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Asus Budget Ultraportable Notebook Sold Sans OS 263

EconolineCrush writes "Tired of paying the Windows tax on notebooks? Asus's Eee PC 1201T budget ultraportable comes without a traditional operating system and sells for only $380. The 12-inch system has promising specifications, sporting an Athlon Neo processor, Radeon HD 3200 graphics, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It weighs just 3.2lbs with a 6-cell battery and can even handle light gaming duties. However, battery life in Ubuntu is considerably shorter than it is under Windows. Are there any better options for would-be laptop Linux users?"
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Asus Budget Ultraportable Notebook Sold Sans OS

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  • Re:$380? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dward90 ( 1813520 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:36PM (#32269750)
    "Netbook" probably means exactly what you think. "Notebook," however, which is what TFA is about, is a different term.
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:40PM (#32269788) Homepage
    Yes, I have a large budget for my anus. But is that any of your business? I think not.
  • Re:$380? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lemur3 ( 997863 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:46PM (#32269858)

    I thought the same thing. $380? Too much!

    I remember when the eeePc's and other netbooks started coming out for sub $300 prices that it wouldnt be long before we would see $150 netbooks... But I guess that isnt what happened because netbooks seemingly get more and more expensive.

    Where are the cheap netbooks that I thought were the intent of the product?!

  • Re:$380? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:56PM (#32269984)

    It's also a scam [google.com].

  • by leuk_he ( 194174 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:01PM (#32270052) Homepage Journal

    I don't understand why there are no laptops with a small power supply and (barely..) no battery.
    95% of my laptop work is close to a socket and to a wifi internet connection. The trouble is that most laptops i used until now do not have a small power adapter. You still have to lug a considerabele power supply.

    Battery is useful, but i could live without, and it would shave a small amount of the price and weight. And with a modularised design it could just be an other option.

  • Re:$380? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Professor_UNIX ( 867045 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:03PM (#32270066)

    Just buy the Eee PC 1005PE. I don't regret my purchase for a second and a 10+ hour real-world battery life is absolutely beautiful on a netbook. I wouldn't even consider a laptop or netbook with a pitiful 5 hour or less battery life these days. The whole point of a netbook is portability and that means not being shackled to an AC power outlet to power or recharge your laptop all the time so why wouldn't you pick the netbook with the most battery life?

  • by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:09PM (#32270114)

    It's a limit imposed by Microsoft. Or at least that was the case when netbooks came with Windows XP, now that they use Windows 7 I don't know if it's still the same. Basically there was a list of specifications the netbook should not exceed if the manufacturer wanted to get Windows at a reduced price. The ones I remember are 1 GB of RAM max and no more than a single CPU core. I think the hard disk capacity and the screen size were limited too.

  • Freedos in Thailand (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Santzes ( 756183 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:16PM (#32270178) Homepage
    Here in Thailand, or at least in Chiang Mai, most of the computers and laptops I've seen come with FreeDOS preinstalled. If you don't want to install an OS yourself (and don''t prefer Freedos ;) you can just leave the new computer to the shop and pick it up with a OS of your choice a few hours later for a dollar or two extra install fee + price of the OS.
  • by NicknamesAreStupid ( 1040118 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:19PM (#32270206)
    . . . is not having to support an OS. I bet they start losing money as soon as the phone rings.
  • 95% of my laptop work is close to a socket and to a wifi internet connection.

    A lot of restaurants provide free Wi-Fi but don't have any customer-accessible power outlets. And not everybody requires the Internet all the time; some laptop users (such as myself) can get work done while commuting on a bus, train, or carpool.

  • Re:$380? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theJML ( 911853 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:22PM (#32270262) Homepage

    Well, personall 12.1 is kinda big for a netbook, but then I though the line was closer to 8"... I guess the only thing that makes the difference is the processor now-a-days. However, to narrow it down further, I believe you should run it though the flow chart found here:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/13/miniature_computer_field_guide/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • My Eee PC 1005HA has a very small brick. It's a little wider and taller bigger than a Zone candy bar and about as long. It also has very long battery life. The only problem (as mentioned below) is that it gets really hot (~7 Amps), probably because of the small surface area.

  • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:34PM (#32270408) Homepage Journal

    But the fact that this is rarely the case for any Linux-based desktop system tells me why power-saving and other (usually audio) features don't work well.

    Its interesting that most of the (few) brands that work well with a distro like Ubuntu off the shelf also tend to be companies that offer certain models with Linux pre-installed. They're not like Dell, who will design a prototype from available components, then go to the component OEMs and say "We're making 2 million of this new system, but some of your chips come with standard features we'd rather leave out or fudge in software... chop that stuff off your chips and drop your price if you want our business".

    Of course, the Linux drivers tend to be written for the OEM originals with their standard features intact, not the funky special-request variations made by Dell, Acer, etc. for their budget models.

    What this translates into is that Johnny is perplexed as to why Linux has poor "PC compatibility".

    Someone (that means us) needs to start insisting on systems that were designed with Linux or preferably a popular landmark distro like Ubuntu in mind. And we need to stop setting our friends and colleagues up for failed experiments when handing them discs expecting they can just run it on their PCs; It reflects badly on our judgment as individuals and on free open source software in general.

  • by DrCode ( 95839 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:04PM (#32270682)

    I may have something similar, an eee 900a with 1Mb RAM and 4Gb ssd. The problem is that not only is 4Gb too small, but it's a very slow ssd, worse than any hard drive. I spend about $50 to replace it with a much faster 16Gb, and installed Ubuntu NBR. It's now quite reasonable for web surfing. Flash movies are slow, but watching video with mplayer or vlc, even full-screen, is fine. It's great for traveling, as it fits in a small shoe bag and gets 3-4 hours battery life.

  • Re:$380? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HereIAmJH ( 1319621 ) <{HereIAmJH} {at} {hdtrvs.org}> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:53PM (#32271330)

    Where are the cheap netbooks that I thought were the intent of the product?!

    Well, we lost the NET in netbooks. Like others have mentioned, they started pushing them as desktop replacements with faster processors and Windows. Also, somehow netbooks got defined as sub 12" displays with 160+ gigabyte hard drives. Netbooks were supposed to be small, light, and with a long battery life that ran simple applications and connected to the Internet. And wifi is being replaced with 3g for web access so that cell companies can sell contracts.

    I'm still using my eeePC 701 (right now, actually) and storage space and processor speed has never been an issue. I have a few 2g SD cards, and some thumb drives but rarely use them. I use the Internet for storage or my server when I'm home. My only complaint with wifi is I wish I had an external antenna jack. If I want 3g, I'll break down and finally buy a smart phone. With a little tinkering a Droid can provide a hotspot, so no need for a contract just for the netbook.

    OTOH, I would be much happier with a larger display and keyboard. A 12" version of the 701 would be considerably larger, but not much heavier. There are just too many sites that don't support small displays. Even slashdot has some issues.

  • by golden.radish ( 1459385 ) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:06PM (#32271516)

    http://www1.ca.dell.com/ca/en/home/Laptops/laptop-inspiron-1545/pd.aspx?refid=laptop-inspiron-1545&s=dhs&cs=cadhs1&ref=lthp [dell.com]

    Not sure why you wouldn't get an Inspiron 1545. Full XP Driver support, runs Ubuntu or Fedora, or heaven forbid, comes with Windows 7.

    4GB ram, 2.2Ghz dual core, and a 320GB drive for $500, and the 15.6" screen is a WHITE LED backlight.

    The features and prices of that model have been increasing since January 2009, while the price has been the same or lower. Go Dell!

  • Re:$380? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fri13 ( 963421 ) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @02:23AM (#32275518)

    Netbook is just a nickname for the sub-notebook category.
    Netbooks idea was to have a 7-9" screens with good resolution (from 720x480 up to 1024x600). So you can just have very basic functions with you. Weight being less than 800g and battery time about 10-20 hours (depending the screen being a black/white or very little power usage).

    Bad thing is just no one really wanted to take out the netbook as there was a need. They pushed normal LCD monitors to them, a Intel Atom what eats the battery and over few gigabytes for storage.

    Now "netbooks" are notebooks. Thanks to Microsoft what wanted to come to markets and drive Linux away from markets so people would not start using different UI's what would drive them to alternatives from Windows in the end.

    From smaller to bigger
    Cellphone (some are called as "smartphones")
    PDA (already replaced by "smart"phones and MID's)
    Sub-notebook (Netbook trend should drop here)
    Desktop computer .... ....

    Many would buy a 150$ computer with at least 10-15 battery time, very lightweight, small storage space (4-12Gb) and good connectivity (only a WiFi/3G, who wants to have a RJ-45 on cellphone? just as example).

    But problem is that if it does not come with Windows, Microsoft will drive you away with all possible ways. If you dont have Office or IE on it, many people will turn away.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost