Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Aug 2008 00:00 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems There's a new hype going on in the world of computing. I used to call them 'tiny laptops', but somewhere along the way, Intel's marketing got at me and now I call them netbooks. Every self-respecting manufacturer has a netbook product line, or is about to introduce one (Apple?), so I figured I would take a look at what all the fuss is about: I bought a netbook.
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Got one - pretty kicking
by vaette on Tue 12th Aug 2008 19:41 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Got one of these about three weeks back (when they first became available). Very nice experience, still, a few points to consider:

* I have the three cell battery, landing me at a practical battery life of 2.5-3 hours. For me this seems like a good weight/batter life tradeoff, as I don't use it for that long stretches, but plan to carry it around a lot.
* The SSD is indeed quite terribly slow in writing. For Linux installs make sure to add the noatime flags for the FS, and probably opt for ext2 (with such a small disk fsck is quick anyway, and the journaling is pretty significant on the slow disk). If you install XP, you must disable the "Acer disk mirroring"-thing (used for recovery partitions I think?) in the BIOS (with this on the disk performance is completely unusable, with it off the disk behaves much like in Linux). Also, turn off atime for NTFS, or go with FAT32.
* Installing a Linux distribution other than the bundled lands you in the usual set of problems for many new laptops: Wifi works badly (ndiswrapper or glitchy madwifi svn branch), software suspend panics/crashes/hangs a third of the time or so, some hardware (webcam for instance) appears tricky to get to work. So while the situation may no doubt improve, don't buy it counting on loading up Ubuntu without hassles.
* Note that the only video out is a VGA. The deal for the Intel Atom does not allow digital out (HDMI/DVI), but the lack of S-video is a touch dissapointing to me personally.

With those points said: It is a great little laptop. Cheap, great keyboard, beautiful screen, performs just fine (other than SSD). The HD versions may be a better deal all said, as they cost only a little bit more, and the bluetooth addition is pretty nice.

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