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Everex plans 10in Eee PC-killer

New Cloudbook expected later this year

Cloudbook maker Everex plans to release a larger mini-laptop in November featuring a 10.2in screen, according to the company's Taiwan partner.

Everex will also launch new 8.9in mini-laptops by the end of August, along with a model with WiMax wireless internet capability in September, as it battles to take on the likes of the Asus Eee PC in the fast-growing market.

Asus Eee PC 901 review

Everex is an affiliate of First International Computer (FIC), the Taiwanese contract manufacturer of its mini-laptops. Everex's Cloudbook, for example, is made by FIC.

FIC officials said they're on track to ensure Everex starts shipping a new mini-laptop with a 10.2in LCD screen and 3G wireless capabilities on board and an option for WiMax wireless. The idea for the devices is that since they're made for mobile internet surfing, they should have the maximum capability to utilise all possible wireless connections.

Since it has a 3G option - HSDPA and HSUPA - the laptop can be bundled with a 3G contract from a service provider. Mini-laptops with the WiMax option could be sold by companies building WiMax networks. The laptop comes with Wi-Fi connectivity already built in, 802.11b/g.

The new mini-laptop can run either a Windows XP or Linux OS and use either a 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessor or a similar processor from Via Technologies, according to FIC representatives. The device can hold up to 2GB of DRAM, comes with a 1.3-megapixel webcam and either a 4-cell or 6-cell battery. In addition, it hosts two USB ports, an express card slot and 4-in-1 card reader.

The 10.2in WSVGA LCD screens on the model use LED (light-emitting diodes) backlights for 1024x600 resolution.

It weighs about 1.2-kilograms and is 263-millimeters long by 185mm by 32mm.

Pricing information was not available.

A few new mini-laptops with 8.9in screens will be available in Taiwan and Japan by the end of August and the US in September from Everex, the FIC representative said. There's no word on European available as yet. Indeed the company's first generation Cloudbook has yet to make it to Europe.

Cloudbook review

The CE2A1, with a 1.2GHz Via C7-M microprocessor, 1GB of DRAM, and a hard disk drive with 60GB of storage will be sold in Taiwan for around NT$14,000 (£230). A similar model, the CW0A1, with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessor and a Windows XP OS, will cost around NT$15,000.

Both laptops can run either Microsoft Windows XP or a Linux OS. Their LCD screens are similar to the 10.2in model, with 1024x600 resolution. They come with either 4-cell or 6-cell lithium-ion batteries. The 6-cell batteries can run for seven to eight hours before needing a recharge.

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