In this article we are going to walk you through our purchase, un-boxing, installation and setup of the latest in budget computers that have hit the market. Specifically, we are going to examine the gPC, a Linux based $199 computer you can order from Wal-Mart — though it is currently out of stock at the time of writing. In this article you will get our first hand impression of the purchase process, the available support, and the hardware/software of the machine. While we don't want to spoil the ending, it is our overall opinion that the Everex computer is definitely worth your time and money.
Ordering, Delivery and Unboxing
Currently, the only way you can obtain one of these sub $200 computers is to buy it from Wal-Mart. If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have a Wal-Mart near by, you can take advantage of their "Site to Store" program and avoid the shipping costs. However, as we write this, Wal-Mart is out of stock on these systems — and based upon our impressions, they might be for some time to come.
Picking up the new computer was as simple as locating the "Site to Store" counter at the local Wal-Mart, giving the assistant our driver's license for identity, and pushing the cart with our Everex labeled box out of the store to our car. Once we got back to the shop, we opened up the medium sized box and were greeted with the packaging of the computer.
The first thing we noticed was a nice little note telling us that "gPC currently works with broadband connection via Ethernet cable only. gPC does not support dial up modems." Then in smaller print:
Our first thought on this was — typical Linux (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Opening gPC box
Along with this note was a large sheet of paper with several pictures of the gPC/its parts and a guide to the hardware that comes with the machine. Of interest, a few of the smaller guide images seemed to be from another computer all together. Both the audio and modem shots were not how my gPC looked (Figure 2). On the flip side of this information brochure you can get an idea of what the operating system should look like once the machine is up and running. At first glance, it appeared as if this rather inexpensive PC might be the perfect computer for the typical family who just wants an internet PC for surfing and entertainment needs.
Figure 2: Front of included setup sheet
Figure 3: Back of included setup sheet
Figure 4: Front of gPC with accessories
Figure 5: Back of gPC