WWAN + WLAN + SoftAP
= Mobile hotspot in netbook form?
That's kinda cool.
Is Dell going to launch its Small, Cheap Computer, the Inspiron 910, tomorrow? That's certainly what one newspaper is claiming today, and there's evidence to back up that claim. According to the Wall Street Journal, someone who knows what the PC giant's planning claimed the mini Inspiron will be announced on Thursday. Dell …
I think the point is that these components are accessible from a simple panel on the base of the unit. AFAIK some of the current crop of SCCs have to be completely dismantled to change the memory module or SSD unit.
Presumably this is to enable Dell's usual policy of "customised at the factory" to be relatively easy with the 910.
I've just tested the MSI Wind for the last 2 weeks and I reckon it's a superb device bar the lack of access to the internals and the battery life. Overall it's a quality experience and the best "scc" so far imo in terms of performance, build and usability. If the Dell can better that...
Aldi (cheapo supermarket in the UK) have just released a clone of the Wind, badged by Medion for £279 as opposed to the Wind's £349. Now that's worth looking at.
I bought my acer aspire (New with warranty) 5420 which has (under XP) 4 hours battery,
2gb of ram, bluetooth, dvd writer, 80gb HDD, AMD Turion dual core, SD slot, the works....
for NZ$630 which is about probably not even €300..
so why does anyone buy these things?
There not much smaller either by the way..
To add 1Gb of ram to my Acer Aspire One, I had to remove all of the screws, the keyboard, the metal shield under the keyboard, more screws, and finally flip the mother board out and stick the RAM in.
Then a day later I had to take most of it apart again because I'd disturbed the SSD cable and was getting intermittent read/write errors.
So yes, an easily accessible DIMM slot is a big deal, (and yes I wish I'd waited a few more weeks).
...They have quite a noticeable weight advantage and are just that bit smaller to feasibly be chucked into any old bag along with all your other crap and you not have to consider any dedicated bag for them.
You're right, it is only marginal size wise but it's enough and the weight saving from the cut down peripherals means you REALLY don't notice what you're carrying. I was of exactly the same opinion as you until I used one for a couple of weeks and as long as you use them for what they are intended (ultra portability), and accept the limitations of the hardware, they can be something of a minor revelation.
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"I bought my acer aspire (New with warranty) 5420 which has (under XP) 4 hours battery,
"2gb of ram, bluetooth, dvd writer, 80gb HDD, AMD Turion dual core, SD slot, the works....
"for NZ$630 which is about probably not even €300..
"so why does anyone buy these things?
Because they ARE that much smaller, and because I don't want to lug a 15.4-inch laptop around with me all day
...and I doubt you ever will considering you're unable to even identify the proper name of your own Acer Extensa 5420 laptop, which weighs 3 times that of these mini-laptops, has spining disc media which is susceptable to drops etc., and because the mini-laptops are significantly smaller and lighter they're far more portable & durable than a 'full-size' laptop will ever be.
To add 1gb of ram to my Advent 4211, I had to remove some screws, and the underside of my machine. Very easy indeed.
The extra 1gb of ram cost exactly £10 delivered from ebay from some dozy bird who had accidentally ordered it for her desktop machine.
I wouldn't touch Dell computer hardware with a very long barge-pole (with the exception of their excellent monitors). This laptot comes with 512mb of memory by standard which apparently can only be upgraded to a massive 1024mb maximum - is the motherboard really that poor?
I have no less/fewer? than 9 individual LEDs on my machine, it's quite useful to know when advanced 21st century features such as Caps Lock have been enabled or the HDD is accessing. I shall naturally be upgrading the hard-drive in due course to store my excessive pr0n collection.
Sorry, doesn't do much for me.
> Don't forget the MSI Wind is available from PC World Business as the Adver^Hnt 4211 for only £218 plus £10 delivery.
I think 'available' is possibly an exaggeration! I've been checking the web page http://www.pcwb.com/catalogue/item/ADVNB027 for over a week now, and unwaveringly it says "Availability: 0 in stock".
A good deal if it ever DOES come back into stock!
Advent 4211: needs a 6 cell battery and a 16GB SSD.
Aspire One: Ditto.
EEE 901: needs to be £30-50 cheaper and get a better keyboard.
Inspiron 910: needs to come in at <£250 with 1GB RAM (expandable to 2GB) and have a battery life of 4+ hours (and gain some LED lights if there's no quick on-screen check).
Until one of the above happens, I'll keep the cash cheers.
I suspect that I'll be disappointed again (tomorrow?).
The idea of marking the alternative characters is useful, until the ink rubs off. Having a non-standard keyboard means they can feel free to improve previous iterations; set <CTRL><ALT/GR>4 to £ or € for example.
For serious writing or coding, I'd be plugging in a USB keyboard on all SCCs.
The point of these small things, at least the way Asus has done them, is that they run Linux, from SSD, boot in seconds (not minutes, the way windows does), which means you will actually whip it out, check your email, and put it away, all in half the time it would take your normal laptop to boot windows.
They are not meant as laptop replacements, they don't do everything, they just happen to be the fastest and most convenient way to check email or a web page if you happen to be at the coffee shop with wifi access and the urge to check something.
That is why Asus apparently sells 5 times as many Linux EeePCs as Windows XP models. The windows one takes minutes to boot and defeats the entire purpose of being quick and convenient and always with you,
>"whip it out, check your email, and put it away"
-I use my mobile for that.
I want an SCC as a secondary machine, ('S')mall enough to surf on the sofa with pretty much full functionality (that's the second 'C' - for computer), take on the train to work and pack for weekends away etc. if I want. But I don't need another primary machine, and it's associated cost (and there's the middle 'C').
At the £200-£250 price point they fill the gap between mobile/PDA (lacking in second 'C') and 'decent' 13"+ laptop (lacking in 'S' and middle 'C').
My primary machine is an M1330 laptop. As far as I can see, desktops are only really necessary for avid gamers or upgraders these days.
Saving a few seconds with Linux is a bonus, but I can't do what I need with Linux (without spending those_few_seconds_saved^10 on researching and implementing Linux hacks and workarounds), so there's no point booting it up in the first place. Waiting for XP to boot is a drag, but I'm not in so much of a hurry that that single factor defines my choice of OS.
In NZ the Acer 5420 was an Aspire not a Extensa. In fact the Extensa range has only been available in NZ for about a week or two.
Back on topic I will be looking at this as I want a SCC but none of the current machines have convinced me yet. The EeePC 901 would probably do what I want but it does not have quite enough storage.
Nope, I wouldn't buy one either:-
1) I'm a Mac person (fanboy, even)
2) It wouldn't suit my needs
But then, I wouldn't buy a MacBook Air - for reason 2) either.
However, I can accept that this (and the Air) are machines designed to address a specific market area. I would not denigrate them just because I happen to be outside that area.
They're both good machines - if they address your specific needs: if they don't - then don't knock them, but buy what does.
As the Inspiron Mini 9.
£300 (280+20 delivery) gets you:
-8.9" WSVGA (WLED)
-4-cell 2200AHr Battery
No options as of yet (Linux or otherwise).
So, to compare (in order of my preference):
1/ EEE 901 (£280, ebuyer) needs to be £30 cheaper. Has n Wi-fi. 6cell 6600mAh beats all comers. 4GB less SSD than Mini 9.
2/ Mini 9 (£300, Dell) seems to have a marginally better keyboard and a nice looking (XPS M1330-esque?) touchpad, but needs to be £50 cheaper. Battery of 4+ hours unlikely? Free delivery puts it in with a shout of the top spot.
3/ 4211/Medion/Wind (£280, PCW) needs to be £30 cheaper, needs SSD instead of 80GB SSD, better battery and it's old touchpad back. Props for the keyboard and 10" screen though. NB: PCWB have put the price up from £235 but are still out of stock so that looks like a gone-er).
4/ Aspire One (£280, dabs) needs to be £30 cheaper, needs a better battery, has 120GB HDD but no Windows SSD option. It's touchpad is small and 'non-standard'. No Bluetooth. Difficult to upgrade.
Looks are entirely subjective, and none are really munters by any score.
I see PC World Business read the Reg.
Yesterday PCWB had the Advent 4211 for £186 (before VAT, so £218 odd after) and £10 for delivery, but none in stock.
PCWorld had it for £279.99 (after VAT) and free delivery (though it was not available for delivery), but it was in stock.
I put the two links up to show this, but now PCWB have upped the price to match PCWorld. They don't hang about, do they?
The original price can (at the moment) be seen in Google cache at:
>Moves box...adds £60 odd to price...
If you look a litle closer, it currently costs (just checked again online to be sure) £279.99 from PC World but no delivery available, so you have to go to the shop, or it costs £271.41 plus deliver from PCWB (have to add on the VAT for the average mad in the street who cant claim his VAT back). Roughly about the same cost I would say. Depends on if you happen to be near a PC World store ...
Still along way from the original cost of £218 plus delivery from the original post ... that would have been a really good price.
Back to the original story - there is a load of bad feeling on the forums about how badly Dell has acted regarding releasing even initial specs and availability on the 910. Shame, I'm in the market for at least one and having tried most of them out, I don't really like any of them enough to part with my cash yet.
"Inspiron Mini 9" - but, being an Inspiron, it's down as "Home User" only.
OK, so it's "home", so at least that price includes VAT & delivery, and there's no options other than 1 or 2yr (£29) warranty. 1.6GHz Atom, 16Gb SSD, 1Gb RAM, 2200Ah battery, XP.