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It sounds like HP did everything they possibly could to cripple this product, from the slightly smaller than everyone else screen resolution, to the proprietary connectors and the hacked up older version of ubuntu...
A lot of these linux based netbooks seem intentionally half assed, all the ones i've seen have come with very broken and difficult to manage linux installs... Replacing them with the netbook version of ubuntu breathes whole new life into the machines..
So it begs the question, why can't these manufacturers work on ubuntu netbook and ship that with the machines instead?
They don't even have to use the Lego set - just install Ubuntu Netbook Remix onto a device with supported components, and ship it as is. It's not like all the "effort" they put into creating this travesty of a netbook helped; they just created another pointless distro, while Ubuntu NBR is a *very* nice product as is.
BTW, a much better option is the System76 Starling - read my review at http://ricegf.com/index.php?page=review&review=0000. [Website is still a work in progress, but review's done. /commercial ;-) ]
I had read previously that Microsoft gave Windows for free on netbooks, just in the hope of avoiding the progress linux of course.
The OS installation appears to be so bad it's actually an argument to stay with Windows. Remember, most consumers never consider to install another OS, they're used to buy new hardware to get a fresh operation system.
I have no idea why so many companies insist on running so heavily customized versions of Linux distros. Must be a marketing strategy of the company selling the modifications.
To me netbooks are just toys - nothing more. No serious work can be done on such a machine even for a short period of time without at least attaching some sort of normal keyboard to it.
I have the European version of this netbook (called Compaq 700 here). The hardware differences with the reviewed one are:
- It does have a 1024x600 screen. In fact, the early US versions also had it. It was later that was changed for worse.
- It has a 60GB @4200 HDD. Rather small and slow, but much better than the 16GB SSD.
- It has Bluetooth.
I basically agree about the good things hardware wise. The machine is very well made for a sub 300 euro thing, and the keyboard is very good.
Mine came with Windows XP and I run Arch Linux very happily (with KDE4). It is the only distro/OS (Windows XP included) that can run the machine cool (at least while on battery). Everything else makes it hot rather quickly. All hardware is perfectly supported, with the only problem of needing a closed source (well, hybrid they cal it) wireless driver.
I didn't experience any wireless problems. In fact, forgetting about its closed source nature, it works really good here and with all routers I connected to.
The webcam is rather bad, I agree, but it seems that the unit tested had the problem that some units suffered: they forgot to remove a dark plastic protection that makes it almost unusable. The fix is easy, but it involves opening the lid a bit. Here a video that shows how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4rZUcUkIc
Battery life with Arch is 3 hours (normal usage), or around 2h40min of movie playback. Similar with XP it seems (didn't test much). With Ubuntu I doubt it reaches 2.5 hours for what I've seen when testing it.
Overall it is a nice machine and quite Linux friendly (things like mic, webcam, s2ram, s2disk, fn keys, etc... work fine out of the box). If only it had a bigger battery (instead of the 3 cell, 24w/h one) and a matte screen...
EDIT: My two ethernet cables worked here. Not sure if the connector is different to the tested one. Probably yes). Edited 2009-08-21 11:26 UTC
> The webcam is rather bad, I agree, but it seems that the unit tested had the problem that some units suffered: they forgot to remove a dark plastic protection that makes it almost unusable. The fix is easy, but it involves opening the lid a bit. Here a video that shows how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc4rZUcUkIc
I opened my screen like in the video, but I didn't find a plastic like in the video. I think the camera is just that bad.
Didn't Dell also do that on their Mini 12? It doesn't make much sense to me; I can see such a resolution being employed on a portable PAL DVD player, but a netbook?
For me the real netbook is still for coming.
Why there is nothing like the very good and old powerpc G4 12" from apple ?
12 inches, great processor and a DVD writer, and of course 1024x768, for me the best netbook of all times
I would say the old TC-1100 was the best netbook ever made if it was made today. I got mine with docking station for $300. I have it setup as dual screen too.
Processor: 1.2GHz Pentium M
System Memory: 2 GB SDRAM
Hard Drive Size: 160 GB
Screen: 10.4" XGA (1024x768) display
Video Adapter: 32MB Nvidia
WiFi Adapter: Integrated WLAN 802.11 a/b/g
Expansion Ports (Tablet):
Ethernet: Integrated 10/100 Adapter
Modem: Integrated 56K MiniPCI Adapter
USB Port: Yes (2)
PC-Card (PCMCIA) Slot: Yes (1)
Monitor Out Port: 15-Pin VGA
SD Card Slot: Yes (1)
Ethernet: Integrated 10/100 Adapter
Optical Drive: CD-RW/DVD external
Sound Card: Onboard
USB Port: Yes (4) (6 altogether)
Monitor Out Port: 15-Pin VGA
Operating System: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
I got a touchbook on pre-order:
At this rate folks will soon be writing in the past tense about the rise and fall of the netbook. It's an interesting exercise in the cult of marketing. Take a product that does things nearly perfectly (the few early netbooks), then apply modern marketing ideas to "differentiate" your product based on imagined consumer needs, cost-cutting and questionable statistics while all the while your product gets further and further away from what makes a netbook desirable in the first place. It fits in your pocket, it does a few basic thing perfectly well (because those are what it is designed to do) and the batteries run for hours. As for all the extras, gizmos and nifty marketing tricks, it's been downhill all the way. If you are happy with less, go for a decent mobile phone and if you want more, shell out for a full-on notebook, imho.
Intel is applying a LOT of pressure. With Windows, it's easy. Intel tells Microsoft to make their product not so nice on netbooks and Microsoft complies. Btw, this is done to make sure that the netbook market does not destroy the lower end notebook market where Intel's margins are considerably higher.
As I have told many, the Atom is not that much different from the low end Pentium-M that most were using as little as 4-5 years ago on their laptops. Which means that there's a LOT more horse power inside of a netbook that most people realize.
Linux distros are uncontrollable. Therefore, putting a Linux variant on a netbook gets you pretty much a NOTEBOOK like experience. Intel can't control that terribly well (there no arm to twist). Intel's Moblin Linux distro is an attempt to "control" the netbook experience somewhat to keep the experience from being too NOTEBOOK like... which again, is the issue.
You can see the problem, right? I mean an 8G or 16G SSD based netbook with 512M is not a great Windows experience (unless you run a very hampered version), but a Linux distro is quite comfortable with those numbers and thus you can get a notebook like experience for $100-200 right now (especially as all the Windows users are retuning their netbooks... massive refurb market forming).
Don't get me wrong, Intel's margins are certainly still there. They'd just rather get 2-3x that margin, which is what they get with a low end notebook when compared to a netbook.
I just gave away an Asire One A110 model with 8G (refurb) with openSUSE 11.1 (KDE 4.2.4 + compiz). The thing works VERY well. Would satisfy most Wal-mart style laptop shoppers.
I did the HCL for the HP2140 which had 2G memory and a 160G (I think) HD, it was awesome. A real powerhouse. I used it for about a week as my desktop for accessing my virtualized desktop at the office. Even using the weird low res screen. Everything worked surprisingly well.
And, of course, these units will drive higher external resolutions, even 1920x1200. But at some performance penalty (esp. if using accelerated 3d stuff).
You really want to compare a high end Pentium-M at 2Ghz to the Atom at 1.3Ghz? My point is that the Wal*Mart buyer of 4-5 years ago was buying 1.4Ghz Pentium-M's... so, let's see a comparison with the lower end Pentium M and the Atom N270 (the N270 1.6Ghz being typical for netbooks now).
So... I'll stand by my remark about performance. I currently do not have access to a netbook, but if I get another one, I'll bench it myself against a 1.6Ghz P-M that I have... at least that will be somewhat close.
Oh... and one more thing. I saw NO issue with web video playback peformance and no problems using the GMA 950 with DVD resolution (480p) video. Again, that was using a N270 on a near 1st generation Aspire One A110 netbook (considered to be a lower end nb with the N270).
With that said, I have friends that say the netbooks with the broadcom wireless do give them issues.
Better comparison, but again, not with the N270, uses the Z530, but still (N270 will do a bit better than the Z530):
They're results seem to indicate the Z530 fits between an 800Mhz and 1.2Ghz P-M. Since the N270 is slightly better than the Z530 on performance, I still feel pretty comfortable with the 1.4Ghz P-M compare. Regardless, just the fact that it gets close is enough IMHO.
I have an compaq evo n410c with a 1.2 P-M.
I also have 2 of the original aspire ones.
I have to lock the compaq at 800MHz because of the massive heat this thing generates...it overheats and shuts down while playing hulu. And the fan tends to run irritatingly high.
The atoms on the other hand only just get somewhat warm doing the same things.