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Linux-based Zonbox offers up subscription based computing

Darren Murph

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. [Warning: Read link requires signup]

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