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Old 06-09-2007, 08:29 AM   #1
branko
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Ultra-cheap ultra-mobile laptop comparison matrix

With all these new cheap ultra-mobile laptops being announced, things started to get confusing for me, so I created a comparison chart for them and have added it to the Mobileread wiki here. I hope you find it useful, and please edit it as more information becomes available for these devices.

The devices in the matrix are: OLPC 2B1, Intel Classmate, Palm Foleo, Asus EEE, and the Via Nanobook.

Last edited by branko; 06-09-2007 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 06-09-2007, 11:04 AM   #2
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Cool! Thanks!

What does the "2B1" after OLPC stand for? Because I was thinking you might want to add a note about the speculated "buy 2 get one" program for the OLPC.
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Old 06-09-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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Very helpful Branko!

Will you fill in the blanks as they come? May I suggest trying to find out in the future if they allow reading and in what formats they will?

Good work!
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible View Post
Will you fill in the blanks as they come?
I was hoping everybody would pitch in and help.

2B1 is the name of the model. (OLPC is the name of the project.)
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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This is excellent, and hopefully we will all help it to grow as you indicated.

The new wave of devices being enabled by the new chip sets is really incredible and exciting. Even though they were, in many cases, hindered by the new hardware requirements imposed by Vista, so many options are coming. I can't wait to see more!

My current "dream device" is a Foleo-like form factor, as a convertible tablet that has Q1 Ultra screen and features (including the fingerprint reader that they unfortunately only put in the highest models), plus an easy dock and a bit more expandability for memory and disk.

My current "dream solution" is a more powerful and faster Treo, with applications that can handle a wireless connection to an external keyboard and full VGA or better screen -- in the form of a Foleo-sized convertible form factor.

Like most of us, however, it's going to be a while before I can get what I want on the market, especially if we want it for less than $1,000.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:56 PM   #6
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I have an issue with the nomenclature of the category these devices fall in. Mostly the initials. 'UCUM' (Ultra Cheap Ultra Mobile)??? Hmmm! Like the kind of spam I get!
Or UMUC? (Ultra Mobile Ultra Cheap) Kind of muddy!

How about UCM. Ultra Cheap Mobiles. Simple and to the Point.
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:37 PM   #7
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How about UCUC (Ultra Cheap Ultra Crap)
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:47 PM   #8
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I think the title "ultra-cheap ultra-mobile laptops" is fine, but that isn't the title of the wiki page (Ultra-cheap ultra-mobiles matrix). A page on laptops with a $500 (list?) cutoff is a good idea, but it should say laptop in the title.

There are low cost alternatives today that are not laptops (Nokia 770 and 800, perhaps PDAs), but these are all clearly different beasts. UMPCs are sometimes laptops and sometimes not (either way they are clearly laptop-like), but are currently all above $500. Over time, UMPC's will dip below $500, but this is probably too high for "ultra-cheap" in the long term anyway.
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:27 PM   #9
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I guess sub-notebook would have been better, but "ultra-mobile" is a word I just learned a couple of weeks ago, so it sort of stuck.

Please rename the page if you like.
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:21 PM   #10
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I renamed the page "Ultra-cheap sub-notebook matrix". I also added that Eee will be running Xandros (from PC Mag article) and it has a touchpad (see photos). So far as I can tell, no one knows for sure what its screen resolution will be - which is strange. It is always just called a 7" screen.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
I think the title "ultra-cheap ultra-mobile laptops" is fine, but that isn't the title of the wiki page (Ultra-cheap ultra-mobiles matrix). A page on laptops with a $500 (list?) cutoff is a good idea, but it should say laptop in the title.

There are low cost alternatives today that are not laptops (Nokia 770 and 800, perhaps PDAs), but these are all clearly different beasts. UMPCs are sometimes laptops and sometimes not (either way they are clearly laptop-like), but are currently all above $500. Over time, UMPC's will dip below $500, but this is probably too high for "ultra-cheap" in the long term anyway.
From what I've been following since the introduction of the MS "Origami" vaporware a few years ago, is that an UMPC was a small, slate-style PC that may or may not have a keyboard attached to it that slides out/down, and has a screen larger than a typical PDA (4"), but less than a sub-notebook (10"). So given these specs, any other device that has the moniker UMPC attached to it is just plain brand-spamming. I've seen quite a few TabletPC's that are being marketed as UMPC's, but they still have a keyboard attached that swivels around just like a typical convertable TabletPC; i.e., still a TabletPC.

I do like the acronyms that have turned up here; such as UCPC, UCUMPC, or UCP. Who knows, maybe we're going to be coming up with one of the new buzzwords to describe this new trend? I do hope that they don't come out as PoC's as Wolf describes, otherwise his moniker will stick... "Look, it's an UCUC!"

Last edited by Azayzel; 06-09-2007 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 06-09-2007, 11:41 PM   #12
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Mouse control on the Eee -- eraserhead weighs in

Why do manufacturers think we like touchpads?

If I want a mouse cursor that hops around the screen every time my sleeve touches the pad or my wrist hovers over the pad, I'll get a touchpad. I much prefer the little eraserhead in the keyboard for a laptop or subnotebook.

For a desktop machine, I still like an optical roller ball. Easy hand position and movement, never gets dirty.

Thanks for the great thread!
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Old 06-09-2007, 11:46 PM   #13
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I was using UMPC to mean a slate-style (touch screen) device with a x86 cpu and 4-10 inch screen. So I would include small convertible tablets with movable keyboards and devices with keypads on their wings, but not a conventional clamshell with a fixed keyboard.

The new category seems to be small no-frills clamshell laptops, with almost all expandability via USB (e.g. no CD or DVD drive) and perhaps even no hard disk. It isn't clear to me whether this is a real category or if it is just defined by price. Clamshell, no touch screen, no DVD, all reduce the cost for example. These may just end up being the low end of the sub-notebook class.
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:10 AM   #14
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BTW

BTW the 300,000 pixel camera resolution translates to 640x480 (307,200 pixels).

This article suggests the Eee will support Skype -- my dream come true!
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I much prefer the little eraserhead in the keyboard for a laptop or subnotebook.
I see what you're saying, mogui, but gah, I hate those stinkin' things.

Clearly, they must work better for others than the do for me, or they'd've stopped putting them on laptops by now.
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