Zonbu/Zonbox wants to be your $99 computer

26 05 2007

Zonbu has put together the Zonbox. A $99 desktop computer with a very small form factor. In addition to the price appeal the Zonbox sports a linux OS and “comes with every program most people ever need”. The other major point of comparison with the traditional desktop computer is the Zonbox does not include, or need, a hard drive. The system runs off 4GB flash based local storage. This translates into no moving parts and what may be a pretty rugged box as a result. Finally the system also touts an efficient low power design which means safer for the environment and lighter on your wallet.

I really like what they are doing here. I especially appreciate the opportunity at another viable choice in the market. The low end PC, the over priced Apple and now the entry level Linux box, nice. In addition to the $99 cost of the hardware the system relies on a subscription service which gives you access to additional storage online in a few different plans ranging from 25GB to 100GB, or $12.99 – $19.95 per month for a 2 year plan. If you do the math the cost after the couple of years is about what you would pay for a middle of the road PC today.While the cost is nice I don’t see the cost as being the driver for buying such a box. A few drivers include support/replacement, software upgrades and no viruses (currently). The Zonbox also supports several peripherals.

Replacement information from the Zonbu site:

Free replacement Zonbox
In the unlikely event that your Zonbox fails within three years of purchase, let us know and we’ll send you a replacement Zonbox that very day (*). Just plug in your replacement Zonbox and immediately access your valuable data stored on the Zonbu service, with all of your preferences and settings intact. Once you’re back up and running, send us your old Zonbox. What could be easier?

That is really all I’ve got. I threw this post together pretty quick and will likely follow it up later with more thoughts around expansion and limitations. Pretty exciting though. Oh, check their demo here.

What do you think?

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