I had high hopes for the Everex Cloudbook. Really, I did. When the company announced it would be releasing an Eee PC competitor, there were few other products in its class on the market. And while the initial Cloudbook didn’t have a solid state drive, or a conventional touchpad, it did have a 30Gb hard drive, WiFi, and a screen that was nearly identical to that on the Eee PC. What it didn’t have was a user-friendly operating system.
Everex decided to load gOS
on its Cloudbook laptops. The operating system is built on the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, but it’s built with an eye toward using web applications like Google Docs and Gmail. It’s not quite as user-friendly as Ubuntu, due largely to the fact that Canonical has a huge team of developers and volunteers working on Ubuntu while gOS does not. But here’s where Everex really messed up: The company didn’t take any steps at all to make sure that Ubuntu ran properly on the Cloudbook. Some of the windows on the setup screen were too large to display on the Cloudbook’s small monitor, which means that the first time most people turned the computer on they wouldn’t know how to get past the splash screen. (The solution was to hold the alt key down while clicking and dragging the setup windows around so you can find the OK box, but that’s not obvious if you’re not familiar with Linux).
Everex reportedly addressed that problem in later builds. But first impressions matter, and for the most part the tech blogosphere is all gaga over the Eee PC, HP Mini- Note, MSI Wind, and other upcoming computers and has kind of forgotten about the Cloudbook. Everex does plan to release the Cloudbook Max sometime next year. It will featur a faster processor, more RAM, a larger hard drive, and a higher resolution display. But honestly, but 2009, computers in this class will be a dime a dozen.
And then out of a the blue, this morning I read that Everex is selling a computer called the Cloudbook SC1200T in Taiwan, which appears to be pretty much identical to the Cloudbook sold in the US, except it has 1GB of RAM instead of 512MB and it comes with Windows XP instead of gOS.
No word on the pricing, or whether you’ll ever be able to get this unit in the US or Europe. But there’s one up for auction right now for 12,000 yuan, or the equivalent of about $400 US.