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$500 PC for seniors runs Ubuntu 10.10

Mar 17, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Kiwi PC announced a $500 Linux-based PC for senior citizens, complete with a 19-inch monitor and a color-coded keyboard. The Kiwi PC uses a modified version of Ubuntu 10.10 tailored with simplified menus and large icons and text, and it's powered by a dual-core Intel Atom D510, 2GB of DDR3 memory, and a 250GB hard disk drive.

Miami, Florida-based startup Kiwi PC appears to be entirely focused on this single product, which features a keyboard and software designed for elderly users. Like many recent Atom-based "net-tops," the Kiwi PC runs on a dual-core Intel Atom D510 clocked at 1.66GHz. It lacks the Nvidia Ion graphics processing unit that has been added to some mini PCs, relying instead on the D510's built-in Intel GMA3150 graphics.


Kiwi PC

The Kiwi PC ships with 2GB of DDR3 memory, as well as a DVDRW drive and a 250GB hard disk drive (HDD), says KiwiPC. Additional features cited by the company include a 19-inch monitor, an Ethernet port (type unknown), HD audio, and a color-coded keyboard, which presumably highlights customized key functions.

Kiwi PC back panel

(Click to enlarge)

Kiwi PC did not detail the device's ports, but a photo supplied by the company shows dual PS/2 ports, a VGA port, four USB ports, and audio I/O. The front of the unit, meanwhile, offers LED-lit icons that appear to show which ports are connected.


Kiwi PC front panel

The Kiwi PC website may be a bit light on the specs, but it offers plenty of details about its elderly-focused software stack based on Ubuntu 10.10 ("Maverick Meerkat"). The Kiwi PC makes use of the new Unity UI stack, which was offered with the Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE) on Meerkat, but will be the default desktop environment, replacing the newly optional GNOME, on the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04.

Ubuntu Unity-based desktop environment on KiwiPC

The Ubuntu-based Kiwi PC stack offers a "simple and intuitive interface" with a customizable "Me Menu" that provides access to a user's most frequently visited websites and programs. All the icons and text are said to be larger than normal for easier visibility by senior citizens.

The UI stack also features a Chrome browser and a simplified version of the Evolution email program, and lets users integrate Yahoo, Gmail, MSN, Jabber, AOL, and QQ, accounts enabling unified chat and email, says the company.

Pre-installed apps range include games, science, history, and geography apps, says the company. Ubuntu's Software Center, meanwhile, is said to provide access to hundreds of free programs to download. The Kiwi PC ships with a free year of support and a 24-hour customer service hotline, says the company.

Availability

The Kiwi PC appears to be available now for $500. More information may be found at the Kiwi PC site.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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