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Linux computing appliance impresses Forbes reviewer

Dec 6, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

A recent Forbes review gushed over Zonbu's Linux-based Zonbox network PC. Joining the chorus of other positive reviews, in “Hassle-Free PC” Daniel Lyons writes that he was “blown away” by the performance, stability and ease of use of the eco-friendly, power-thrifty mini-PC.

(Click for larger view of Zonbu Zonbox)

Zonbu's Zonbook 1
by Everex

(Click for details)

Lyons reviewed the $100 “managed” version of the 1.2GHz Via-C7-based Zonbox, which comes with a two-year, $13/month service commitment, but provides 50GB of online storage at the Amazon S3 service. Zonbu also offers a 1.5GHz Via-C7M-based Zonbook, which costs about $250 with a two-year commitment, and has its own 60GB hard drive, as well as 50GB of online storage. Both systems are also available “unlocked,” for those wishing to use Zonbu's community-supported software, or another Linux distribution.

“Surprise” might be the best word to describe Lyons' response to the two-pound, 4GB-Flash-based machine, and much of it had to do with his impressions of Linux itself. The reviewer appreciated the system's small footprint, low power usage, lack of viruses, and solid software pre-load. He was particularly impressed with the Zonbox's simplicity of use and lack of configuration fuss. In the age of broadband, he discovered, saving your files online is hardly a tradeoff.

The Zonbox can be “skinned” with various decals

“Zonbu is riding two of tech's hottest trends: open-source software and 'cloud computing,'” writes Lyons. Later, after coming up with only one criticism (his printer wasn't supported), the reviewer concludes, “Zonbu can't edit movies or manage a big photo library, but as a second PC for the kids, the kitchen, or the weekend house where you just need to browse the Web, it's a killer product.”

The full review is available here.

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