Zonbu - "Environmentally responsible" monthly fee hardware model

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by mkrishnan, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    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.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    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:
     
  3. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    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.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    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.
     
  5. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    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).
     

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