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3001 posts

Uber Geek


Topic # 18679 19-Jan-2008 10:44
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Well I have looked at 3 devices all at various price points and here are my thoughts but any more suggestions would be welcome.

ASUS EeePC, $600
I love the way it just "works" and I can apparently load XP on it, though won't it destroy the hard drive?
While it's an utterly basic machine, even in it's core xandreos linux I found the usabilty and build very nice, also it has spare a PCI micro slot, hmmmm ,maybe I can put a n EVDO sierra card in there!.
because of the price, I could still buy another box PC as the main drone.
Also has 3 usb ports which is fantastic.
Upgradable ram! awesome.

The bad
display could have been bigger dimensions and is a bit washed out.
Flash memory is not "upgradeable" which is almost unforgivable, also, Will pagefiles destroy the flash quicky?
I would buy it 2GB of ram and ramdisk half of it as swap temp if I could find a way.

oqo model 01+, $1000
I really love the form factor with these but actually how big are they? I have never managed to see one in real life.

the price point is amazing considering what is inside, the only real concern is the Transmeta CPU, while they are wonderfully low wattage and all but the last device I had that used a TM Crusoe seemed quite stuttery when doing most tasks.
I would be looking at the XP version most likely as the version 2 Vista variant is quite expensive.

the bad
It looks very late 90's "Taiwanese 486 laptop" cheaply made.
I have not seen one's physically or seen the display or used the keyboard so it would be a real gamble.

Sony VGNUX57GNL micro PC $2500
Also the most expensive and the one which has the biggest "wow" factor, also it runs Vista which I depsise but probably need to get used to now as 98 is dead and XP is dying.
I love the display on this machine and it strangley appeared to run Aero very well wheras similar priced laptops I inspected were quite sluggish, the little naviation nip also works great though I still prefer trackballs.

the bad...
The keyboard is horrible which is the biggest big turn-off, only 1 USB port in standard.
Also being Sony means it's quite expensive for what it is and it uses horribly expensive "memory stick" media and other (expensive) proprietry stuff.

Currently i'm keenest on the budget EEPC even though the others are much higher spec machines simply as it's the most usable factor.
As a bonus, it's dirt-cheap, I wonder If I can dual boot the Xandros and XP, having the XP installation on a SD card slot with just a pointing bootloader on the main flash alongside Xandros, that's the only killing factor which might push me to a higher spec machine.

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Hawkes Bay
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  Reply # 105665 19-Jan-2008 12:03
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I have an eeePC, glad I never got a UMPC now. Its running XP. Nlite it, increase the ram to 2GB, disable swap, and all will be good.
I have a 4GB SDHC that I am going run eeeXubuntu (stock Xubuntu with some minor tweaks around paging, drivers etc).

Love it to bits.

I think some people swap out to SD under linux.

There is room under the ram access cover to mount a 2 port usb hub (soldered in with no plastic casing, a bluetooth module and a USB flash memory of whatever size you desire.

The SD slot is connected via plain ol' USB, so great for booting from too.

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3001 posts

Uber Geek


  Reply # 105697 19-Jan-2008 17:02
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I played again with the Sony today and have scored that off the list, that keypad is even worse than I originally thought.

I'm still swaying towards the eepc, I just bought a 1TB drive and 2 more copies of XP today to do the major backup so this has soaked down my budget a bit and as I have not used or even seen the OQO, currently it looks like the little cheapy is winning, I'm even thinking of mundane tasks that little beauty could perform in server enviromnents too.

Thanks for the tips Tony, I would certainly try that "extended" linux you suggested, also runing my usb stick win3.11 wuld be great for a laugh.
I found some pics online with the EEPC and it's certainly got plenty of room under that cover too I'm pretty adept at soldering so might even try and replace the flash chips with some 4GB ones. (total 16GB) which would make it a killer machine but I need to find how and where the bios is located physically or at a memory address range.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 106052 22-Jan-2008 05:01
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Zomg these devices sound amazing. And legacy-fee. I had never heard of 'UMPC's before. I'm bookmarkin this thread! I may go down this route instead of a full laptop.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 106053 22-Jan-2008 05:51
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Well Hello GeekZone... long time reader, first time sp^H^H poster.

EeePC.. check out this list of what you can do to that beastie:
Slow load but worth the wait if you have one or are thinking of buying.


BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 106055 22-Jan-2008 06:16
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Darryl got a new Fujitsu U1010 and I was looking at it last week.

Also to consider is the TabletKiosk. I have one of their first "EO" models.

For a good range of UMPCs available in Australia (you can get them over here easily) check Tegatech's UMPC section.

3001 posts

Uber Geek


Reply # 106643 24-Jan-2008 22:44
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I ended up buying the cheap EEEPC due mostly to cost and as I want to wait until the other technologies mature.
Time to load XP, I will get more RAM and load XP on to an 8GB SDHC card.

At the very worst, if it's a mistake, it's only a $600 one and will "do in the meantime" until I get a real PC and still, I have a very compact  server.

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