Everex shuts US operations
PC maker Everex has ceased business operations in North America, and is now in the process of liquidating its assets, according to a Tuesday report. The company's US website simply states "Everex US now closed" and doesn't provide an immediate reason for the closure. Japanese and Taiwanese domains appear to be fully operational, however. Company officials haven't commented on the shutdown to, which came with no advance warning to Laptop and others that noticed the change.
Everex 10 Inch Cloudbook
Everex is designing a larger version of its Cloudbook portable to compete directly with the Eee PC 1000, says the company's assembly partner FIC. The 10.2-inch system will be relatively high end with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor as well as a 1.3-megapixel webcam and the comparatively rare addition of a 3G modem; WiMAX will be an option for users of Sprint's Xohm service or other providers of the 4G-grade service.
VIA this morning set out its version of the future for micro notebooks with the OpenBook. The 8.9-inch portable is the sequel to last year's NanoBook and earns its name through its uniquely open-source chassis. Unlike most stock designs, the blueprints for the outer panels are put under a liberal Share Alike version of the Creative Commons license: this lets third-party PC makers freely remake the outside of the notebook without the trouble of negotiating for a license. The shift will give many companies a unique PC of their own that gets to market for less money and more quickly than rivals, VIA hopes.
CloudBook Max with WiMAX
Everex today unveiled the CloudBook Max, an update to its ultraportable that adds, among other things, WiMAX compatibility for Sprint's XOHMwireless network. The new CloudBook Max features a 8.9-inch screen, displaying at a resolution of 1024 by 600, and is powered by a VIA C7-M ULV processor at 1.6GHz. A VIA VX800 IGP chipset provides video playback and acceleration. Everex estimates it will release the CloudBook Max in a year.
ASUS Eee PC to Get Touch
ASUS' Eee PC sequel will have a touchscreen implemented after all, according to new claims by screen producers in the company's home area of Taiwan. Regardless of assertions by ASUS head Jerry Shen that the new Eee PC would go without a touch-sensitive display, the PC builder is said to have ordered low-cost, resistive touchscreens that will be used with the micro-notebook when it launches in April. The technology is considered less elegant than capacitive touchscreens (such as that for the iPhone) but will add just $10 US to the cost of building one of the ASUS systems.
PC Shipments to Top 300m
Computer shipments will still crest above 300 million in 2008 despite an economic slump triggered by the American housing market, according to a new study by IDC. The growth in notebooks is predicted to drive roughly 12.8 percent growth over the course of the year to reach roughly 302 million; of those, just over 45 percent (136.3 million) will account for portables, the research group says. Most of this comes from users either switching to a notebook or buying a computer for the first time because of the form factor and reduced prices, both of which render them more useful to newcomers than desktops.
HP 2133 May Use Via CPU
HP's Compaq 2133 ultra-mobile PC may use non-Intel hardware to achieve an exceptionally low price, says an off-hand remark in an article comparing the devices. Although previous leaks have pointed to Intel's Silverthorne forming the backbone of the 8.9-inch miniature notebook, the report claims that at least one version will use a Via processor and sell for $499, putting the computer into the same price .league as the ASUS Eee PC and Everex CloudBook. This is most likely to involve Via's notebook-oriented C7-M processor and should be helped by the use of Linux instead of Windows as the stock operating system.
CloudBook good, not great
Everex' newly shipping CloudBook Mini features several niceties that make it unique from the Asus Eee PC, but other drawbacks prevent it from fully taking the micro PC's crown. Laptop Magazine writes that Mac OS-like gOS simplifies the device's functions, but ultimately slows the miniature laptop in terms of boot and application startup time. Initially, reviewer Mark Spoonauer said that the trackpad is small and cumbersome to use, but warmed to it in the end.
Everex is planning to release a home-oriented, touchscreen version of its CloudBook low-cost notebook that may be helped by Apple's upcoming iPhone as a reference point, Everex marketing director Paul Kim says in a new interview with LAPTOP. While a version of the system known as the DevBook is already due for hobbyists this spring, a version for home users is currently projected to arrive in the summer. To help develop applications for the new interface to the Linux-based gOS software at the heart of the computer, Everex is not ruling out using the iPhone's software developer kit (SDK) as an assist, Kim suggests,
Everex CloudBook Delay
After missing its original launch date, Everex today let hopeful buyers of its CloudBook micro-notebook know that it would delay the launch of the system from January 25th to February 15th, more than two weeks later than expected. The company has not explained the delay but has not changed the specifications for the miniature portable, which is based around a 7-inch screen, a 1.2GHz Via C7-M processor, and the gOS Linux variant that supplies quick links to web services as well as free productivity apps such as OpenOffice.
Everex this morning helped draw CES to a close by introducing the CloudBook, its first ultra-small notebook. The unveiling confirms an early leak and reveals that the system is a direct challenger to ASUS' Eee PC. It shares a similar 7-inch, 800x480 screen that defines its small size and reduces its weight: the entire system with battery weighs just two pounds, the company says. It also uses Linux rather than Windows; like Everex's desktop gPC, the CloudBook uses the company's custom gOS that provides quick access to tools such as OpenOffice or RhythmBox for work and music but also websites like Facebook and YouTube.
Gartner: Eee rivals coming
ASUS' fledgling Eee PC is doing extremely well, the company reports. It expects to sell over 400,000 systems by January, and at a tradeshow in Taipei last week, it sold out all 5,000 units it brought for the occasion. Targeted sales for 2008 could be in excess of 3.8 million. This very success could, however, become a problem for ASUS, notes the research firm Gartner. It has already attracted competition, such as from the Chinese company Hasee, which is building a stripped-down 13.3-inch laptop.