Last week, Wal-Mart began selling a $199 Linux-based PC from a little-known firm called Everex. The machine is dubbed the gPC TC2502, and it includes a 1.5GHz VIA C7-D processor, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, an 80GB hard drive, a customized version of Ubuntu Linux 7.10, and no monitor. The deal may seem dubious at first glance, but the folks at Wired have actually sat down and reviewed the machine, and they mostly have good things to say.
According to Wired, the gPC TC2502's dinky hardware is enough to provide a responsive experience in Everex's Ubuntu-based gOS. Wired calls the user interface "unexpectedly snappy" and says the system manages to keep up with GIMP, OpenOffice, a media player, and a multi-tab Firefox session running simultaneously. There's nothing to report from a stability standpoint, either, and Wired points out that users who purchase the system won't have to worry about viruses or spyware.
Of course, the machine isn't perfect: the gPC reportedly doesn't work with dial-up Internet (a not-so-unimportant omission for a bargain-bin PC) and its screen fonts "don't look too great." Nonetheless, Wired believes these are "minor annoyances" and that the gPC "looks like a fantastic deal" for users who only use their PC for basic tasks.