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Shiny Shiny Shiny

Sorry Asus, but the EEE has fallen off my wishlist. marypcb and I have been playing with a prototype of the rather lovely HP MiniNote for the last few hours, and I have to say: verily it rocketh.

Not only does it have a decent screen size and resolution, it's got a proper keyboard unlike the EEE's tiny keys. Oh, and it's solid aluminium rather than plastic - which definitely makes it teh shiny. That's three things it gets right (not to mention a decent mobile processor in the Via C-7 and a sizable set of expansion ports). The battery life isn't too shabby by all accounts, even with a 3 cell battery. The OS options work well, either Windows or SUSE Linux. The pricing's pretty good too, especially for the 4G flash RAM version...

I'll be sorry to see it go back tomorrow.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC)
I think I may be in love....
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)
can you post us to a full report? I like my eee, but I don't love it the way I loved the LG Phenom.
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:46 am (UTC)
Some reviews here:



I am horribly tempted, given that my current laptop (a Phillips machine I bought eighteen months ago) is starting to act up rather badly. UK release isn't until late May though.
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
my review with benchmarks will be at Tom's Hardware soon.
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
4Gb of FLASH is simply not enough for a modern linux distro. SuSE -- a couple of years back when I ran it routinely -- typically wanted about 4.3Gb for a full installation.

And I really want a subnotebook with a good battery life. As it is, I'm probably not replacing my Eee until the Atom-based units begin showing up (whether in the Eee or the MiniNote, which I will concede is extraordinarily shiny, although I think you hammer the Eee a bit hard -- it's very robust, for a cheap'n'cheerful product).

(My main use for a subnotebook is on long flights in economy class; if I'm able to spring for business class, or working at a desk, the Airbook wins, hands down. But long flights in economy class don't routinely come with seatback power. So a long battery life is pretty much essential.)

Edited at 2008-04-17 08:48 am (UTC)
Apr. 17th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
"For $499, it comes with SUSE Linux with a 64GB solid-state drive."

Though actually I doubt that that's right ... I reckon that there's a $499 machine, there's a machine with 64Gb of SSD at a different price, and there's a 160Gb non-SSD machine for Windows XP at $1,200. We'll just have to wait and see.

Edited at 2008-04-17 10:15 am (UTC)
Apr. 17th, 2008 10:53 am (UTC)
news.com got the specs wrong. The entry-level SuSE-equipped machine comes with a 4Gb SSD (not 64Gb) and IIRC 512Mb of RAM. (Might be 1Gb) at $499. The WinXP model comes with a 120Gb or 160Gb hard disk and double the RAM at $750.

NB: my Chinese third-party ten-cell battery for the eee just arrived fifteen minutes ago. Will have to see how it goes. It adds a bit of weight, changes the Eee's centre of gravity (for the better -- it was screen-heavy and tended to tip backwards with the ordinary 4-cell battery), and tilts the keyboard more (also a good thing, IMO). If it delivers on the battery life -- and it should be good for 6-7 hours of actual use -- then that will be good ...
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
there will be a 64SSD version, but it's not on sale yet.

NB, the MN battery is small enough to carry a second 6 cell and have 8 hours pretty easily
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
> SuSE -- a couple of years back when I ran it routinely -- typically wanted about 4.3Gb for a full installation.

Sigh... my first serious Linux machine used 20Mb at the end of a 100Mb disc and supported everything I needed for work ;)
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
4GB is the option for the people who want flash. 120GB hard drive for the rest of us.
Apr. 17th, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)

As tempting as an EEE has been lately, I promised myself I'd wait until more UMPCs launched, making the market more competitive; It looks like that may be happening even sooner than I'd hoped.
Apr. 17th, 2008 10:11 am (UTC)
Both the Eee and this are bigger than what I would consider a UMPC. These are "ultra mini notebooks"

The difference is the keyboard size. Both the Eee and the HP have a keyboard that is only a few percent smaller than a standard keyboard, and so suitable for touch-typing for those of us with bigger hands, and the form factor is limited by that ... the "proper" UMPC (to my mind) is no more than about 18cm across and probably closer to 15cm ... just slightly bigger than a Psion5.

The HP (like the new Eee) has a screen that's nearly 9" and a decent resolution.
Apr. 17th, 2008 10:05 am (UTC)
this one?, looks great! Though for the fully pimped out version it's a lot more expensive than the Eee, though a lot more powerful!
Apr. 17th, 2008 10:47 am (UTC)
Very pretty, but fails the "stick in my pocket" test which is my basic criterion for a subnotebook - WTF doesn't anyone make an updated Psion or Jornada sized machine with a decent spec?
Apr. 17th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
I suspect they will, once the Atom chipsets are out there. It'll probably have an Eee-like 800x480 screen, or maybe even a 1024x480 screen like the old Sony Picturebooks, but it ought to be do-able now, even without Psion's sliding keyboard patent (which I gather they refuse to license to anybody, in a classic case of dog-in-the-manger).
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
So, slightly heavier than the EEE that cattitude and I decided not to keep because of the annoyingly small screen size, it looks like. Does it use the entire screen for display? That was the annoyance of the eee--it looks like the display should be larger than it is.
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Saw some articles about it last week and am in love already!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 18th, 2008 09:51 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you HP
If someone out there figures out how to get Leopard to run on this thing, with Wifi, then I'm afraid I will lose another saving throw vs. shiny!
Apr. 20th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
Sweet. I've been trying to decide what I want to travel with because the old Ferrari 4000, while very nice to use, is pretty heavy. Perhaps I will buy one of these things when I get to the US.

Updated travel plans: Not arriving SF till May 21st. Traveling to Florida May 29th. Back in SF at some point for some undetermined amount of time, then home again. Reasonably cheap to change my ticket dates, so things still somewhat undetermined!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )