Having recently had the pleasure of interviewing Zonbu’s CEO, Mr. Gregoire Gentil, and also having had the pleasure of testing the laptop, I have to say I’m impressed by both the business model and the product. But my being impressed is just one opinion; what are others saying about Zonbu? Rather than my writing my own review, I present a random sampling of quotes from email and other reviews along with my comments.
Mr. Zonbu says: "The company has consistently delivered new releases, fixing bugs, enhancing the system and updating the key software packages. None of the updates have broken anything on my system and Zonbu has listened to the public feedback and made changes and adjustments to continue to improve and refine the overall experience for the end-user. I was skeptical about their ability to keep up the pace and handle things smoothly, but so far they have exceeded my high expectations…If you don’t want the hassle, let Zonbu take care of it for you."
Yep, it’s completely hassle-free and mostly automatic for even the most novice user.
John Biggs of crunchgear.com says: "The Zonbu notebook costs $279 with a 2-year $14.95/month subscription to Zonbu’s update and storage service. This, clearly, is Zonbu’s real MO. They offer unlimited support and upgrades along with 50GB of Amazon S3-based storage. If you opt out of all of the support, you pay $479 for a fairly basic laptop.
"Here’s the rub, kids. With the service pack you’re paying $637.80 for a Linux laptop."
The key words here are "unlimited support and upgrades along with 50GB of Amazon S3-based storage." Most people don’t have a clue how to back up and secure their PCs, much less do upgrades. Geek Squad will give you "Basic Security" for $229. With Zonbu, you plug it in, it works, it’s secure and you never have to worry about it. As long as you’re under the subscription plan, if the unit breaks, they ship you a brand-new one. That says "affordable" to me.
Arsgeek.com says: "On turning it on, you’ll see the typical Zonbu startup screen where various icons light up to show you what phase of the boot process it’s in. After about a minute or so I was on the desktop. Zonbu, no matter what else they may have going for them certainly have great wallpapers. The desktop is crisp and clean, with a few icons in the upper left and a few items in the taskbar on the bottom.
"I was immediately greeted with a network connection wizard which walked me through getting online using my home wireless connection. It was painless and in a minute I was happily online. I logged in with my email and password and I was ready to play!"
I had the same experience on first boot. Even a novice could get on line quickly, in my opinion.
Security? I can compromise your PC in just a few minutes at some of the sites I know of. I have been unable to compromise either the Zonbu desktop unit or the laptop.
The Zonbu laptop isn’t necessarily for Geeks to use, but it will certainly lower the amount of free tech support you have to give to your friends, neighbors, mom and girlfriend who all own Windows PCs.