Everex Ships Cloudbook Ultraportable

After a slight delay, Everex has started shipping its Cloudbook ultraportable PC and will follow up with future models that support touch-screen applications, the company announced Friday.

Priced at US$399, the Cloudbook is designed to compete with inexpensive ultraportable computers like Asustek's Eee PC. The Cloudbook runs a version of the Linux OS, includes a 7-inch screen and weighs 0.22 kilograms (0.49 pounds).

The company has already shipped 20,000 of the notebooks to retailers including Wal-Mart, Newegg and TigerDirect, said Paul Kim, director of marketing at Everex. Wal-Mart has start selling the product on its Web site, he said.

ZaReason, which distributes Everex products, said on its Web site Friday that the Cloudbook had sold out. Everex had shipped a few hundred Cloudbooks to ZaReason, Kim said. As of Friday, the PC was not yet available on TigerDirect or Newegg.

The Cloudbook was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show last month in Las Vegas. It was originally due to ship in January, but last-minute tweaks to the GNOME interface software caused the delay, Kim said.

The computer is powered by a 1.2GHz Via Technologies C7-M processor and runs on the gOS, a flavor of Linux based on Ubuntu. It includes a 30GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM, wired and wireless networking, a DVI (Digital Video Interface) port, a 4-in-1 media card reader and a lithium-ion battery.

The company is also developing a Cloudbook with a touch-screen interface that it plans to make available worldwide by the end of the year, priced at $499, Kim said. It hopes to enlist the open-source community to help it create touch-screen applications for that product. It said it plans to put about 2,000 of the touch-screen Cloudscapes on sale to developers at the end of March for this purpose.

Everex may also incorporate solid-state drives in future Cloudbooks as the price of flash storage drops, he said.

The Cloudbook will compete with Asustek's low-cost Eee PC, which has sold around 350,000 units to date since its launch late last year. Acer and MSI are expected to launch low-cost PCs later this year.