Wal-Mart introduces sub $500 laptop -- with Linux!


Wal Mart is taking pre-orders for a sub-$500 notebook that comes loaded with Linspire and OpenOffice.org. The 14" laptop has a 1GHz VIA C3 processor, 128MB of memory, 30GB hard drive, CDROM, and a promised battery life of 1.5 hours. Built by a company called Balance, Wal Mart’s budget notebook is $200 cheaper than the least expensive Dell laptop. Of course, the cheapest Dell comes with Windows XP, 256MB of RAM, a DVD/CDRW drive, a free printer, and a 2.2GHz Celeron that’s sure to outperform a 1GHz C3. Thanks to C|Net for the tip.


Does Linux run well with only 128 megs of ram?

Walmart doesn’t have deals and coupons like dell does. You can get the dell cheaper, and it’s clearly better hardware. Instead of their dogshit “lindows” distro, install Ubuntu or Mandrake.

This isn’t about walmart endorsing open-source software or customers’ freedom of choice. It’s about them fucking with microsoft by avoiding the “ms tax”. Because they’re walmart, and their feeling is that they bully you, not the other way around.

Linux runs fine with 128MB of ram-- with a commandline interface. If you want to run X with gnome or kde, you need 256MB bare minimum, ideally 512MB.

This linspires me to go out and buy one for my cat. She couldn’t possibly need more than 128MB of RAM to read all those catblogs.


Is Linspire the new name for Lindows, then, or what?

To be fair, you’re allowed to install Ubuntu or Mandrake on this just as much as on a Dell. And for Pete’s sake, (and I can’t believe I’m actually about to defend Walmart) what in the hell is wrong with selling computers without Windows? How are they bullying anybody by just not paying MS off?

My favorite /. comment on it so far, in response to a question wondering whether you could put Windows on this:

“Yes, it’ll work, but you’ll have a hell of a time finding drivers for the Linmodem.”

Hey Denny can we get a photoshop of you holding this thing up to your ear?


The specs are gawd awful and for about 50 bucks more you can get a lappy that’s much much better. If it was $200-300 then I’d be impressed.

1.5 hours of battery life? Why even bother.



I wonder if this topic made Midnight’s head explode? The enemy of his enemy is… still the enemy?

Someone like my wife primarily uses her laptop as a portable PC – it’s almost always plugged in somewhere.

Does anything other than a basic spreadsheet and work processer program run at all with 128 megs of ram?

Where do you buy software for linux anyway if you want to try it on your computer?

That was my first thought as well. It did seem a little short.

However, I have to think that they will be huge sellers for Walmart. Parents getting them for their kids would be the largest market? They can bypass Dell alltogether.

If you run Gnome or KDE, that’s true. If you run XFCE, Blackbox, FVWM
or any of the other windowmanagers with a minimum of flashy crap,
128MB is more than enough. I’ve had enough old systems with 64-128MB
run perfectly well. OpenOffice is a hog, so AbiWord or similar is
recommended for word-processing ;)