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Portables Hardware

VIA Open Platform Mini-Notebook Serves up Linux 111

Vigile writes "VIA is attempting to outdo the ASUS Eee PC with its new OpenBook platform reference design that not only offers up extra features but also supports many more operating system choices as well. The exterior design is pretty damn sexy and is built around (of course) VIA's own CPU and chipset products and can be equipped with WiMAX and/or 3G networking like HSDPA or W-CDMA. What is really impressive is that the device can run versions of Windows Vista or XP, Ubuntu, Suse or gOS." Update: 05/27 13:30 GMT by T : alphadogg adds a bit more information on the "open" part of "Open Platform," writing "The CAD (computer-assisted design) files for the OpenBook reference design can be downloaded for free and made available to anyone under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license. The terms of this license allow the CAD files to be freely copied, shared and modified."
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VIA Open Platform Mini-Notebook Serves up Linux

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  • by Manic Miner ( 81246 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:05AM (#23554793) Homepage
    I bought a via system for my home media centre, sold by the promises of Linux support and low power hardware - never again! I've got the worst performing badly supported and buggy heap of junk, lots of things simply don't work even with the latest kernels even when you use Via's nasty binary only drivers.

    On the other hand the Asus machine will come running Linux, so hardware support will be there from the work go.
  • Performance (Score:4, Informative)

    by __aardcx5948 ( 913248 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:09AM (#23554823)
    Apparently the performance of this CPU is equivalent of a 900 MHz Pentium-M... ( http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/hp-2133-mini-note/4505-3121_7-32924066.html [cnet.com] ) or an 800 MHz Intel A110. However, with HW acceleration of a lot of video formats, this won't matter much while watching video, probably. You wouldn't want to run Gentoo on this thing though. ;-)
  • Re:Performance (Score:3, Informative)

    by ErroneousBee ( 611028 ) <neil:neilhan[ ]k.co.uk ['coc' in gap]> on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:24AM (#23554975) Homepage
    Not that I'm a fan of gentoo, but it does have a binary bootstrap thing, and also is able to offload the compilation onto other machines using distcc or similar.
  • Up to 3 hours???? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Paul Carver ( 4555 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:27AM (#23555001)
    How can people seriously call these things "ultra mobile" when they have to keep getting plugged into a wall outlet? An gee, I wonder why none of the photos show them plugged in. I suppose with a 50 foot extension cord you could be "ultra mobile".

    My Lifebook P2120 gets about 8 hours with its dual battery setup and I consider that adequate although I wish it could do better. How many people work less than 8 hours? When I leave the house I grab my P2120, I don't pack a bag with a charger or spare battery. Eight hours can just barely get me through the day if I'm careful to set the screen brightness to minimum and hibernate a couple times.

    Call me when an "ultra mobile" gets 10 hours of "typical" battery life, not 3 hours of "up to" battery life.

    I'm looking at the Lifebook T2010 as a replacement for my slow and somewhat beat up (dropped it a few times) P2120.

    The T2010 is a bit bigger than the P2120, but with 11 hours of battery life I'm probably going to overlook its flaws and its steep price tag.

    My typical use is wandering around theatre using software to control the stage lighting via 802.11g. To me "ultra mobile" means the computer comes with me as I move around and I don't have to stop working several times a day to recharge, or carry a pile of spare batteries, or drag an extension cord around.
  • Re:Yes.... RTFA (Score:2, Informative)

    by y86 ( 111726 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @09:40AM (#23555195)
    O.S. Support:

  • Re:Up to 3 hours???? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @10:05AM (#23555567) Homepage

    No kidding. My 2.4GHz MacBook Pro gets 2.5-3.5 hours of battery life when surfing with WiFi on and possibly listening to music and doing other activities. Why would I want a crippled little laptop that gets the same battery life?

    Don't get me wrong. I see real appeal in little laptops. If there were 12" MacBook Pros, I would have considered one. But if I'm going to get a small laptop where I have to compromise on things like CPU power, I want something out of that compromise: I want battery life.

    For such a relatively slow laptop (someone said CNet puts it at the speed of a 900MHz P3) I would think you could build a system to get at least 5 hours. But if I have to haul around a power adapter and such, I might as well haul around a better notebook too.

  • cad files? (Score:4, Informative)

    by delirium of disorder ( 701392 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2008 @11:59AM (#23557261) Homepage Journal
    Looks like these are just pro-e files of the case design. When I can get gerber files for the motherboard and VHDL files of the ASICS, I'll be impressed.

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