We have long wished for a ‘Cloud Computer’, an inexpensive device that would allow us easily to connect to the web and email. Together with Google Apps (and some installed software for occasions where connectivity or other issues come up) one might not need anything else to be productive and connected.
The computer should be small and light, flawlessly wireless, and connect easily to a big screen and peripherals when available. This machine, hopefully, would not be too expensive since it would need relatively modest hardware and (probably free) software.
Surveying the field of currently available machines, one finds a split: you can have inexpensive, lightweight machines like the Asus Eee PC (bottom photo) or the Everex Cloudbook (top photo) for around $400, or Apple’s Macbook Air (above left) for $1800.
The big difference in the 2 classes of machine is the screen size: the $400 machines both have a miserly 7-inch screen, while the MacBook Air has a much more useful 13.3-inch screen. $1400 is a tough premium for the big screen (and a few other features), IMHO, and is probably the reason that the Everex and Asus have been flying off the shelf, while the Air has had a more lukewarm reception, if its current press is any indication. Interestingly, all 3 machines run UNIX clones: Linux on both the EeePC and Cloudbook, and the BSD-based Mac OS X on the Macbook Air…