Lean, green, open source machine

A French company is selling a desktop computer to those people for whom size really does matter.

A French company is selling a desktop computer to those people for whom size really does matter.

The Linutop is a pocket size desktop PC, the size of a paperback novel. It does not have an internal hard disk drive, but instead its open source operating system resides on a USB key.

The tiny machine uses an AMD Geode LX700 (x86) processor, and comes with 256MB of RAM. There are four USB 2.0 ports, which allows for external storage to be plugged in, and there is a 10/100baseT Ethernet connection, a VGA output, as well as audio in and out connections.

The aluminium case measures just 9.3 x 2.7 x 15 cm (or 3.66 x 1.06 x 5.9 inches in old money) and weights a mere 280 grams (9.9 oz). And it only consumes just 5 watts of power, making it "one of the most energy efficient on the market."

Linutop makes no bones about pushing the machine's green credentials, citing its low power consumption, coupled with reduced maintenance costs and added robustness due to its lack of hard drive and absence of moving parts. The company also states, somewhat tenuously admittedly, that the small size of the Linutop makes the computer easier to recycle and its light weight reduces the environmental cost of shipping.

The Linutop comes with the open source operating system xubuntu, which is customized for the Linutop. However it is compatible with other Linux distributions including Mandriva key, Slackware, DSL (damn small Linux), and Puppy Linux.

Web browsing is provided by a Firefox browser, and instant messaging is provided by Gaim, now known as Pidgin, which supports a lot of protocols including AIM, Google Talk, MSN, and Yahoo etc.

An open source word processor is also provided (Abiword), as is a simple calendar and tasks manager, a PDF viewer, and various other multimedia applications.

The company website shows how the Linutop can be unpacked and made ready for web surfing in under three minutes.

The Linutop is touted as a mainstream PC that can be used in shops, bars, kiosks and schools, or anywhere where desktop space is at a premium. Its tiny size also means that it is suitable to be embedded in cars, airplanes or boats, or in a digital signage offering.

The machine comes bundled with the USB key containing the operating system and applications, and costs £186 (US$372), excluding VAT and shipping.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Jowitt

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?