Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January this year, the Everex CloudBook matches the ultra-successful Asus Eee PC's weight, screen and keyboard size, as well as its reliance on a Linux operating system, open-source applications and a £200 price tag. But is it a successful match for the original consumer UMPC?

Featuring a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M processor and 512MB of RAM, the Everex Cloudbook weighs just over 1.25kg and offers a 30GB hard drive that spins at 4,200rpm. Even with an operating system and applications installed, users have almost 25GB of free space to play with.

The Everex Cloudbook's 7in, 800x480 pixel display is bright but does make viewing documents and web pages, which are generally coded to be at least 1024x768, something of a hassle. Connections include an ethernet port, DVI, two USB ports, audio line-out/line-in and a four-in-one media card reader.

There's also 802.11g/b Wi-Fi and the Everex Cloudbook has a 0.3Mp webcam.

The Everex Cloudbook operates on a four-cell Lithium-ion battery that is rated to offer two-and-a-half to three hours of use. Sadly, we found its fan constantly whined like a hair dryer, very annoying.

The Everex Cloudbook uses the same dark black plastic shell as Lenovo ThinkPad laptops. But unlike the ThinkPads, whose splashes of colour feel dated, the CloudBook goes the other way, achieving a snazzy 'black on black' effect.

The pure obsidian case makes the Everex Cloudbook's orange LCD indicator lights even more striking. The display is separated from the CloudBook's base by a 1in gap. This ensures the CloudBook can be held securely with one hand while you type and also allows you to flip the screen a total of 270 degrees. While we found that the CloudBook has greater key depth (the keys push in more), its touch-pad was just a quarter of the size of the one found on the Eee PC, which made it fiddly and difficult-to-use.

NEXT PAGE: the CloudBook's OS, the down sides and our expert verdict > >

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