Several months ago I wrote an article about the Zonbu computer that was coming to town, but at the time there was limited information on exactly what the Zonbu was going to be and what it could do. But since than, there have been many reviews about the tiny computer system running Linux and I thought I would check back on their site.

For the most part the reviews on the Zonbu site have been glowing. The major point of the Zonbu is its energy efficiency using a mere 15w of power. But one must remember this is for the Zonbu unit alone which doesn’t come with a monitor, nor keyboard or mouse. One must take into consideration the electrical requirements for the monitor as well and also the cost of these accessories.

The Zonbu computer features the following specifications:

  • Intel-compatible ultra-low power CPU
  • 512 MB RAM + 4GB flash-based local storage
  • Graphics up to 1400 x 1050 (16 million colors). Hardware graphics and MPEG2 acceleration
  • PC-compatible ports for keyboard and mouse
  • 6 USB ports to plug-and-play all standard USB accessories
  • Broadband ready: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet built-in

On the Zonbu site their least expensive plan including the Zonbu unit costs $370.95 for 25G of storage on their site. The way the system functions is that the consumer pays a $12.95 per month fee to store their files as a backup. Larger storage is available for a higher fee. If one were to consider the cost of a good monitor, keyboard and mouse, it could add another $175 to the cost of the unit. Bringing the total cost of $370 for the unit & subscription plus another $175 for accessories for a final price of approximately $545.95. Interesting.

So I surfed on over to Best Buy to see what kind of a laptop system I could buy, if any, in about the same price range. I found a Gateway laptop with the following specifications for $429.99 :

  • Intel® Celeron® M processor 520 with 533MHz frontside bus, 1MB L2 cache and 1.6GHz processor speed
  • 512MB PC2-5300 DDR2 memory for multitasking power, expandable to 2GB
  • DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive

With a 4-in-1 memory card reader and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, this notebook makes it easy for you to access your favorite multimedia. The built-in high-speed wireless LAN keeps you connected to the Internet at Wi-Fi hotspots.

This was on 7-17-07 at 2:00pm CDT.

Best Buy link here.

So there you have it. The Zonbu I believe will be a niche computer for those who want the simplicity of having a system that auto stores your stuff on the Zonbu site. For others like myself, I will be sticking with my lappy. 🙂

Zonbu site here.

[tags]zonbu, review, gateway, best buy, [/tags]