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Hardware Thread, RM Asus miniBook review in Technical; @webman for the same reason you you like linux. We are going to make these available for students and use ...
  1. #46

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    @webman

    for the same reason you you like linux. We are going to make these available for students and use the Schools agreement to install Office aswell.

    Yes linux and Open Office are free, but i would rather go with something that students would be instantly be able to use!

    @everyone else

    XP on and all drivers have been installed. Initial installation from a USB Cdrom took around 20-25 minutes to logging on for the first time.

    Once everything has been installed, their is an option available in the system tray for increasing the window size from 800x480 to 800x600 to get those web pages to fit a little better.

    I find the laptop to work really well with XP, alot better than i initially thought it would!

  2. #47

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Must admit i'm highly tempted to get one, but job one will be wipe it and XP Pro it

  3. #48

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Interesting piece of hardware, but thinking about it, just how practical is it in reality?

    The pros about it - it's cheap, easy to use, very portable

    The cons - I personally don't like working through a letterbox!, it has limited functionality and the hardware specs are not great. Sure, XP "could" install on this platform, but even stripping features of XP at least 1/4th of that 4GB hard drive will be gone.

    I think this kind of device has potential, but I'm not sold on it at all. Maybe a few generations down the line I would re-consider. I'd rather buy a £299 HP laptop. There are way more advantages and the additional £100 or so difference is still worth it.

    Better hardware, similar portability and compatible with a much larger quantity of products and software.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  4. #49

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    I think it will be great if you don't expect too much from it or try to use it as a full desktop replacement.

    I would have no problem with the interface for using the applications included. For certain things it will be pretty much useless (eg. programming) but then comes the old saying "always use the right tool for the job".

  5. #50

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael
    Interesting piece of hardware, but thinking about it, just how practical is it in reality?

    The pros about it - it's cheap, easy to use, very portable

    The cons - I personally don't like working through a letterbox!, it has limited functionality and the hardware specs are not great. Sure, XP "could" install on this platform, but even stripping features of XP at least 1/4th of that 4GB hard drive will be gone.

    I think this kind of device has potential, but I'm not sold on it at all. Maybe a few generations down the line I would re-consider. I'd rather buy a £299 HP laptop. There are way more advantages and the additional £100 or so difference is still worth it.

    Better hardware, similar portability and compatible with a much larger quantity of products and software.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Please explain 'limited functionality' please? The item was as fully featured as you can get for a laptop that size and weight. Add a 4 GB SD card and you have doubled your storage anyway. IMHO, XP would be a non starter anyway.

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Well after i have installed the latest XP Updates, anit-virus and Office 2003 i'm now left with 128mb LOL.

    So its now down to stripping XP down to just what we need, but on the other hand, you can boot from the Support CD that came with the EEE and you can re-image with the Linux OS

  7. #52

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Quote Originally Posted by deano
    So its now down to stripping XP down to just what we need
    Yeah, good luck with that

  8. #53

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    @Dos_Box - Limited in that it's no where near as flexible and practical as a low end PC. For example (in the video), it talks about the FF browser. Cool, it supports FF, but because the screen is so small you can't see all websites without scrolling left/right. It probably also supports Open Office, (I didn't watch all the video) but in reality are users going to type documents on such a device? I doubt it.

    The reality is Local Authorities, Governments and School Inspectors all expect ICT to play a big role assisting all aspects of education, and I just cannot see how such a device will play such a key role. Actually thinking about it more and more, I think it's actually a bad deal altogether. I would much rather pay £100 or so more for a Windows laptop as I can (or more to the point) teachers and pupils can do so much more with it.

    To address the 4GB space issue you suggested another 4GB SD card, but of course that's just more expense. Anywhere between £15 to £30 depending what you buy.
    I checked RM.com and the Asus Minibook 4GB version is £199 (ex VAT) + your additional 4GB SD Card, comes to around £230. RM also do an Asus Minibook 2GB version for £169 (ex VAT). I can buy a low end Windows laptop £257 (ex VAT). I know what I would buy.

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Have to agree with the previous post. The only redeeming feature I can see is that it can be used to control another PC, maybe useful if the teacher wanted to be mobile around a classroom while controlling an interactive whiteboard. However I have seen pupils at my school with software on their mobile phones that can do that.

  10. #55
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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Size / portability - this is about the size and weight of a small notepad, and the charger is small too.

    This means a lot for pupils, to be able to transport the thing around with their other school equipment rather than a back breaking laptop.

    Using the thing on your average school desk - this would fit alongside other books - more space = better.

    The battery lasts 2 hours I think, but that's taking a lot less power than your average laptop.

    It boots instantly which is again better fit for purpose.

    I wouldn't want to buy it in it's current state - I'd want to wait until the screen filled the lid and it had 16Gb - but then pupils have better eye sight than me so wouldn't be bothered so much with the small screen, and with the space and apps available it would fulfill the purpose very well - they could work on it.

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    So its now down to stripping XP down to just what we need, but on the other hand, you can boot from the Support CD that came with the EEE and you can re-image with the Linux OS
    Ubuntu will also run well on the eee if you want a full OS according to this reviewer:
    http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/article...9290440,00.htm
    I don't see what the advantage of shoehorning any flavour of windows onto these is because any of the applications that are likely to run on this hardware are just as likely to run under linux anyway so it's extra just effort
    with zero gain.

  12. #57

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    @Michael

    Being honest, the only thing I would ever suggest someone does with the seriously budget windows laptops for around £300 is to wipe it and stick Ubuntu or other distro onto it. These budget machines at at this low price for a damned good reason. Poorly specced, poorly made and with abysmal support / warranty.

    This is an appliance, not a desktop replacement (which is what many people by laptops for now). It is there for connectivity to web based resources, it is there for connectivity to services (such as terminal servers) and it is there for basic use of office suites.

    What it is not ... it is not a mobile video editting studio, it is not a portable jukebox, it is not a games console, it is not a machine suitable for serious programming (actually .. it could be but I doubt that this would be a serious use of it in schools).

    As a device to allow students to do their coursework, to make use of well designed sites and to use web 2.0 based educational solutions ... then it does what it was designed for.

    Yes, it is not designed to be a windows box ... but as proof of concept shows, it can do it ... it doesn't mean you should.

    Yes, it uses Open Office ... but this is not a bad thing. Having multiple applications that do the same thing in a schools forces skills and concepts to be taught and learnt rather than applications.

  13. #58

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Well said GrumbleDook

    Linux Format have also got their hands on the ASUS Eee version of it and a review will be in LXF101 so they say.

  14. #59
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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    Jeez.. why does anything RM come up with cause so much controversy

  15. #60

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    Re: RM Asus miniBook review

    I would say if you're installing Linux and you're connecting to web based applications, then it would really work, but other than the internet itself, in my experience the majority of applications/resources are still locally installed and not web based. Web based applications/resources are growing however which goes in the Minibook's favour.

    RM clearly do think Windows has a place, as they're offering the Minibook with Windows installed, but then Mark has come to the same conclusion I did earlier - I would look at the Minibook again, a few generations down the line. If it had 16GB and a larger screen, then it would definitely be viable, both for local and web applications. It would be able to compete with low end laptops, as it would still (in theory) have the portability and lower cost offering as the current 2GB and 4GB models.

    For the record, the spec for £257 ex VAT was as follows:

    Celeron M 420, 1.6GHz, 1MB L2, 533MHz Bus
    15.4" Screen
    80GB SATA Disk Drive
    DVD-RW Drive
    512MB DDR2 (upgrade to 2GB)
    Onboard Sound, Graphics, WLAN, LAN, Modem

    This isn't a poor spec and is very similar to the laptops I have in some schools, which have over 20GB worth of applications installed connecting wirelessly. Why you'd want to wipe a computer of this specification, I am not too sure. XP works really well on the above specification.

    This is an appliance, not a desktop replacement (which is what many people by laptops for now). It is there for connectivity to web based resources, it is there for connectivity to services (such as terminal servers) and it is there for basic use of office suites.
    So how would an appliance, (with the current specs) truly benefit any educational establishment? Web based resources (other than the internet) are still relatively thin on the ground. The teachers and pupils I support have gone past the point of basic use of an Office Suite. Only the very young pupils (Yr 2 and 3) do what I'd consider the basics of an Office Suite.

    What it is not ... it is not a mobile video editting studio, it is not a portable jukebox, it is not a games console, it is not a machine suitable for serious programming (actually .. it could be but I doubt that this would be a serious use of it in schools).
    I absolutely agree and I don't think anyone disagrees with you there. A low end PC wouldn't be used for such tasks either.

    Yes, it uses Open Office ... but this is not a bad thing. Having multiple applications that do the same thing in a schools forces skills and concepts to be taught and learnt rather than applications.
    I never said Open Office was a bad thing. Open Office is great, but not on the Minibook. Even for basic use, I cannot realistically see users typing on such a device. And to conclude, I think you've touched on what my point was all along. ICT is probably the fastest evolving area in education and all curriculum subjects should be integrated into ICT. It makes learning fun, interesting, interactive, but in my opinion in its current form, the Minibook wouldn't benefit an educational establishment. I really do hope RM build on the idea and release larger Minibook's with better specification(s), as it could really work, but the demands of education as they currently stand already exhaust the capabilities the Minibook offers.



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