Thursday, January 31, 2008

Solid State LapTop Delivers Linux Mobility Option

From the center ... out - a Sony VAIO UX490 on top of a Asus Eee PC 4G - Galaxy 7" PC Mobile Internet Device on top of a 15" Apple MacBook PRO. Image Credit: Glenn Reynolds/Popular Mechanics

Solid State LapTop Delivers Linux Mobility Option

Enterprise mobility devices take on many forms, WiFi enabled handheld datacollectors, smart PDA cellphones, and adapted laptop computers.

The problem with many computer systems that are programmed for deployment throughout an enterprise application (sales force management, route accounting, jobber automation, web 2.0 application development, and etc.) generally just comes with the choice of form factor and operating system.

Enter the Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award - Asus EEEPC 4G - Galaxy 7" PC Mobile Internet Device (512 MB RAM, 4 GB Hard Drive, Webcam, Linux Preloaded).

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks/Asus Website

This edited from Popular Mechanics –

Top 20 Products at CES 2008

By The Technology Editors - Published on: January 7, 2008

Asus EEE WiMax PC

How it works: The EEEPC is a full-fledged computer in a tiny package. Costs stay low by integrating a free, Linux-based operating system that includes everything from Web-browsing software to sophisticated productivity applications such as a word processor and spreadsheet program.

It's a great little machine, but it's going to get a whole lot better: This year, Asus plans to integrate a WiMAX card, which will offer multi-megabit per second bandwidth that rivals current cable Internet connections.

Why it matters: Asus has already shrunk both the form-factor and the price of laptops with its $400 EEEPC, a 2-pound mini laptop that runs on the Linux OS and foregoes a hard drive with 4GB of solid-state flash memory. Now they're on the forefront of a wireless revolution.

This year, Asus will launch the EEEPC with an integrated WiMAX card, giving people real citywide wireless broadband Internet service on Sprint's new Xhom service.
Reference Here>>

Top 20 Products at CES 2008: PM Editor's Choice Awards - Asus EEE WiMax PC - Image Credit: Popular Mechanics

This review excerpted and edited from Popular Mechanics -

Asus Eee Is a Tiny PC That Hits the Mark: Hands-on Blogger Review
By Glenn Reynolds for Popular Mechanics – Jan. 30, 2008

Earlier this month, I
reviewed two tiny PCs and concluded that neither was quite on the mark as a go-anywhere Web surfing and e-mail tool. ----So I kept hearing and reading about the Asus, and I finally just ordered one myself—at $399 it wasn't going to break the bank.

I've had it for a couple of weeks now, and I think it fills my need for an inexpensive tool for surfing, blogging and reading e-mail. It's cheap, fun and surprisingly full-featured.

There's no hard drive—4 GB of flash memory is standard, but you can upgrade, or just plug an SD card into the memory card slot and use that as a second hard drive. ----The Asus has a real, if diminutive, keyboard. Though the keys are small, it's pretty easy to hit the correct one without thinking—except for the right shift key, which is tiny and dangerously close to the up arrow (There's also no CAPS LOCK light, which is occasionally irritating). Still, it's easy to type on—I'm writing this review on it—in a way that the slide-out keypads on the Sony and Nokia
[reviewed earlier] are not.

The screen is also tiny but, at 7.5 in., much bigger than those of the Sony and Nokia. I find it easy to read and navigate pretty much any Web page, and videos from YouTube play well. Plus, the speakers are surprisingly good for a laptop.

The Asus comes preloaded with a customized Linux operating system and some basic applications—word processing, photo editing, music management—but it's primarily an Internet tool.

The one thing it's missing is some sort of WWAN (i.e., a wireless wide area network such as EVDO from Sprint or Verizon or HSDPA from AT&T) functionality. It works fine with Wi-Fi, but without WWAN access you're limited to hot spots, though those are plentiful nowadays—and there's that version coming this year with an integrated WiMAX card to work with Sprint's super-speedy Xohm network).

For now, you could probably use a USB-based AirCard—the Asus comes with a generous three USB ports (more than the MacBook Air, but I haven't tried that yet). A look at the Verizon Web site shows that its software doesn't work with Linux, so any work arounds would be strictly home-brew. (Asus tells me there's no driver yet and won't be for at least a couple of months.)

Alternatively, it's possible to put Windows XP on the Eee PC, though you'd have to buy a copy, for a substantial chunk of the laptop's total price. The Eee PC also has an Ethernet port and a VGA out. So you get a lot of computer for the money, and it's also surprisingly chic—when I've pulled it out in public it's drawn a crowd.

Women, in particular, seem to like that it will easily fit in an ordinary-size purse.

Is it perfect? No. But for $399 it's pretty close.
Reference Here>>

Depending on type of enterprise mobility application and deployment, this laptop may be the best choice for size (a good bridge), durability (solid state hard drive), functionality (ample size QWERTY keyboard), open source (Linux OS for application development), road warrior (enough ports for any group of applications), and cost!
(HT: Instapundit)

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