Monday, July 14, 2008

Fujitsu Siemens Netbook and Aspire One

Asus began it with their Eee PC sub-notebook, but now everyone else is jumping aboard the so-called "netbook" revolution of small low-cost laptops. And now, Fujitsu Siemens is also joining the party.

Fujitsu Siemens, once the reference in Pocket PC devices (remember their Loox range?) is about to introduce their netbook. A small (8.9" LCD) notebook that is expected to cost between 300 and 400€.

The memories... I still use my Loox 600 as navigator, with a Bluetooth GPS and TomTom. In fact, until TomTom officially delivers a navigator for the iPhone, I'll keep it in my car.

Meanwhile, the Acer Aspire One has finally arrived at our stores and I went to gave it a look.
It is indeed everything I was hoping it would be. Very nicely built and still small enough to be carried around with ease.
In fact, when holding it next to the Eee PC 701, it makes the Asus "look like a toy" - and these aren't my words, but from a father talking to his daughter.

Don't take it wrong, I personally love the Eee PC 701 - and I think the 901 has everything it needs to be one of the best "netbooks" available. It's just that:
1) It still isn't available here - and won't be for the next 5 or 6 months.
2) It's too damn expensive.

This is exactly what the Acer Aspire One has to its own advatange, it's already here and it has an unbeatable price of 299€!

This is the price the Eee PC 901 should have, and it should be out there on the stores right now, to have a chance to win the "war" initiated by its smaller brother.

As for the Acer, the keyboard is a lot easier to use than the Eee's, even it at the cost a few extra centimeters - something most adults will gladly trade for the improved typing speed and accuracy.
As for the OS, it offers you the same basic operations as the competition: Internet, Document, Media Player, Games. I didn't have time to play around with it much. I suppose most "advanced users" would quickly replace for their favorite Linux distro - Ubuntu/Xubuntu being my personal choice.
Nevertheless, browsing the Internet is more pleasant than on the Eee 701, with its higher resolution screen requiring a lot less scroll bar action.

I'm still waiting to see the MSI Wind and see how/if it will justify spending a 100-200 Euros more. After seeing this Acer, I think it will very hard for Wind to pull that off... but I'll give it a fair chance.

As always, there's always something "missing" for it to be just perfect: in the case of Acer it's its small 3 cell battery, offering about 3h battery life. A 6 cell battery would be much more appropriate.
(But keep in mind this is something plaguing most low cost netbooks - most others also come with similar sized batteries.)

via [Engadget]

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