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Portables Hardware

Dell Shows Off Its Eee PC Rival 250

Tom Moreland tips us to photos of Dell's answer to the Eee PC on the Direct2Dell site. Dell posted these after an attendee at the D conference spotted Michael Dell carrying one. The company hasn't released any details, so you can take these with a grain of salt — from a commenter to Dell's post: "Here are the specs for the Dell Mini Inspiron: Atom 1.6 GHz, 3 USB ports, Ethernet, Card reader, Kensington lock, Adapter socket, Mic/line-out, VGA port, screen resolution at 1280×800. Scheduled to be released before the end of June 2008. It costs less than $500."
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Dell Shows Off Its Eee PC Rival

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  • Re:Vector Fonts (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:01PM (#23600711)
    It's a good thing that most Linux distributions use Vector fonts, and allow you to set the screen resolution in dpi.

    Actually, such a high resolution on such a small screen means super-smooth fonts, and easy readability... which thus far could only be obtained on high-resolution laptops (1650x1080 on 15" and 1920x1200 on 17").

    Considering that the cheap Inspirons have 1280x800 on a 15" screen, just imagine the improvement.
  • Total Karma whoring (Score:4, Informative)

    by foobat ( 954034 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:04PM (#23600757)
  • by RandoX ( 828285 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:05PM (#23600765)
    XP home or Ubuntu, according to Engadget [].
  • Re:Nice resolution! (Score:2, Informative)

    by papna ( 1242200 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:13PM (#23600879)
    I have a 4G Eee PC and I love it. The only real problem is the screen size and resolution, which makes it much less useful for real work. I personally have no problem with the keyboard, and I have pretty big hands and I've found that it has enough power to do everything I've been trying to do on it. I expected the installations of the software Asus provides to be more customised for the Eee PC. They did a lot to make the interface work well for the small screen, but there are times that customisation just is not there. Some settings pages will not fit in the space provided and some apps even needed resizing. (Skype is one that never wanted to cooperate, but there's really nothing ASUS can do about that.) Overall, I've been really satisfied.
  • by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:50PM (#23601433) Homepage
    Absolutely horrendous keyboard! Too small and cramped for me to be able to stand there and type out a few sentences at normal speed.

    Not sure how big your hands are, but mine are pretty big, and I've had a 7" EEE since they came out - I absolutely LOVE the keyboard for how small it is. I haven't had a problem typing ~60WPM on it (I normally type ~65WPM). You don't want to type for hours on it, but nobody would want to do that on *any* subnotebook.
  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:54PM (#23601503)

    OMG, I have an USB-port on this computer that I'm not currently using! Oh why do they force me to pay for stuff that I don't use?

    Just suck it up. If you think that the features and the price are acceptable, then buy it (even if you plan to use a lower resolution). If not, then don't. No-one is forcing you to pay for features you don't need, since you always have the choice of not buying anything.
    Except that LCDs look blurry if you run them at non native resolution, whereas an unused USB port is no problem.
  • by basotl ( 808388 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @12:55PM (#23601505)
    He was trying to link to this: []
  • VGA Output (Score:2, Informative)

    by {Hecubus} ( 62076 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:08PM (#23601699)
    There are a lot of LCD projectors out there in classrooms, lecture halls, and meeting spaces that have only been wired for VGA.

    You could always use DVI -> LCD converter I suppose...

  • Re:Ubuntu (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:09PM (#23601719)
    Previous discussion []
  • by lbgator ( 1208974 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [uolo.semaj]> on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:27PM (#23601999)

    GP is referring to a free version of Windows that would only be available to the ultra-portable market. I can't find the link right now - but the stipulation would be that the MS OS would be free (or very very cheap) to put on machines with 800x600 screens and sub GHz processors IIRC.

    MS would then be able to remain a dominant OS by being available/viable in the pending cheap market, and not lose customers to Linux.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:45PM (#23602057) Homepage Journal

    I used to think the Eee PC was a great idea until I actually tried to type on a 7" model at Best Buy.

    I hated the Eee's keyboard for about the first hour, then adjusted enough that it wasn't that big of a deal, at least for what I use it for (web surfing, email, SSH, developing large applications in Python).

  • Re:Dell EEE PC (Score:5, Informative)

    by Constantine XVI ( 880691 ) <trash.eighty+sla ... minus poet> on Friday May 30, 2008 @01:58PM (#23602123)
    The Eee was designed to be low cost AND small/lightweight. The Vostro 1000 is neither small nor lightweight.
  • Re:first post! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Serious Lemur ( 1236978 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:42PM (#23602649)

    I'm typing this from a non-mini Inspiron, and I'd pick ANYONE over Dell based on any characteristic but price - and "under $500" doesn't come near Asus' price for what you get. Main issues with Dell after this purchase:

    -Shoddy craftsmanship - the keys occasionally snap off under the normal force of typing, and sometimes aren't replaceable. If I hadn't shelled out a hundred bucks or so extra for a more comprehensive warranty, my F11 key would be permanently gone.

    -Bad installations - when the laptop originally arrived with Ubuntu on it, a full 5 gigs of the hard drive was wasted on Dell-created partitions that served no real function to me, without asking whether I wanted them or not, and the install itself had many strange options selected. I reinstalled the whole thing from scratch.

    -Stupid lock-ins - Since I bought the laptop without a graphics card beyond the integrated graphics, they locked down the motherboard's ability to accept a hardware graphics card. Since I bought the laptop with memory that runs at 533MHz, it refuses to run my 800-whateverMHz memory that I bought separately any faster than 533MHz, even though they offer 667MHz memory and there's no reason it can't accept even the speed I have.

    -Horrible purchase packages - They charge something like a hundred extra bucks to upgrade from 512MB memory to a gig, and a hundred more on top of that to go to two gigs. For comparison, I bought 4 gigs of much faster memory on eBay, brand new and unopened, for $90 including shipping. Newegg would have charged me about $130.

    -Ugliness - Dear god, look at the standard Inspiron for a bit. It looks like a brick. They can't really be that bad at design, the XPS line isn't anywhere near that ugly. They just want to make a killing selling the higher-end models, which cost less than a hundred dollars extra to them to manufacture.

    For these reasons alone, not just the simple fact that Dell's been convicted of fraud and God knows whatever else recently, I'll take Asus over Dell any day. Besides, the eeePC originally only ran Linux, and that's something I can get behind.

  • by Serious Lemur ( 1236978 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @02:45PM (#23602699)
    Buy your RAM separately and you'll save a lot of money. Make sure you get the fastest SPEED of RAM that they'll offer you, though - Dell, for one, has a nasty habit of making sure no RAM will be recognized as faster than the speed they originally installed in their laptops.
  • by ais523 ( 1172701 ) <ais523(524\)(525)x)> on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:08PM (#23602977)
    I'm using a Dell-preloaded-with-Ubuntu (originally Feisty) at the moment. There wasn't any adware on it as far as I could tell, just stock Ubuntu which seemed to have been installed straight off the CD. It also has Windows keys (mapped to Super), and it came with manuals describing Windows XP; I got the impression that they'd just got one of their Windows computers, put an Ubuntu LiveCD in, and clicked Install. (Of course, they probably do more than that.) No adware that I could see, though; there's a clickthrough on first run (I think the EULAs for something non-FLOSS on there, possibly proprietary drivers, or possibly just for the clickthrough itself; that would be ironic!), however. I'm slightly surprised it didn't come with 915resolution pre-installed; the screen's a widescreen but it's stuck in 1024x768 until that package is installed. Of course, Dell have upgraded to Gutsy on their preinstalls since I got my laptop, so maybe things are different now. Would someone with a Dell-preinstalled-Gutsy laptop care to comment?
  • by Stickney ( 715486 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:19PM (#23603095) Homepage
    How to remove "impossible-to-remove" toolbars: []

    Or, to get more space: []
  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:46PM (#23603483) Homepage Journal

    1. A DVI connector takes maybe an extra eighth of an inch on either side and a total of an eighth of an inch more in thickness. These machines aren't that tight on space. If they are, though, you could always use Mini-DVI or Micro-DVI (though the latter does not provide analog pins).

    2. Go to any store and buy an LCD panel. You will see a handful of sad monitors that are VGA-only. You can recognize these because they are made by obscure manufacturers you've never heard of, are horribly miscalibrated, and are relatively low resolution. Good panels these days are all either DVI or DVI/VGA panels. DVI/VGA panels tend to cost a few bucks more than DVI-only panels.

    3. You haven't bought an LCD panel lately, have you? In my experience buying one at Fry's, I'd estimate that more than half of the monitors I saw were DVI-only.

  • Re:first post! (Score:5, Informative)

    by cHiphead ( 17854 ) on Friday May 30, 2008 @03:56PM (#23603631)
    You are using an Inspiron, the 'value' (read: CHEAP) end of Dell's laptop offerings and complaining about it? You get what you pay for, sir. Spend a little bit more for a Latitude D630 and you will have a much more reliable laptop with higher quality hardware and a more consistent standard of hardware for the overall model line.

    If you want a laptop that allows a custom video card, you need to spec the stuff you want BEFORE YOU BUY, and keep a cognizant eye of what gotchas may be involved. Basically, do some research, and not just reviewing halfassed slashdot comments like ours.

    After 15 years of experiencing all sorts of good, bad, magical, unreliable, and just plain retarded computer manufacturers, I must opine that you are out of your mind if you think Asus anything better than Dell. They both are cutthroat businesses looking to save a buck where noone might notice, and whenever possible you avoid the lowest end laptops/etc, such as Inspiron.

    Don't try to cut corners and save some bucks then complain when you made a glaringly bad decision. (Ubuntu preinstalled on a Dell? Did you do NO research prior to grabbing the first Ubuntu mania inspired laptop you could find?)


"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982