$275, subscription-based Everex laptop coming in '08

Everex's $199, Linux-based gPC TC2502 has been met with unlikely popularity ever since its appearance in Wal-Mart stores earlier this month. Shortly after its launch, we learned that a notebook version based on the same concept was in the works, and that it was expected to appear on shelves some time in the first half of 2008.

Today, VIA Arena reports that the system is on track to show in that time frame, and that it will be available at a price of just $275—considerably cheaper than even Asustek's cheapest Eee PC. Despite its rock-bottom price tag, the Everex notebook will feature luxuries like a 15.4" 1440 x 900 display, a 60GB hard drive, and a CD burner/DVD-ROM. Keeping the machine ticking will be a 1.5GHz VIA C7-M ULV processor, VIA CX700 integrated graphics, and 512MB of RAM.

Everex's $275 notebook. Source: Zonbu.

Two things will differentiate Everex's notebook further from its desktop cousin: instead of the gPC's Ubuntu Linux-based gOS, the notebook will come pre-loaded Zonbu's Gentoo-based Zonbu Linux. The system's low price will also be the artifact of a monthly plan similar to a cell phone subscription. VIA Arena quotes a $14.95 starting monthly fee, for which users will receive operating system and application upgrades, technical support (via the Internet, chat, and phone), data storage with continuous backups, and "file sharing." Users will have the option of buying the system without the subscription, but that'll kick its price up to $479.

According to VIA Arena, Zonbu is putting the finishing touches on device drivers for the notebook, and they expect a final version to be ready early next year. However, a beta notebook is already available from Zonbu's website. Zonbu also sells a $99 desktop system that's the size of a hardcover novel and includes a 1.2GHz VIA C7 ULV processor, CX700 graphics, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of flash storage.

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