Linux Laptops for $498 at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Corporation breaks out the price savings again with a $498 Linux laptop running on Linspire. The 1.0 GHz system powered by the VIA C3 processor comes with 128MB RAM, expandable up to 512MB, a 14.1-inch LCD display, 30GB hard drive, 4 USB 2.0 ports and a complete suite of applications from Open Office to the Mozilla Internet Suite.

Open Office will allow the standard word docs, power point presentation and excel files to be opened, created and exchanged with other users. The Mozilla Internet Suite includes an internet email client, PDF, image and multimedia file browser and an instant messaging program for use with AOL, MSN and Yahoo! systems.

If you need something for simply checking email, surfing the web and working with office documents, then it would be a great buy. With the budget hardware used in the system (the via 1.0GHz chip is dirt cheap) and no excessive software licensing fees, it will definately lack in the multimedia department, and you can forget about games all together.

See press release below.



Wal-Mart Breaks Price Barrier with $498 Linux Laptop Running Linspire

New low-cost computer features complete operating system and Microsoft File-compatible office suite

Walmart.com has released the $498 Balance laptop, which runs the Linux-based operating system Linspire. The laptop comes fully equipped with the operating system, Internet suite, and Microsoft-file compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections.

Wal-Mart and Linspire worked together to offer a laptop that would give customers the best user experience at the lowest price possible. The Balance notebook is the lowest-priced laptop currently on the market to include a complete operating system and office suite — comparable machines cost hundreds more even without an office suite or software included.

Hardware specifications:
— 1.0 GHz processor
— 128 MB RAM, expandable up to 512 MB with included SODIMM slot
— 14.1″ LCD screen

Included software:

— Linspire 4.5 operating system
— OpenOffice.org – full-featured Microsoft file-compatible office suite with word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs
— Internet suite including email with spam blockers, Internet browser, and built-in firewall
— More than 1,900 free software programs for download, with guaranteed software updates for 3 months

The $498 Balance notebook with Linspire is an extremely affordable Linux-based computer perfect for use as a second or third home machine. Users can connect to the Internet and create, edit and share documents within minutes of bringing the laptop home without paying extra charges for software or licensing fees. Wal-Mart and Linspire partnered to bring a full-featured laptop to consumers at the lowest price point possible.

The Balance laptop is compatible with other office and Internet suites like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, and can be used with more than 1,000 printers and hardware components. With the included office suite OpenOffice.org (http://www.linspire.com/openoffice), users can open, edit and exchange files such as word processing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) or presentations (.ppt) in a familiar, comfortable environment. The laptop’s included Mozilla Internet suite (http://www.linspire.com/mozilla) comes with a fast-functioning browser and email program that can display Web-based forms, PDF documents, images, and multimedia files. The suite’s included instant messenger program works with AOL, MSN and Yahoo! logins.

Besides being affordable, the laptop is also easy-to-use, even for those new to Linux-based operating systems. The computer’s Linspire operating system has a comfortable, familiar interface and software that is comparable to Windows. “Hot keys” on the keyboard give users one-touch access to email and the Internet. The laptop also comes installed with multimedia tutorials that Linspire worked with Wal-Mart to create for users who purchase the laptop, and a Quick Start guide to make set-up easy. View the interactive tutorials at http://www.linspire.com/walmartstart and a sample Quick Start guide at http://www.linspire.com/qsguide.

Because it is based on Linux, the Linspire operating system is immune to security threats targeting Microsoft Windows software including viruses, Trojan horses and spyware. The machine’s built-in firewall gives an extra level of protection from outside threats, and the included Internet suite’s standard spam and pop-up blockers make surfing and emailing hassle-free.

The $498 price also includes access to software programs via the CNR Warehouse (http://www.linspire.com/warehouse), an Internet-based software download center that allows users to install any of more than 1,900 software programs with one click. The CNR Service is available free to those who purchase the laptop from walmart.com, with guaranteed software updates available for three months after purchase. Once programs are downloaded, they are completely owned by the user and can be shared on multiple Linspire-based PCs with no activation codes required.


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