Internet-enabled phones are slowly taking over emerging markets, but while it’s a great thing that people from developing nations finally have access to the online world (which in many situations is capped), they lack productivity devices. The overall PC market is said to be declining, but billions of consumers out there still haven’t had at least one in their life.
And that’s what Endless Computers seeks to achieve – to bring a good looking low cost computer to a first-time user from a developing country. This start-up is currently holding a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, and it has already managed to surpass its $100,000 goal with more than 26 days still left to go.
The concept behind Endless is to build a cheap computer that could plug into a TV in order to transform into a full-fledged desktop personal computer. This is definitely not a new concept, but along a price that’s cheaper than $200 and a great looking design, Endless believes it will be able to become popular among emerging countries where a big percentage of the population hasn’t bought yet their first PC.
The operating system is based on Red Hat Fedora Linux, and Endless OS already comes with over 150 applications bundled on the computer, such as the open-source Chromium browser, Wikipedia, Khan Academy and others. However, these are slightly modified so they feature the same design language as the rest of the user interface. The internet connectivity is optional, and that’s why Endless has made sure that most of the apps are able to run offline.
There are two versions of Endless – one which comes with just 32 GB of internal storage (and also a SD slot) and gets WiFi/Bluetooth and a speaker optionally; and there’s the 500GB version which comes with the same specs and WiFi/Bluetooth and a speaker included. Here’s the entire sheet of specs:
- Intel Celeron N2807,dual-core, up to 2.17 Ghz
- 2GB RAM
- HDMI & VGA
- 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports
- Gigabit LAN
- Audio 3.5 mm
- 32GB + SD slot/500 GB
Endless says that the concept is based on the functionality and mobility of a modern smartphone, and that’s why the UI is quite similar to Android or iOS and the specs that it has can easily be found on a top handset. There is also an App Center from where you can install apps; and, before you ask, no, it doesn’t run Windows applications.
For at least $189, you will be able to buy one Endless model with 32 GB, equipped with WiFi & Bluetooth. And for $229, you will get a 500GB version. Both have estimated delivery times in June, which is pretty nice. Endless has met its crowdfunding goal, but most likely the majority of orders have been place by users in developed countries. The real challenge for them is going to be promotion and distribution of the products, because there’s no doubt about demand.