Zonbu introduces its first notebook, at $279

The maker of the Zonbu Mini PC comes out with a notebook version of its green, subscription-based PC concept.

Updated December 3 to include more information about pricing.

The Silicon Valley PC company that made a splash earlier this year with its tiny, energy-efficient desktop has set its sights on the mobility market.

Zonbu announced Wednesday it will sell a Zonbu Notebook and service beginning in early 2008. Like the Zonbu Mini that came out this past summer, the notebook will run on the Zonbu OS, and is rated highly by the Green Electronics Council for its energy efficiency. The key concept behind Zonbu is its service. "People shouldn't have to be their own IT administrators," says Gregoire Gentil, Zonbu's chief executive.

Zonbu notebook
The $279 Zonbu notebook PC Zonbu

The price tag on the notebook--which is manufactured by Everex, another Silicon Valley PC maker--is $279. While that seems awfully low, there is also a $15-per-month subscription fee, which is supposed to save owners the headache of maintaining their own PC. The service includes 20 software applications; free, automatic updates; online storage; remote file access and file sharing; automated backup; online tech support; and hardware replacement in case of damage.

Update: It's worth pointing out however, that purchasing just the notebook costs $479. Buying a 1-year service plan, at $15 per month, will lower the price to $379 for the laptop. But it also means you'll pay a year's worth of fees at $180, which brings the notebook's actual cost to $559. Paying $15 for two years will get the base price to $279, so in that case the total will be $639.

Unlike the Zonbu Mini desktop, there's not much that's "mini" about the notebook. It has a 15.4-inch screen, 512MB of memory, an optical drive, three USB 2.0 ports, and weighs just over 5 pounds. There is only a 60GB hard drive, but online storage is included in the service.

Though it's not officially available until early next year, adventurous types can order one now from Zonbu's Web site with a beta version of the software. The company says when the final version is available, the software will automatically update.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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