Linare Corp. has released a branded notebook using its own Linux distribution for just $498.
The notebook uses an AMD processor and a small amount of memory, which the notebook can apparently get away with by using the Linare Linux OS. The notebook follows the companys 2003 release of a desktop for under $200.
Notebooks costing less than $1,000 are relatively rare; NPD Techworld, which tracks retail sales, doesnt have a category for a sub-$500 notebook, according to Stephen Baker, the Reston, Vir.-based firms director of industry analysis. Normally, he said, a vendor will crack the sub-$500 barrier through a rebate or online promotion.
"This is the best-priced laptop available anywhere for this configuration at this price," said Soma Sundaram, chief executive of Linare, in a statement. "And obviously, the only way its possible for us to offer this laptop at this exceptionally affordable price is because of Linux."
Linares notebook includes an AMD Athlon 1800+ processor, a 40-GB hard drive, a 14.1-inch XGA TFT-LCD, 128 Mbytes of RAM, a CD-ROM, Fast Ethernet, and the Linare Linux OS. It also ships with OpenOffice, a full office suite compatible with Microsoft Office documents.
The upgraded $598 notebook includes an AMD 1800+ processor, a 40-GByte hard drive, 256 megabytes of RAM, a 14.1-inch XGA TFT-LCD, a DVD-ROM drive, an undefined Ethernet interface, wireless support, OpenOffice, and the Linare Linux OS.
The notebooks will be sold at retail giant Wal-Mart, the company said.