Monday 18 February 2008

cheap laptops on the road

"Just give me a cheap word processor that I can carry!" was my mom's reply when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She writes and because she likes to go outside or just sit in a café, she wanted more then a mobile device, but less then a full blown desktop and especially an easy to use keyboard. Ever since she mentioned it, I wanted one as well.

A couple of companies picked up on that market segment and now... the run for buyers has begun.

The latest initiative is from Elonex (a review at the times online). A simple laptop with basic memory (1GB, extendible up to 8GB), free word processor, spreadsheet, MP3 player, photo editor web browser and e-mail software. A nice feature is the detachable screen, which gives you a tablet whenever needed. The OS is Linux and it features open-source software. It will be shown at the Education Show in Birmingham.

Other choices or already more known:
OLPC XO laptop (one laptop per child) and the Asus EEE. Although the Asus EEE comes out of the comparison as being the best buy, helping the world to become a little more connected is of course a worthwhile investment. A good review on the asus EEE, a nice one on the OLPC XO.

My main concerns are: strong keyboard and firm processor, so I am hoping for the Elonex one to give me just that. If so, I am buying.


  1. Hi Ignatia ... nice to see your post about Zoho on my blog! :)

    About cheap notebooks, I have been looking at the Cloudbook from Everex - - similar form to the Eee, but has a 30G hard drive, and comes with a full version of Ubuntu. They retail for $399 in the US, but I am still waiting for them to appear here in Japan.


  2. waw Rob, thank you for this usefull tip. I am going to US this spring, so I will certainly take a look. 30 GB and Ubuntu, that is good capacity and operating.


  3. Oops! I was wrong about the OS ... I was looking at other Everex products where you can select from Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Edubuntu, but The Cloudbook comes with GoS ... which is a Ubuntu based distro.

    There seem to be some pretty strong opinions about the CloudBook ...
    one of the the original distributors is no longer selling them because so many were returned. However they do not say whether this was because of production quality, or usability issues. Here is a more positive review:

    Regardless, it looks like Everex have a little more work to do before this is ready for the masses!

  4. hi Rob
    Thank you very much for the in-depth update. Indeed, this Everex version does not seem to match up with expectations consumers could have. It certainly would drive my not-so-IT-mom in the drapes, so I will compare a couple of cheap laptops and try to figure out the best buy. Still, good to know that market is inspiring a couple of companies.