Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Must ... not ... buy ... more gadgets

I've already bought one of those nice little Asus EEE PCs (and a fab little gadget it is too) but now there seems to be an even more affordable laptop soon to be released:

Elonex One Laptop

I've seen comments that this is in fact a re-badged version of Simple PC by Fontastic Telecom Inc but I don't have any inside information to confirm/deny this - they do appear to look awfully similar though!

The processor seems quite low-end, so I tried to have a hunt round for further specs. I managed to find the Aday Inc company website but the closest I could get to was the 5E CPU which is very interesting, being based on a 486 core!

So it's probably fair to assume that the Elonex One laptop could well be based on a high-end 486 CPU core (with all I/O on the same chip) or at best it's going to be a low-end Pentium CPU. Either way it just goes to show (assuming this new laptop actually does perform reasonably well) that you can still do an awful lot with fairly modest hardware!

Another point worth noting (just for a bit of Microsoft baiting) is that you are VERY unlikey to be able to get XP running on this machine, let alone Vista ... of course you may have a shot with something like Pocket PC/Windows Mobile/whatever it's called today - and in fairness the version of Linux on this device is likely to be extremely cut-down compared to a full distro - still, it appears to be running Pidgin which means it can handle GNOME and X-Windows.

Hmmm, I remember running a 486DX2-66 system with only 40Mb RAM and X-Windows, OLVWM, and being able to use Netscape Navigator, XEmacs, and other basic applications without any real issue .

Update: It looks as if this Aware A-Book AW-300 may be the same as the Elonex laptop. Flick through this review and there are some real revelations in terms of the OS and GUI for this device; it appears to be quite a mis-mash of applications and I even spotted some apps with Xt/CDE-style widgets rather than the more familar GTK/Qt that most modern OS's come with.

This is beginning to look like a real budget buy and nowhere near as useful, flexible, upgradable or generally polished as the Asus EEE PC or similar devices that are coming out. Then again, once hacked, a £99 device with screen, CPU, and plenty of I/O capabilities may have it's uses.

1 comment:

Nick Azazel said...

40Mb of RAM, you were lucky. I had a very early version of Linux (Kernel version 0.99) on a Tandon 386 with 4Mb of RAM and I managed to get X up and running. Tell the kids that these days and they wont believe you.

As for the the Elonex One /Fontastic Simple PC/Aware AW-300 or whatever badge it's going to wear tomorrow don't you find it rather odd that none of these gadgets seem to be available for purchase anywhere?