“Balance” Finances with Notebook

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

We’d be exaggerating if we said the new Balance laptop from Walmart was cheaper than a bare foot, mule riding charcoal burner from the middle ages……But it is an excellent deal. In partnership with Linspire, Walmart have announced the pre Christmas release of a basic Linux laptop for under 500 dollars…..$498 to be exact!

The Balance notebook is perhaps the cheapest new laptop in the U.S in 2005 to include a complete operating system and a fully functioning office suite.

“What is Linspire?” I here you cry!

Well Linspire is an operating system based on Linux. Linspire claim that their OS offers significant security advantages against trojan horses and viruses which are targetted against PC users running Microsoft Windows.

The specifications of the Balance include a 1GHz processor, 128MB RAM, a 30GB hard drive, a CD ROM drive and a 14.1 inch LCD (liquid crystal display.) These specs will hardly set the notebook world alight but are adequate for a no frills machine.

The bundled software package includes a free firewall, the Linspire v4.5 operating system, OpenOffice.org office suite, an email program and instant messenger software compatible with Yahoo, MSN and AOL.

The notebook also comes with a free 3 month subscription to the Lindow’s CNR service, which offers laptop owners one click access and installation to over 1,900 software titles.

Some will applaud Walmart’s attempt to provide discount laptops for family’s and individuals who may not be able to afford expensive models with Centrino processors. Others may see the release of this notebook as nothing more than a cynical marketing ploy. An attempt to swell Walmart’s bloated corporate coffers by saturating the mobile PC market with a 2nd rate product.

In short college students and the casual user looking for a cheap machine for surfing the web, and checking email will find the Balance computer ideal. Folks looking to play the latest 3D games should look elsewhere.

The Balance laptop is available for purchase at Walmart’s official web site.

Related article:

The Asus Eee Notebook

By Lucy Layman