RIP Everex. Please Stay Dead - LAPTOP Magazine: The Pulse of Mobile Technology

RIP Everex. Please Stay Dead

everex-tombstoneThe history of technology is littered with failed companies that had great ideas and wonderful products that just couldn’t turn a profit. Many would argue that the Commodore Amiga was better than PCs or Macs in the eighties, but Commodore couldn’t get consumers to adopt its platform and pretty-much went out of business. BeOS , a speedy attractive operating system, should have overtaken Windows in the 90s, but Be Inc. was no Microsoft and quickly folded. In the late 90s and early 2000s Handspring PDAs were the shiznit, but they couldn’t compete and Palm absorbed them. Unlike Commodore, Be Inc., and Handspring nobody will have fond memories of Everex, a company that talked a big game but produced some of the worst notebooks we’ve ever tested.

Perhaps this is old news, but we just discovered that Everex, whose CloudBook CE1200V might be the worst netbook ever made, is out of business at least in the Western hemisphere. The Everex USA site unceremoniously states that:

We regret to inform you that Everex is no longer in business. We have closed our operations and are in the process of liquidation of all our assets.

The company’s Japanese and Taiwanese sites still appear to be open for business so maybe only the Western world is truly Everex-free. There’s no doubt, however, that America has never seen anything like Everex and *hopefully* we won’t again.

It’s always sad when a tech company closes, because employees lose their jobs, and consumers lose a choice. In this case, while we feel bad for the employees, we are overjoyed for the consuming public that they won’t be hoodwinked into buying one of these pieces of garbage. We’re also overjoyed that we won’t have to review one again.

If you haven’t heard of Everex before,  count yourself lucky. The company’s low-cost notebooks and desktops often sold at Wal-Mart and were often far cheaper than its competitors. Everex was somewhat of a pioneer in that it sold low-cost notebooks long before the downward trend in prices we’ve seen recently. The reason its products were so inexpensive is that they were cheaply made and you really got what you paid for.

Take the 17-inch Everex StepNote XT5000T, which we reviewed back in April 2007. At a time when 17-inch systems were selling for well over $2,000, the XT5000T was only $899, but it performed below every notebook in the category and came with a chintzy keyboard. Likewise, the StepNote NC1500, which was a mere $487 way back in 2006, but it had the worst performance we’d seen in a long time and misplaced keys.

Perhaps the company’s crowning achievement in mediocrity was its CloudBook netbook, which arrived in our office riding a wave of hype and high expectations, only to leave as the most disappointing system we’ve ever tested. At the time the CloudBook was released in February 2008, it was only the second netbook on the market after ASUS’s famous Eee PC. It promised innovations such as a 30GB hard drive (as opposed to the original Eee PC’s tiny SSD) and a snazzy version of Linux called gOS.

Unfortunately, it took several minutes to boot, Wi-Fi cut out constantly, and several dialog boxes in the OS were actually located below the screen! Its 4,200 rpm hard drive literally took minutes to load several of its programs. And did we mention its one-of-a-kind touchpad? See our review of the CloudBook for a full bashing.

Undaunted by the negative press for its infamous netbook, Everex announced big plans. Paul C. Kim, the company’s marketing director, told us in February 2008 that the company would release a touchscreen CloudBook within 60 days, that the homely system would come in a variety of “nice” colors, and that the company was even considering a 22-inch model! These plans never came to fruition, though we would have loved to have seen the 22-inch netbook.

We certainly appreciate the ambition, though we’re sure the unlucky few who spent $399 on CloudBooks would have rather that the company put more effort into its first-gen netbook and less effort into bragging about vaporware.

To be fair, the company did develop an 8.9-inch sequel called the CloudBook Max that, to our knowledge, never made it to market but did hit the show circuit. It sported Wi-Max, a technology that may soon join Everex in the technology graveyard.

And the original CloudBook itself lives on under other names. According to a list on CloudBook UMPC, the CloudBook is just one of many “Nanobooks” using the same Via reference design. In fact, the site recommends that “Countries deprived of Everex Cloudbook might also wish to take a look at other Nanobooks.” Fortunately the U.S. is not  a “deprived” nation, because Sylvania sells a CloudBook clone under the name “g Netbook.” Those nostalgic for early 2008′s worst technology or wishing to punish a bad relative by giving it as a gift can find it on Amazon for $207.

While we don’t know the exact reasons for Everex’s demise, it’s safe to say that, in a world where you can get good quality notebooks from respectable companies like Toshiba, HP, Gateway, Dell, and Lenovo for under $600, the only place for cheap garbage is the landfill.

Rest in peace, Everex. But, please, don’t rise again!

AUTHOR BIO
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. chikie Says:

    I bought one of those Everex $199 Walmart desktop machines 1 1/2 years ago, put another $100 into it with upgraded graphics card, power supply and RAM, and here I am still using it and loving it. I did have to install Ubuntu in place of a not so good gOS operating system. I would argue that Everex’s ultra cheap Walmart desktops launched in November 2007 opened the door for netbooks and affordable “right powered” computers for the average user that have become so prevalent today. Many average Joe computer users today owe Everex a debt of gratitude for their (cost) cutting edge efforts. I will remember Everex more fondly than you.

  2. Deregtx Says:

    don’t worry they’ll be back :D

  3. mmitch Says:

    Although underpowered I have quite a few StepNote laptops installed in our service vehicles. They do what I want, provide a cheap method for the tech to access a terminal server at the office.

    They have been in service for nearly 2 years without a problem.

  4. TechJunkie88 Says:

    The real reason for the company closure: Everex was acquired by another company. Due to the ongoing economic crisis, the acquiring company could not come up with the funds by the scheduled closing date. The current ownership did not want to keep paying the bills and chose to close Everex doors and go after the buying company via litigation.

  5. admin Says:

    Right, but the reason it was sold and the reason the acquirer did not see fit to keep it open is obviously that it was not doing well. Companies that turn profits don’t tend to be closed down. Why didn’t it see great success? The economy surely had something to do with it, but the bottom line is that the products were of poor quality and other vendors were matching or beating Everex’s prices with better products.

  6. NBN Says:

    This looks like it’s just the US subsidiary. There was an article on Digitimes yesterday about it. Basically, FIC, the owners of the Everex brand, decided they wanted out of the US market.

  7. john durden Says:

    Everex was wholly owned by FIC up to the end … a lot of people reported that New Market Technologies bought a share but this was not the case. I have confirmation from New Market investor relations that the deal fell through and they dumped no money into Everex. I think they were counting on that extra push of money to keep their business afloat, and when it didn’t, they got stuck with the mess they were in.

    Very limited support and warranty terms, problems with their website for 4-5 months and issues with Nvidia-based chipsets didn’t help them either.

  8. mouse135 Says:

    i have a everxe stepnot i have had it about a year ,and in that year it has been in the shop more that i have had it .

    if i had the chanes to by one all overe agean i would not by a everx , but that sad thing is that i cant get a new one so i am stuck with this one ,

    mabey i should take the advice of my computer guy and take it to a church and get it blessed

  9. Sue Says:

    Hmmm…I own an everex stepnote. First, I’m a little perturbed that I found out Everex closed this way. They should have contacted their customers that logged into their website. Second, I’m not really surprised. Cheap computers, yes but if I had to do it over again, I’d have gotten anything other than Everex. Because Everex put Vista on a computer meant for XP and it still ticks me off. I don’t like Vista because they did that, and I’m still looking for a cheap XP program to put on here. Vista isn’t exactly great by itself, but it’s just adding insult to injury.

    Everex can come back to life, and they probably will. If they do, a word of advice – stop cutting corners to save a few bucks, that’s why you’re out of business!!

  10. Rebecca Says:

    I had a vastly different experience than you did. I bought my Everex Stepnote in May of 2007 from Best Buy, upgraded the RAM, and haven’t had any major issues with it. The CD burner is starting to act up a little now, but if that’s the worst thing that happens in almost two and a half years of owning a laptop, I’ll sign up for that every time!

  11. Juan Says:

    I wonder if the publisher of the letter (Avram) actually owned a laptop made by Everex or was
    he assigned to run quick tests and “nit pick” at it. I own not 1 but 2 Everex XT500t for over
    a couple of years and have NOT had any problems with it.I added more Ram and a 500Gig
    secondary drive (yes it can take 2 hard drives) loaded with Win XP Pro.I can boot to either drive
    and as a Certified Computer Tech, it has outlasted the so called other name brands.I have repaired
    tons of laptops and 90% of them are the other name brands.I have been pleased with Everex and
    have had nothing but good results from them.

  12. Palo Says:

    I had this POS Everex XT5000T and video card died just out of warranty, Everex customer service responded to my email “we need to evaluate it and you will have to pay for repair”, I spent countless hours trying to find how to fix it on the budget and I have discovered sooo many users with exact same problem, the cause was the heatsink does not adhere to video chip (nVidia) and the overheating damaged connection of chip to motherboard. I was about to file a lawsuit after I collected enough informations to prove that it was a Everex fault – manufacturing defective laptop with weak cooling directly causing damage to vidochip rendering laptop unusable by the end of warranty or shortly thereafter but the bastards closed it down and I did not know who to sue after that. But I want to point out very interesting fact that is exact same laptop down to a screw was sold with exact same problems in Europe, under Fujitsu brand. model was Fujitsu Amilo XA 1526. Wonder how Everex and Fujitsu made same laptops ? my guess is the FIC (owner of Everex) made the laptop and then sell it like a no name to manufacturers to put their brand on it like Fujitsu did.

  13. Meleniumshane90 Says:

    My laptop was repaired outside of warranty, but only after 2 months.

    I spoke with my lawyer, spoke about it on a forum they monitored, http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1174232, and in less than a day, received an email that it was repaired & would be shipped out.

    The laptop works fine now, and the BIOS have been upgraded – and then I “downgraded” them from E to D).

    Frankly, LaptopMag’s review was very poor and lacked any real substance. The review contains no information on the well-performing speakers, subwoofer, and actually says the 1400 x 900 17″ screen is “low for this class” – a blatant lie considering they still sell 1440 x 900 17″ laptops, and the performance laptops in 2006-2008 were still 1440×900. 3DMark 03? seriously?

    They made poor laptops, they made poor desktops. But the specs on the XT5000T were high at their time, and are still decent for gaming now. I get flawless gameplay in BioShock & a all the HL2 games.

  14. glen milleson Says:

    i bought the everex xt5000t and 1 week out of warranty the mother board and video card burned up everex to me to send it to them but ti might not be covered .after argueing they agree to fix it .and they did 6 months later.after getting it back we had it 3 months and its messed up again and now their out of bussness .what do i do we paid a lot of money for this boat anchor

  15. G Says:

    Cloudbook everex is a wonderful machine! The problem was the gOS which was rushed and poorly designed and via’s reluctance to provide open source support. Running Ubuntu 10.4 alpha 2 on mine at the mo and it runs great!!!

  16. Mike Says:

    Hey now, down boy….where is the love? I have the Stepnote NC1510 and it quite happily plays the roles of my router/firewall, smb server, print server, torrent downloader and voip client. Just because it doesn’t run Vista (as ridiculous as it was to ship it with) doesn’t mean it deserves this kind of flaming. It runs ultra quiet, ultra cool, barely a blip on the ole hydro bill and for $400, it didn’t hurt the wallet either…

    I actually found this article because I was looking to buy ANOTHER StepNote as a back-up server, or to actually use it as a laptop (my server laptop is too deeply embedded and relied upon now), damn, I’ll actually miss them.

  17. Jon Says:

    I suspect they were a victim of the GPU chip issues everyone is talking about. My XT5000T just recently became a vicitm. I used it mostly for work and my desktop for gaming. It sure beat the heck out of my Dell laptop that I paid $200 more just a couple year prior that lasted only slightly longer. Like so many others out there, I liked my XT5000T and will try to fix it myself soon. At the time, the price was great for the features you got, and sure beat the heck out of anything Dell was offering. Customer service seemed fine to me; several people I talked to got their laptops repaired free long after the warranty was up.

    You do have a valid point though: with the prices of today’s note/netbooks, who the heck needs Everex now? (except me…I’d like to get mine fixed and get a couple more years use out of it *sigh*).

  18. Josh Says:

    Looking up a problem for a friend’s laptop, I discovered there was a class action suit against HP for his Pavillion. That made me think maybe there’s a lawsuit against my crappy Everex. Then I found this blog. Glad to see they are out of business. However, this article says they definitely were acquired by some company called NewMarket (so now we know to stay away form NewMarket):

    http://www.itworld.com/business/53379/everex-acquired-newmarket-technology

    Anyways, my Everex has always randomly locked up. At first, it was every once in a while. Now the thing won’t run more than 15 minutes without freezing. I’m glad I bought it as a secondary computer because if I had to depend on it, I’d be screwed.

  19. steven Says:

    i have an everex stepnote LM7WE although they could’ve certainly added power to this thing i have no complaints about it, this old notebook has been through alot the last 6 years, i keep patching her up and bringing back to life, its been fully submerged in water power cords went bad it had a short in it near the transformer, even accidently shot it with a .22LR (kids always unload your guns when cleaning then :P) it got overloaded during a brown out and had to pay for a new hard drive but its served me well and she’s still running although i prolly wont buy another everex due to the lack of power i have no complaints owning the one i have.

  20. khan Says:

    I’ve got an Everex StepNote SA2053T. I was looking for some XP drivers and the site never came up. So a little bit of searching and I find out that Everex is no more. To me, it’s a little sad, as my laptop has worked sensationally.

    A 12.1″ laptop for $600. It was the only ultraportable I could get for under $1500 at the time (about 3 years ago). My only complaints is that the battery life isn’t all that great. A measily like 3 hours or less, but for the price. I can live with that. Same with the odd rightside shift key.

    Since owning it, I’d added memory (about a year after purchase) and replaced the hdd with a 500 gig (about 2 years after purchase). The system really doesn’t feel any different with the added memory, but I love having the extra storage space. My PS3 inherited the 100 gig hdd.

    Nowadays with all these other cheap laptops out there, there really is no need to have Everex around anymore. I won’t miss them, nor would I jump for joy if they were still around.

  21. Pat Says:

    Hey, I don’t have an Everex laptop but I do have an Everex desktop Impact GA3400 pc that has been reliable until my son tried to upgrade to windows vista..it worked fine for several months then kept stopping so he uninstalled vista and reinstalled windows xp but somehow we have lost the audio drivers. Can anyone help me?

  22. Gene Price Says:

    This message was left while working on my step note Kr3200w running XP. How long have I had it? Not sure must have been 3 or 4 years. Wow how time flies. I never had to call tech support, never been in the shop and is performing like a champ. It’s linked to my belkin wireless and has never skipped a beat. This was my first lap top, but since it is still performing smartly, I have no need for another one. Kind of sad Everex is no longer serving the US. But I guess all good things must come to an end at some point. Of course bought it from Wally because of price and I did do some research first. I like the large screen and some other neat bells and whistles, like one button to launch my browser, turn off and on the wireless, etc. Touch pad is great and easy to use and I guess I could go on. Bottom line is I am completely satisfied with the operation and performance and it cost about half the price of those other name brand machines. Oh, by the way, did I mention my wife spilled coffee on it, OOOOHHHH, but alas, I dumped it out, dried it up and guess what, it is still working. That was about a year ago. Sounds a bit like the old watch, what’s it’s name, you know the one that’s just keeps on ticking.

  23. Don Says:

    Pat,

    May be late, but here you go-> http://www.fic.com.tw/everex//us/support/ga3400/ga3400.php

  24. VoiceItGuy Says:

    OK…The everex thing..
    I have been working on computers for well over twenty years now and have to say your perception of the everex machines are a bit left field, My everex GA 3400 is in its fifth year and still out performs my DUO core pentium.

    I find myself working on machines on a regular basis for friends and local business’s and have to say that after spending time on other machines I always feel the appreciation for my GA3400….It just out performs most newer machines out there. The AMD Mobile 64 3400 out ways the P-4 HT 3.4 cpu any day of the week.

    The everex is my go to machine in the studio – Never any hang-ups

    It is used in a home recording interface and keeps up with all my demands. I don’t remember exactly what I paid for the machine but I have been repaid ten times over.

    My Laptop is the everex stepnote with memory and OS upgrade and it blows away my daughters new Avio.
    Both machines are loaded to the hilt with multimedia software and are pushed through multi-task situations on a daily basis…

    I personally appreciate the fact that exerex was willing to make that step into the cheaper machine with performance and reliability in mind..But, as with anything there are good ones and there are bad ones.

    reviving and old thread – Everex lives on.
    VoiceItGuy

  25. Sig Says:

    I like my everex. need a battery, though!!! It had a pretty good 5 year run on it. I gotta say the huge ass lint clod that was sandwiched between the fan exhaust and the heat sink that only was apparent once i truly voided the long passed warranty period anyway, was a bit irritating, but all the issues seem to be my user error. Looking at needing a new video card or however that works in a laptop, cause nvidia doesnt support the 6100 series… but ah well, i’ll get a round tuit. I hope it doesn’t become a paper weight.

  26. Keith Says:

    Its funny as I read this here in 2011 I am attempting to install Ubuntu onto 2 different old laptops I had laying around that had problems with windows and I lost the windows disks, bought a new laptop and threw these in a plastic tub waiting for a day like today… One is an old Everex Stepnote N Series ($199 wallyworld doorbuster type jobber) and the other is a Compaq CQ50 (several years newer $299 Wally World Door Buster Jobber). I got ubuntu installed onto the old everex 2 hours ago… Meanwhile I am staring at a sticker on this compaq that says “BUILT TO LAST” and I cant help but think of the irony as I cannot seem to get anything to install onto it, and the problem with it was the wifi went out. I’m wired in with ethernet and still cant get anything to install onto it… Not that Everex is any better than a compaq, but the fact remains the 6 year old everex outlasted the 3 year old Compaq.

  27. Carolyn Says:

    I’m with the Voice it Guy. I have an Everex Impact GA3400, and I have used it for years with no problem. I have three new computers and I still love my Everex the best. It just out performs the new computers. The only thing that I have done to it is upgrade the memory. This computer if fast and runs very smoothly.

  28. Erich Says:

    Seriously, you’d consider crap brands like Toshiba, HP, Gateway and Dell to be respectable? Have you ever fixed one of their machines? The garbage those guys peddle is what drove me to start building my own rigs.

  29. Hening Says:

    My first experience with Everex was in the 80′s . They were providing and supporting RAM card and video cards. I started my own computer shop in the 90′s and the main systems sold were Everex. I never understood the Tempo line, but the quality and performance of their desktops were exceptional. The Cube and other innovative system designs were soild and dependable. The computer shop sold, and I now have a different company which still has functioning Everex computers.

  30. BillB Says:

    Everex produced and sold more modems than the inventors of the AT modem command set.
    Everex gave us, everyone, cache memory in desktop units, something they moved from mainframes.
    Everex patents have given us large flat screen panels which they had produced in the early 1990s.
    Everex developed and produced innovative products BEFORE most of the other companies.
    But greed drove the old Everex out of business in 1991/2 and the company was taken over by the largest producer of computer products in the world Formosa Plastics.

    Tape drives, notebooks, miniturized desktops, modems, video, tape drives, and on all came from Everex.

    Their STEP computers were burned in at 105 F for 49 hrs before shipping.

    You can say the new stuff is crap but you need to give them their due. They rose to the Fortune 500 faster than any company before them because the founders were top notch people.

    N.B. I was one of the very first STEP dealers in the US back in 88. I still have Everex boxes that function fine. I placed thousands of these computers in numerous environments with many 286, 386dx & sx, and 486 boxes still running today. Also Ross Perot made a lot of his money selling Everex computers to the feds.

  31. Bill Johnson Says:

    I put about 125 bucks into the everex desktop i bought from newegg and it is still working fine. The OS system was terribe but i have ubuntu12.04 and have no problems. In fact I like it much better than my dell which keeps crashing.

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