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Walmart Offers Sub-$500 laptop With Linspire

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the how-much-is-that-in-simolians dept.

Linux Business 589

LehiNephi writes "Cnet reports that Walmart is offering a sub-$500 notebook running Linspire. The specs are less-than impressive: a 1GHz VIA C3 processor, 128 MB RAM, 30GB hard drive, and a plain vanilla CD-ROM. Seems overpriced for what you get, but cheap nonetheless. And yes, it does run Linux."

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Gotta love Walmart... (0, Redundant)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141749)

despite its warts..

Its really bringing linux to the messes

Re:Gotta love Walmart... (3, Insightful)

Akai (11434) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141795)

WalMart is both the symbol and actualization of what is wrong with the USA. Remeber how much you love WalMart when that's the only job available to you, and the wages from your WalMart job are so low you can only afford to shop at WalMart.

Warts? They are more like sucking chest wounds.

Anyone who shops at WalMart is party to the destruction of the american middle class, the 40 hour work week, and employer paid health care.

Re:Gotta love Walmart... (2, Insightful)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141836)

As South Park so eloquently pointed out... :)

Re:Gotta love Walmart... (2, Insightful)

yamcha666 (519244) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141839)

Seems someone has been watching a bit too much South Park.

*Referring to South Park Episode # 8-09*

Re:Gotta love Walmart... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141861)

Here Here!!! I would love to be party of killing employer paid health care... and government health care... if we did, maybe there would be wal-marts selling insurance and health care.

Some people have no friggin concept of the economy and capitalism whatsoever. As if the great founders of America implanted a economic system based around freedoms and capitalism... but they had NO IDEA there would be someplace like Wal-Mart!!! I mean... we just can't compete!!!

Complete ignorance. People like you put us on the fast-track to protectionism and an isolated economy just so we can give the high-school dropout and union job with full benefits and garuanteed pay raises every year. Nevermind the complete loss of any motivation to outperform your peers and better yourself.

Re:Gotta love Walmart... (0, Flamebait)

benna (614220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141923)

I'm sure you would feel the same way if you actually did have to work at a wallmart. Get over yourself.

Re:Gotta love Walmart... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141935)

You, sir, are a fucking idiot.

If I didn't have to live with the consequences, I'd pray that you get the society you so badly want.

Seems cheap for what you get ... (4, Funny)

airrage (514164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141750)

... you must be unfamiliar with Wal-Mart.

Runs Linux (5, Funny)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141751)

It DOES run linux?
Well, I think this is the reason there are no posts. ^_^

Re:Runs Linux (2)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141884)

It DOES run linux?

With those specs it certainly won't run windows with any enthusiasm.

Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141930)

A beowulf clus... I can't bring myself to do it.

Hmmm.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141752)

The "Rectractable Cable Lock for Laptops" seems a little unnessecary for this thing...

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141789)

People around here steal laptops, not bothering with the chargers, then sell them for 20 bucks a pop. You could sell this at 20 bucks just as easily as a 2000 dollar Dell.

uk $2 = £1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141968)

OK its not going to set any speed records, but at the momment the dollar is something like 2-1. Maths was never my strong point, but a new laptop which is reasonable for £250!! (+ shipping of course, oh yeah and + a power adapter). Ok, so not £250 then, but still rediculously cheap, you couldn't get a PII-450 for that over here.

Equates Linux with Cheap?? (5, Interesting)

The UberDork (689979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141757)

So, is this kinda thing gonna shoot us in the foot, and make Linux mean cheap in the public eye? And I mean cheap, NOT inexpensive.

What everyone wants to know.. (5, Funny)

x.Draino.x (693782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141759)

But can it run Windows?

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (2, Insightful)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141778)

The parent is probably going to be modded down as a troll or looked down on, but it really is a valid question... as most people will probably want to install windows so they can use the programs familiar to them.

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141941)

as most people will probably want to install windows so they can use the programs familiar to them

true. But where are they gonna get it now suprnova is shut down?

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (4, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141965)

"Most people"? Naaw. My girlfriend's father is "most people". He doesn't know or care what the OS is or the applications' names are as long as he has email, web access and bare-bones word processing -- and he's out-of-date enough that Windows XP and Office XP will be every bit as foreign as Linspire and OpenOffice.

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (2, Insightful)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141797)

But can it run Windows?

Well, with 128MB of RAM according to the specs, I wouldn't try iy. At least not a recent version of windows.

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (2, Informative)

nuggetman (242645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141954)

...you're kidding me right? Windows XP and 2000 can both run fine on 128 megs

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (1)

babtras (629678) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141808)

Yes it does. I have a VIA C3 1GHz mini-itx board. It ran Windows 2000 Advanced Server for awhile. It really hated Windows Media Services though.

Re:What everyone wants to know.. (2, Informative)

spdt (828671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141863)

I have Windows XP SP1 on an old Dell Latitude CP (Pentium MMX 133, 128 MB RAM, really heavy), and it runs alright. It hasn't driven me completely crazy yet, but then again, it's mostly just for wardriving.

Not bad (2, Insightful)

maxchaote (796339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141761)

Not a bad value for those of us who do low-intensity work like back-end web development and don't have huge libraries of MP3s.

Re:Not bad (1)

rbochan (827946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141912)

Not a bad value for those of us who do low-intensity work like back-end web development and don't have huge libraries of MP3s.

...or the need for network connectivity :o/

Re:Not bad (2, Insightful)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141956)

Hmmm, don't know about you, but as a web developer, sometimes I'm called upon to do some photoshop work - hardly waht I'd call low-intensity...

Plain AND Vanilla! (3, Funny)

JDRipper (610930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141763)

"and a plain vanilla CD-ROM" Wow! Both plain AND vanilla! Walmart to the T!

Re:Plain AND Vanilla! (1)

jm92956n (758515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141945)

Specifications are equally ambiguous:

14.1" LCD panel: I would assume it's a TFT, as every laptop I've seen manufactured in the past few years has had one, but at this price point, that's questionable. Might it use dual-scan technology instead?

4 cell battery: Four cells is low as it is, especially if it's not a lithium-ion battery.

I'd like to believe they cut corners only on the memory and on the processor, but at such a low price I'm wondering what else they had to leave out (not to mention the dubious MS tax, of course).

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141764)

go me!

Wow, $500... but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141768)

$500 is great and all, but does it run... uh, nevermind.

Windows (1)

jerichohol (821580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141769)

Can It run on Windows and Internet Explorer. I need them to access my banks website

Re:Windows (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141815)

My bank supports Mozilla and Firefox.

www.berkshirebank.com

Maybe it's time you switched banks?

Notebooks for $500.00? (1)

temprand (705835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141775)

I realize that Wal-Mart is trying to reach the lower end of the market, but what about a good copy of Slackware and an Ebay bargain? Something tells me that a.) you will get a better installation (you will do it yourself and b.) there will be a little more horsepower for your buck with that purchase from Ebay. Just my $0.02, as that's what I did.

Re:Notebooks for $500.00? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141835)

Do you get top-flight support from Linspire plus an excellent distro like Linspire from your non-Linspire based eBay special? I don't think so.

With this you get premier Linspire Linux and excellect support if you need it.

Re:Notebooks for $500.00? (1)

aoe2bug (625814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141876)

since he mentioned it, here:

http://search.ebay.com/laptop [ebay.com]

Re:Notebooks for $500.00? (1)

jm92956n (758515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141902)

there will be a little more horsepower for your buck with that purchase from Ebay.

This notebook, however, has a full year warranty: hardly impressive, but relative to eBay's usual "no returns unless DOA," it's rather nice. Not to mention it probably hasn't been kicked around, dropped repeatedly, or left in a hot trunk for a few days. Notebooks are inherently mistreated and abused. I don't think Average Jane wants a used notebook.

And as nice of a distro as Slack is, it's still more difficult for the typical person migrating from an MS OS to learn than Linspire. There's definitely a nice market for this machine.

Not that I'll ever purchase anything from evil WalMart, though.

Re:Notebooks for $500.00? (1)

mikejz84 (771717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141903)

I remember Dell running a special for a $500 Laptop, not sure of the specs--but atleast it came with Windows. On the other hand I have a Laptop that I got at a garage sale--Its a 233Mhz, 4 Gig HD, and Runs Windows 2000 like a car running on fumes. That said I paid $20 so I am more than happy with it. I run it as a experimental web server and it runs like a champ!.

Re:Notebooks for $500.00? (3, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141947)

If you're buying a computer from Wal-Mart odds are you do not know how to install windows. You probably don't even know how to turn the thing on. You probabably do know how to skin a deer, and you probably own a t-shirt that says "Who Farted?"

Misleading Picture (1)

ian rogers (760349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141779)

In this picture [walmart.com] of the product, it appears to have a DVD drive.

Imagine a beowulf..... (1)

ARRRLovin (807926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141780)

...yada yada yada!

Thinkpad Killer! (1)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141783)

Now that IBM will no longer be making the wonderful Thinkpads, Wal-Mart has sprung this piece of quality upon the market.

Re:Thinkpad Killer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141907)

Since when has IBM decided to stop making Thinkpads? www.thinkpad.com is up and well

Re:Thinkpad Killer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141944)

within the past couple of weeks. They sold the operation to a Chinese company. They can use the Thinkpad name for the next five years IIRC.

But.... (1)

dschnur (61074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141787)

It's from Wal-Mart...

Always...

Gotta love the cult of Wal-mart...

Ok, it run's linux, one good quality.

It's the cheapest new laptop you can buy...

Probably no quality.

Better to save and get a good computer that will last and be able to choose your own distro.

-D

I wonder if they include a disclamer... (5, Insightful)

wcitechnologies (836709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141788)

I wonder if they include a disclamer for Linspire... a big red "DOES NOT INCLUDE MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP" on the box somewhere.

I'd almost wager that 80% of the people who buy these (or who buy a computer from WalMart in general) are n00bs, and will try returning the devices because 'there's no microsoft word or internet explorer on it'.

Re:I wonder if they include a disclamer... (5, Insightful)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141821)

I'd almost wager that 80% of the people who buy these (or who buy a computer from WalMart in general) are n00bs, and will try returning the devices because 'there's no microsoft word or internet explorer on it'.

Actually, put a 'W' icon linking to Openoffice or AmiWord and a 'E' 'Internet' icon pointing to Firefox and I bet they wouldn't know the difference.

Re:I wonder if they include a disclamer... (1)

procrastitron (841667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141860)

I have to wonder if a "n00b" would care about internet explorer. Someone that really has no experience with computers would not have any commitment to IE, so they should not ever miss it. Especially when most people seem to consider Firefox as being far superior to it.

Re:I wonder if they include a disclamer... (2, Insightful)

bm17 (834529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141932)

If I were I teenager and my parents got me this computer, I would be plenty pissed off. If not immediately, then as soon as I tried to buy gaming software for it.

OO.org (1)

x3ro (628101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141962)

Actually they have done their best to make the inclusion of OO.org sound like it has MSOffice:

Complete Microsoft Office file-compatible office software suite lets you easily create and share written files (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentations (.ppt). Even create PDFs and export presentations to Macromedia Flash

I sort of agree with an earlier poster that this kind of thing does make FL/OSS look like a bit of a ripoff .. I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Windows.

Microsoft and Walmart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141791)

Two companies who have no friends.

I wonder why?

Re:Microsoft and Walmart. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141887)

It is because neither cares if they have friends. They have customers. To a company, customers are infinitely more important than friends.

Excellent way to reach out (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141800)

It's not so much the people who buy this from Wal-Mart who we need to reach out to, but rather, the people who steal it from them. People who buy from Wal-Mart are generally poor and live in areas with a lot of black people, so when the black people steal these laptops, they'll be introduced to the wonders of Linux! This is what I call bridging the technology gap. Good to see some much deserved benevolence from corporate America, for once!

Is it just me? (1)

Spackler (223562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141803)


I really seem to have a thing against having linux on a machine, but then I need to go download each part that should be on the distribution CDs.

Sorry Linspire, but I am UNinspired by your install model.


Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141869)

force must you use to get desired opportunity.
Seperate each download part and assemble build each together.

Linux on machine is buttered bread in the kitchen oven no mit on my hand it burned.

I have no idea what your post said, but I hope this answers your question.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141905)

  • Just edit /etc/apt/source.list accordingly and you instantly have a Debian box.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141951)

thank you Andy Rooney

Call me when... (4, Insightful)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141805)

...I can pick up a dozen laptops for under $500 along with my gallon of pickles [fastcompany.com] for $2.97.

Seriously, I feel bad for whoever is putting these together for WalMart. They just got a hugenormous client (WalMart) who will be both the best and worst thing that ever happened to them.

Where I work we split our time between trying to provide excellent service to our non-WalMart customers while keeping WalMart happy because they account for such a huge chunk of our revenue it's not even funny. And that's pretty normal for any company WalMart does business with.

Re:Call me when... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141857)

The company I work for, Linspire, is putting these together for Walmart. We are essentially taking over the desktop linux market. Don't feel sorry for us. We know what we are doing and the profits have been huge.

Re:Call me when... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141957)

> The company I work for, Linspire, is putting these together for Walmart.
> We are essentially taking over the desktop linux market. Don't feel
> sorry for us. We know what we are doing and the profits have been huge.

In your unbiased opinion, right? :-)

At the moment that's rather like taking over a town with a population of nine.

All the power to you, of course, but if these boxes stink, then they're going to do the Linux desktop market, fledgling as it is, a major amount of damage.

Contrast (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141806)


Seems to be a stark contrast to what WalMart can really do. They buy in such great volumes, you'd think they could negotiate a price/feautre point that would make it more appealing to the masses. Guess they are just testing the (ingorance of) the waters...

low spec? (5, Insightful)

rkww (675767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141807)

This has a faster processor, bigger disk and more RAM than a standard PC from three years ago; what applications have turned up since then that require more than this?

Re:low spec? (2, Informative)

jubei (89485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141870)

A 1Ghz C3 is probably equivalent to a PII-450, which is starting to get a bit old.

That being said, I wouldn't mind one, as long as the ram is upgradable.

Incredible (0, Offtopic)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141814)

So a cheap, but overpriced and underperforming laptop deserve the frontpage because it run Linux? Or maybe its cause its sold at Walmart? I don't get the point... Where are the news for nerds, you know, stuff that matters?

Re:Incredible (2, Insightful)

chrisopherpace (756918) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141969)

1.) It is cheap- under $500. This is rare. 2.) It runs Linux. Yes, believe it or not, this site does lean towards OSS and *NIX.

The picture (2, Informative)

jonfields (643711) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141816)

Did anyone else notice that it says "DVD" on it?

Please don't make me... (1)

dnaboy (569188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141817)

imagine a beowolf cluster of these

It has a DVD drive (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141820)

You can clearly see the "DVD" label on the drive in the picture.

Not too shabby. (3, Insightful)

ssand (702570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141824)

Keep in mind this is a notebook, and not a desktop. One for that price really isn't too bad, and would be excellent for someone doing basic computer usage. The biggest issue I see is that it is not windows. That's no big deal, however it can be for those who are not tech savy. With the draconian return policies of software, I can see unsavy users buying software thinking it will run, and finding out they can't.

Not awesome? (2, Insightful)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141825)

I don't know about the author, but I remember the days when twin pentium 90's and 128 Megs of RAM were considered awesome....

That was about 10 years ago.

Sure, this thing isn't going to be a screaming game machine, but honestly, how much horsepower do you need for text editing, email, and some casual browsing, anyway?

Re:Not awesome? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141888)

Even more to the point, what's the battery life on a VIA C3 going to be like compared to a P4? For anything I do with a laptop, this would actually be far superior to its more power-hungry brethren.

Its specs mention a 1.5 hour battery lifetime. How's that compare to other recent laptops?

Remembering the days... (1)

sleepingsquirrel (587025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141919)

Ah, the days of yore, when a P-90 was respectable. Of course my current laptop is a toshiba tecra with a P-120, 78MB ram, 1.2GB hard drive, and a 6x cdrom. Running slackware. Most things still run fine, you just don't want to run bloatware like Firefox ("links -g" works like a charm).

hmm (2, Interesting)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141827)

Damn Small Linux, blackbox, and bluetooth, and I think I just found my next remote webserver admin tool. I can't justify $2k for a machine, but less than $600 (tax, etc) might make it really feasable.

sales stats? (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141829)

Does anyone know how well these linux pc's at walmart are selling? Anyway to find out? I'd be extremely interested to know what if any actual numbers of grandma's at walmart have been sold a linux pc.

Re:sales stats? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141906)

At last count, we (Linspire), have sold 455,000 Linspire based desktop units. We expect to sell 75,000 of these laptop units by the end of this year!

But what about the midrange? (2, Interesting)

incom (570967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141830)

What I'm looking for is a cheap as possible laptop that has an nvidia video chipset, and no windows tax. I want to atleast be able to play UT2k4 on it.

Better one for 50 more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141831)

Ridiculus as it sounds, for 50 more, you get a better system, except it also has Windows. Something is really wrong there.

Not that bad of a priced (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141834)

If you price out a 1GHz C3 board ($185) and a 14" monitor ($250) you are quickly topping out near $450. Considering that you get a finished system, it's a pretty decent price.

If this thing runs PXE boot it would make a great LTSP terminal after you remove the hard drive.

Re:Not that bad of a priced (2, Informative)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141937)

Where have you been shopping?
Pricewatch is your friend! [pricewatch.com]
Along with GotApex [gotapex.com]
And my cheezy webpage [joeslife.info]

2GHz C3 Board: $78 [acortech.com]
15" Monitor: $92 [cmicomputer.com]
Complete sys - AMD Athlon 3200+ No OS 128MB 20GB CDROM Integrated VGA & Audio KB/MS: $166 [pricewatch.com]

Using a Wal-Mart PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141842)

A bunch of computer geeks pulling up in pick-up trucks wearing stretch pants and shirts with wolves in the snow and carrying a cheap laptop is not going help the geek image.

Thats weird .. (1)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141843)

When I click on the "see larger image" link, I can SWEAR that there is a "DVD" logo next to the CD ROM's eject button. Any one else think so?

No wireless G. (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141847)

I have yet to see a half way low priced linux laptop with a built in wireless adapter when these days all of the lowest budget Windows laptops have them.

I'm just saying.. (0, Troll)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141852)

Michael Robertson is a dork. This isn't a troll, I worked under one of his no-business-model companies for years.

Just saying.

Step 2 (1)

maddh (608481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141855)

K, got the laptop from Walmart, got my 30-case of Bud and NASCAR hat (also from Walmart), now to get that T-3 line through the trailer-park.

Re:Step 2 (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141953)

Nascar fans drink Busch.

For the quality of the taste.

Overpriced? (5, Interesting)

freeweed (309734) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141865)

a 1GHz VIA C3 processor, 128 MB RAM, 30GB hard drive, and a plain vanilla CD-ROM. Seems overpriced for what you get, but cheap nonetheless.

I can't speak for the US market, but up here in Canada the cheapest new laptop runs you about $1,000, which is about $800 USD. Granted, this is with a 2+ ghz cpu, 256 MB RAM, 20-30GB drive and a dvd-rom.

However, to pay anything less than this requires checking out the used laptop market. Here we see such gems as a P3-700, 64-96MB RAM, 8-10GB drive selling for $5-600 all the time. Say about $4-500 USD.

I don't know about you folks, but this looks like a pretty nice deal for those folks who aren't planning on running Doom3 on their laptops. The ram's a bit scanty for any modern OS, but otherwise this is a perfectly good machine to do 99% of what people do with a laptop.

It runs Linspire (5, Interesting)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141868)

The problem with Linspire (Lindows) is that it isn't quite Linux (yes, I know it really is Linux) and it isn't quite Windows. So, end-users might find it difficult. Even a pro seemed to think it was hard to use.

Can a Red Hat Guru Survive on a Lindows Laptop? [linuxjournal.com]

reservations (1)

IcarusMoth (631872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141872)

I have reservations about walmart doing anything. Though it would be nice to see linux hit the open market in mid-west america in a ready packaged, boot and go format,I have a sneaking suspicion that plenty of these systems will end up with pirated versions of XP or other MS tripe on them.

Still one has to wonder what kind of quality is put into this sub $500 laptop. I mean once OS cost drops near $0 it should become clear that the production (and ultimaty retail) costs go to hardware. This is walmart! so one must ask how much of the $500 is profit margin? 10, 15, 20, 50%?

I for one would be very suspicious of the specs and quality of the parts. Because, lets face it, who needs a system with refurbished harddrives and Brand X ram that go up in smoke after 2 months?... hell, maybe they will run Cyrix.

IM

C3 makes for a terrible laptop (3, Informative)

etymxris (121288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141875)

[I posted this elsewhere, but it's relevant here too.]

This is a bad choice. I have a C3 933Mhz processor. It performs roughly equivalent to a 300Mhz PIII. Not only this, but it is extremely hot. The C3 was supposed to be cool, but this is one of the hottest laptops I've used. I haven't objectively measured it with a thermistor yet, but the external temp seems about 55 C to 60 C. If I put the laptop on my bare chest it leaves red marks. It may be because the laptop is so thin, or maybe the HSF construction is shoddy.

The PIII/M is cool, and embarrasses the C3 in terms of performance. This is partly due to C3 being a bad processor, but also largely due to PIII/M being a good processor. In fact, if I was getting an x86 notebook, I wouldn't accept anything except a PIII. I've personally experienced Athlon notebooks, P4 notebooks, and VIA notebooks, and can tell that they are all inferior. I can't speak to Transmeta or Apple branded notebooks.

If this C3 notebook is at all appealing to you, my advice is to get an old PIII off ebay or reburbished from one of many dealers. You'll pay the same price and get a much higher performing, cooler laptop.

Re:C3 makes for a terrible laptop (1)

haberb (793047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141955)

If I put the laptop on my bare chest it leaves red marks. It may be because the laptop is so thin, or maybe the HSF construction is shoddy.
Wouldn't that be a chesttop then? Dude, you're using it wrong! Actually, thanks for the info. I've never bought a laptop before, and i'm in the process of looking for one below $600 for my gf going back to grad school. I've heard the battery life on these Balance are around 90 minutes. What can I expect from a refurbished P3 IBM thinkpad?

What are some good vendors for linux laptops (1)

pjp6259 (142654) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141878)

I've been thinking of replacing the iBook that I got last year with something a bit speedier. I'm not sure I want to pay the premium for a mac, but I love being able to drop into a console. I'd like to get a laptop that runs linux, but I'm not looking forward to paying a MS tax for a laptop with XP installed, just to install linux over it.

What are some good places to get a laptop with linux-preinstalled? (or a dual-boot linux/XP laptop?)

Re:What are some good vendors for linux laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141952)

You can try Walmart. I hear they are selling a Linux based laptop now. It could be just a rumour, but I swear I heard it somewhere on a website. I'll try and find out where and let you know!

VIA processors... great for soho servers (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141894)

Are not exactly good for high-performance computing, but they probably do great for basic computer usage (im not even talking about pseudo-power users who use office/etc)... we're talking browsing and email.

Curiously enough, this might make a great home server... think about it

  • runs linux... check
  • lowpower processor you can keep on all the time... check
  • Monitor and keyboard for when you need console access... check
Agruably a bit expensive, but you can probably plug in your FW or USB2 drive as a cheap NAS... to contrast with the kurobox [slashdot.org] I just got, this thing is probably more flexible and powerful, and at about only $200 more considering the drive. and take the laptop on the road for the occasional flight or two so you don't have to ever be away from your favorite roguelike [nethack.org] :-)

what does "sub-..." mean? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141898)

For those whose 1st langauge is English, what does "sub-" mean in general? If this PC were to be offered at US$495, would it still be called a sub-$500 laptop? Where does it end?

Re:what does "sub-..." mean? (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141972)

It doesn't really have to do with english language, it has to do with marketing. If it were $499.99 it would still be "sub-$500" or "under $500".. people see a big price like $500, then the ad says its below that, even if its just 1 penny below, it sells.

Someone has to say it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11141915)

In Korea only old people buy Sub-$500 laptops with Linspire.

But a little more gets you a much better machine (1)

BlurryEyed (134070) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141917)

This is nice, but here [walmart.com] we see a machine with 256Mb, DVD, intergrated wireless and a real AMD processer. Seems that the argument that Windows makes a machine more expensive doesn't play through. I'd love to see these features on a Linux notebook even for the same price!

Obligatory... (1)

NilObject (522433) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141943)

Imagine a Beowolf cluster of these! You could keep a repair shop the size of Texas in operation for years!

Poor specs? (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141950)

I don't think the sepcifications are too bad at all. Most people don't do very high end stuff on their computers. There are millions of students worldwide that would be satisfied with something that surfs the web, runs word processors and basic graphics programs, does email, and runs some simple games.

I could do all that on my 386 with DOS; so you sure as hell can do all that with a system at these specs.

for $50 more get a better Laptop by the same maker (2, Informative)

soundbyt (515293) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141959)

If you click on the See Similar [walmart.com] link, there is another laptop by the same manufacturer with better hardware that includes XP Home. I bet it will even run Lindo^H^HSpire. Nothing that groundbreaking.

1.1 GHz Mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor

14.1" XGA TFT LCD screen

40 GB hard drive

128 MB RAM

DVD-ROM drive

Integrated 802.11b wireless networking

Nothing against Wal Mart shoppers (1)

Stop Error (823742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11141970)

But they just don't strike me as the Linux crowd.
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