Although their PR waxes eloquently about the virtues of using a Mac, Quo creates computers that can run any operating system, be it Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, or any combination of the three. In June of last year, they opened up a store located at 2401 West Main Street, Alhambra, California as a small mom and pop operation in a section of town that is going through revitalization. At the store, they offer classes including one on how to switch from a PC to a Mac. Their site speaks of getting free computers to low-income neighborhoods and offers to train teachers and work with them in order to get computers into more classrooms. They seem like nice people and not as litigious as some other company we know.
One way of getting around any sort of trouble is that, although the systems do come with OS X installed, the end user has to agree to the EULA before the software is installed. In fact, people from Quo have been known to go to Apple stores, buy shrink-wrapped copies of OS X ,and then install it at the request of their customers. In effect, they are not screaming about selling Mac clones. They make a custom Hackintosh and assist their customers with getting them working. This scheme of making the customer responsible for the licensing agreement may help keep Quo out of legal difficulties. Then again, it might not.
Last year, when Quo's president Rashantha De Silva opened up his small retail store, he started selling three models of Quo Computers. They don't sell over the Internet, which is virtually unheard of these days and may go a long way toward lowering their national profile.
Their three models of Quo Computers include:
The US$1045 LifeQ, which runs a Quad Core 2.66 GHz Intel processor and contains a 500 GB hard drive, two FireWire 400 1394a ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, 4 GB of memory (which is expandable to 16 GB), fast Ethernet, six audio ports, a 24X DVD burner, an ATI 3870 graphics card with two DVI ports, and a lot of room for expansion.
The $1245 proQ ups the speed to 3.5 GHz, adds a 640 GB drive, an NVIDIA 9800 gt 512 (which can run two 30" screens), and affords even more expansion capability.
Currently the top of the line is the maxQ at $1496. It runs at 3.8 GHz and ups the ante by adding two FireWire 800 1394b ports and an Nvidia GTS 250 - one GB graphics card that also supports two 30" monitors with no adapter.
On September 15th, the maxQ will be upgraded to an Intel Core i7 six core 3.6 GHz processor, a one TB hard drive along with a 240GB SSD, and an NVIDIA 285 GTX graphics card along with everything else. It will be renamed the maxQ2 and, as of now, doesn't appear on the Quo Computer site. The maxQ2 will be liquid cooled by Asetek, according to OSNews.
Quo Computer does their own upgrades and can configure a computer any way you would like. De Silva believes that he will eventually get sued, but his position is that many are building bad Hackintoshes, and that's a no win situation.
I sincerely hope that Apple, Inc. doesn't decide to get heavy with this seemingly lovely little business that seems to be doing the right things for a fairly small (but increasing) number of Californians. I wish them well.