Zonbu - "Environmentally responsible" monthly fee hardware model

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
The Zonbu PC is basically a low-power consumption, loosely Mac Mini format computer (VIA based) with solid state storage (4GB), no optical drive, Gentoo with a fairly good pre-installed set of OSS Linux apps, and bundled online storage (25GB), no wifi or bluetooth. It consumes relatively little electricity (15W, albeit not including a display, putting it at the low end of notebook consumption when not actively charging a battery), although I haven't seen a statement on the net additional energy consumption associated with the backend fileservers and so on.

Promises to be a relatively plug and play implementation of Gentoo,

It's sold in an initial fee ($99) plus monthly charge ($12.95) model, and can also be purchased (without the net-based services such as the network storage) for $250.

Reviewed in the NYT today.

Their Zonbu.com site.

Interesting concept. I think it's a little irresponsible to advertise so heavily based on environmental benefits, though, without education / discussion of the total environmental impact of the offloaded activity of their site, let alone the total power consumption of a Zonbu setup with a display (which probably won't be much lower than that of an iMac, for instance).

Still, not bad.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
Once again people toss around the idea of a thin client for the masses. (*cough* 10 years ago */cough*) You just know those towers will go out of style once you can grab uber processor time remotely, right? :rolleyes:
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Once again people toss around the idea of a thin client for the masses. (*cough* 10 years ago */cough*) You just know those towers will go out of style once you can grab uber processor time remotely, right? :rolleyes:
LOL yeah... but I don't think this could really be described as a thin client. It's only thin in the domain of storage space -- it's fully locally functional, from what I understand, without the network file storage.

As far as the actual thin-clients-to-the-masses deal, I don't personally write it off, but I don't see it as feasible in the near term future. At least not for another 7-10 years.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
LOL yeah... but I don't think this could really be described as a thin client. It's only thin in the domain of storage space -- it's fully locally functional, from what I understand, without the network file storage.

As far as the actual thin-clients-to-the-masses deal, I don't personally write it off, but I don't see it as feasible in the near term future. At least not for another 7-10 years.
I'm starting to see it's a little more then a thin client. An iMac draws just under 100w under full load. I can see this saving a little electricity but not much more then a fully functioning laptop. With those hovering around $499 for an entry-level machine and the portability makes it very attractive compared to this.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I'm starting to see it's a little more then a thin client. An iMac draws just under 100w under full load. I can see this saving a little electricity but not much more then a fully functioning laptop. With those hovering around $499 for an entry-level machine and the portability makes it very attractive compared to this.
Yeah, I agree... the thing about the power consumption is including the screen, though. I would guesstimate:

Relatively power-efficient laptop (iBook, any of the ultraportables, etc) = about 20 watts operating w/o charging (since the iBook can run and charge on a 45W PS)

Relatively power-hungry laptop = 35-40W

iMac = 85-100W

This thing = 10-15W, plus a 19-20" LCD. The Dell 20"ers I believe consume on the order of 75-80W, exclusive of power they supply to their USB ports (correct if wrong). So, really, the power consumption of this is a wash compared to an iMac, even if it is connected to an LCD screen (which is the optimal condition).