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What is a Zonbox exactly?

It’s a solid state Linux computer, which means it has no moving parts – not even a fan. This makes for a very quiet computing experience. What comes in a Zonbox? Here are some stats:

  • Intel-compatible ultra-low power CPU
  • 512 MB RAM + 4GB flash-based local storage
  • Graphics up to 1400 x 1050 (16 million colors). Hardware graphics and MPEG2 acceleration
  • PC-compatible ports for keyboard and mouse
  • 6 USB ports to plug-and-play all standard USB accessories
  • Broadband ready: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet built-in
  • Pricing: $99.00 for the Zonbox itself and plans as follows: 25GB storage $12.95/month. 50GB storage $14.95/month. 100GB storate $19.95/month.

Zonbox is also very environmentally friendly. In their words: With Zonbu, green doesn’t have to make you blue! With its efficient ultra low power design, Zonbu delivers the power of a traditional desktop computer but uses just a fraction of the energy. That could mean as much as $10 a month in energy savings for you — and might just help save the planet, too. Not only does Zonbu’s low power design reduce CO2 emissions, but by buying carbon offsets, we make the operation of your Zonbu device completely carbon neutral.

While subscription based music services have their fair share of proponents and critics, an interesting new Linux-based computer is looking to become the poster child of month-to-month computing. Zonbu's Zonbox is a SFF PC with a Linux OS and a minuscule pricetag that requires users to simply fork over $12.95 per month in order to keep their operating system and "$2,000 worth of applications" fully patched and up to date. The wee system features an elusive Intel-compatible ultra-low power CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash-based storage, a fairly uninspiring graphics set, VGA out, audio in / out, WiFi, a CF reader, a pair of PS/2 ports, six additional USB ports for peripherals, and built-in Ethernet to boot. The company claims that the unit could save you "up to $10 per month" in energy bills with its uber-lean power requirements, and the 20 included open source applications should take care of most common tasks. The Zonbox itself will run users $99 (or potentially more) up front, and while we understand that the monthly fee includes unlimited internet support, remote data access, and network storage space, there's no word on what happens to your machine (or your down payment) should you default on those monthly increments.