We are a volunteer group setting up Edubuntu systems in schools for free & the $119 system you compared the linutop with seems a lot better choice for us!
If only I could get the LTSP Term 1000 PXE shipped at a cheaper rate I would have already ordered one to try it out. Wonder why UPS has to charge more than what the damned computer costs!!! $128 to send it to India? That when the consignment costs only $119.95?
But yeah, even with such a high shipment cost, its less than half of what the linutop costs along with the shipment fees - 340 euros or around $500!!!
I'd contact the folks at disklessworkstations.com -- I've met Ron, and emailed Jim before. They're both really helpful. Perhaps they can figure something out about shipping, especially if you want more than one. :)
(No guarantees, but it's worth emailing them to find out if a better shipping price is possible)
Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.
I think that the reason it is costly is the fact that the Value Added Tax (VAT) has to be paid during the construction but not on the final item. It also only comes with the european style power plug so you would have to buy a new one just to get it up and running.
I doubt that it is suitable for factory use. Whilst the fully enclosed case my be ideal, those USB ports are not. Lacking covers, they will attract dusk particles that could lead to shorting of the 5V track to one of the data track, or even ground. For factory use, unused USB port need to be sealed off.
Also, booting from a USB stick may sound cool but in a factory environment, things that stick out from other things tend to get broken off.
For factory use you need either an internal boot drive (which could be a USB stick), or it needs to sit away from the factory floor in a side office.
Well, compared to the $119 thin client you mentioned, this one's CPU is twice as fast (~400MHz Vs 200MHz), it has twice the memory (256MB Vs 128MB), and the USB ports are also improved (4*USBv2.0 Vs 3*USBv1.1+CF-reader).
Being a device that doesn't have very much bullet points to compare with I think it's overall a better device than the other one and the price difference can be justified if you are a business and need a device with this kind of form factor.
But for someone to tinker with the device at home it's clearly not such a big deal, even more if we keep in mind that the Asus Eee or the XO OLPC are just more or less about the same $400 and both come with more RAM than the Linutop, actual storage space, keyboard and screen.