Main Features / Overview
The Everex Cloudbook CE1200V is a low-cost Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) offering by Everex aimed at a slightly more feature-rich segment of the ULPC (ultra low-cost PC) market. The UMPC classification is a distinction which speaks more to its design and functional form-factor. In fact, the CE1200V can be used in 3 different modes, (1) as a traditional laptop, (2) as a one-handed operation [where device rest on forearm with fingers gripping through the gap at the screen hinge] and (3) as a 2-handed net-pad operation utilizing the stamp-size touch pad and mouse keys on either sides of the device above the keyboard.
The 2-pound mobile computer is powered by a 1.2GHz Via C7-M processor running gOS, an open source based Linux OS with an UI bearing uncanny resemblance to Apple OS X. It is also preloaded with software and web-applications such as Mozilla Firefox, Skype, OpenOffice.org 2.3, GIMP, YouTube, Facebook and Google Apps.
Notably, the Everex differs from other ULPC in that it carries a very usable 30GB hard disk drive as its primary storage as well as an integrated VGA web cam. Like other entry-level ULPCs, the Everex has an under-sized 7 display and compact keypads. The Cloudbook sports both a 10/100 ethernet and 802.11b/g connectivity. Rounding out the package, the Everex has an integrated 4-in-1 media reader, DVI output and 2 USB ports for expandability.
Budget mobile PC consumers as well as users with specialized mobile computing needs.
Mid Q1 2008
Pricing and Availability
Everex Cloudbook is selling at Walmart and on various online retailers at the time of writing (June 2008) for $349. This represents a $50 drop in retail pricing since its introduction earlier this year. The only major option available for the ULPC is extra RAM (which is upgradeable to 1GB via a SO-DIMM replacement of the existing 512MB unit).
For the purposes of this teardown analysis we have assumed that the production volume of the Everex Cloudbook is 60K units for the lifetime of the product.
As a reminder, volume production assumptions are meant primarily to be used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially), and not necessarily as a market accurate estimate for a specific model. Our estimations are based on iSuppli market research and we derive rational estimates based on overall market shares of the manufacturer in question, as well as the number of products in a given portfolio and the relative popularity of certain lines of products.
Market Sector / Performance
Per an upcoming iSuppli topical report on this value computing sector, the entire worldwide ULPC market projected for 2008 will be about 8.5M units. Everex is a minor player within the PC market and it is expected that the Cloudbook will claim a very negligible percentage of that overall ULPC market.
What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis
The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing and test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.
No performance testing was performed on the Everex Cloudbook CE1200V.
First International Computers (FIC) Inc. is the parent company of the Everex brand of low-cost UMPCs. As an ODM for PCs, laptops, and other portable devices, FIC has design and manufacturing capabilities within Taiwan and China. Due to their relative small size and scope, FIC manufactures in significant smaller batches. It is assumed that the cumulative lifetime production volume of the Cloudbook to be only 60,000 units.
Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions
As with all computer systems, this system has a number of various sub-assemblies built in various countries - see the 'Overview' section on the online presentation for a list of countries of origin for the major sub-assemblies such as display, hard drive, etc. It is assumed, when not otherwise labeled, that all other unlabeled components and systems were produced by suppliers in areas of the lowest possible regional cost: China. Final assembly here is confirmed as China - and for the Accessory PCBs, we have simplified, (out of spreadsheet necessity and as this is an amalgam of small PCBs) our calculations to assume that all were made in China.
Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as chargers), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity
ULPCs are designed with low-cost manufacturing, first and foremost, in mind. The Everex Cloudbook attempts to balance the conflicting demands of low cost and rich feature-set by sourcing low-tier and often obsolete components such as the Via processor, 1.8 inch hard drive from Seagate and a compact 7" TFT VGA display from Toppoly. Furthermore, the UMPC form factor imposes the need for a compact main motherboard with relatively few provisions for expandability such as the single SO-DIMM slot for memory.
In terms of device complexity, the Everex Cloudbook CE1200V is less complex than other, full sized laptops at a total of 1444 components (not including box contents, external components, systems and accessories). However, in terms of mechanical components, the Everex Cloudbook component count of 150 is nearly half of those found in full sized laptops. One important note: modular assemblies such as display and purchased items such as the WLAN modules are counted as a single unit in this analysis - refer to BOM for details on which items are fully broken down and itemized to the sub-component level. In most cases where we assume the OEM or their ODM are building the unit 'in-house' we will break down to the lowest level discrete component.
Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design
Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.
The Everex Cloudbook CE1200V analyzed in this teardown features a Via C7-M ULV processor with an integrated Northbridge / Southbridge solution also by Via (VX700). Architecturally, the Cloudbook PC design, especially on the I/O's and mass storage are not particularly exceptional from other more traditional laptop computers. The obvious design difference for ULPCs is the bottom grade components, limited memory capacity and miniaturization of form factor characteristic of low cost PCs. Notably, the UMPC features a single SO-DIMM receptacle and the use of a 1.8" ATA 30GB hard disk drive.
Since ULPCs are a new to the value PC category, there are few competitive devices available for any type of comparison and commentary.
Beyond the motherboard, the CE1200V features a LED backlit 7" AU Toppoly Optroelectronics LCD panel (TD070WGEC3), a 0.3MP integrated webcam, an USB-based WLAN module (Realtek), and 2200mAH Li-Ion battery pack.
Here is a summary of major components:
Via Technologies - C7-M ULV 772 - CPU - 1.2GHz, 128KB L2 Cache, 400MHz FSB, 90nm, Ultra Low Voltage
Via Technologies - VX700 - Video Graphics, HD Audio, DDR2 and SATAII Support
I/O & Interface
Ethernet Transceiver - Realtek - RTL8100CL
Keyboard Controller - Fujitsu - PMX-00F
Codec - Audio, 8-Channel, 24-Bit High Definition - Via Technologies - VT1708A
Memory Card Reader Controller - SD, MMC, Memory Stick/Pro - Realtek - RTS5158
Clock Generator - Timing Control Hub, Programmable, for Next Gen P4 Processor - IDT - ICS952906BGLF
DDR2 SO-DIMM non-ECC - 512MB, 533MHz - A Data - AD2667512MMS
Camera Backend Controller, CMOS - Ali - M5607
Touch Pad PCB
Touch Pad Controller - unknown manufacturer
7' Diagonal, 800 x 480 Pixels (WVGA), 155mm x 87mm Viewable Area - Toppoly Optoelectronics - TD070WGEC3
USB WLAN Card
WLAN Network Interface Controller - Realtek Technologies - RTL8187L