longview, Port Angeles, Wenatchee, Madison, Milwaukee, Milwaukee (N), Milwaukee (S), Monroe, Neenah, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Prairie Du Chien, Sturgeon Bay, Superior, Tomah, West Bend, Whitewater, Buckhannon, Grafton, Macarthur, Martinsburg, Oak Hill, Princeton, Rock Springs.
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