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Thread: Which Sub Notebook?

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    Which Sub Notebook?

    Probably a question on a few peoples lips just now -

    I've been looking to buy one for a while now but every Eee incarnation appears to be lacking in some area and compared to something better being released a month later.

    Every manufacturer seems to be getting in on the action now and the number of choices is expanding quickly.

    Does anyone know of any websites dealing exclusively with news & reviews of sub notebooks? I'm particularly interested in Dells forthcoming offering.

    Would anyone like to recommend one to me? The criteria I have is -

    SSD 8GB+
    Linux Preinstalled - capable of running ubuntu
    8.9" + Screen
    1 GB Ram
    Good Battery Life

    Cheers!

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I have two eee's

    a 701 and 901, both Linux versions

    you're right about the new features (as you can see!) - rumour has it there will be a 901 variant with space for a 3G card shortly - oh bother!

    However whether it is ASUS or someone else - this is a feature of PC life.

    The 701 whilst it may have been instrumental in defining a new category has many weaknesses.
    The 901 ticks all your boxes - the screen size is very useful and the battery life has gone from not good to excellent. I have been using every evening for 30-60m and then leaving it in standby and it still has 20-30% after 5 days.

    which suits me - it's a tool to have with you all the time, it comes out of standby fractionally slower than a palm and faster than a blackberry so useful as a PIM type tool. If I want to use it for heavy work - it still needs connecting to a big monitor.

    I think though I am very happy with the eee - the real conclusion to draw is that a sub-notebook based around a good implementation of the Atom chipset is likely to be the best option.

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Acer Aspire one, big support community on the 'net aswell, had one for over a month now and don't regret a thing.

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Acer Aspire one is a good choice.
    Deo Adjuvante non Timendum

  5. #5
    handscombmp
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I'm thinking of getting a sub notebook as well and i'm thinking along the same lines


    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVector View Post
    Acer Aspire one, big support community on the 'net aswell, had one for over a month now and don't regret a thing.
    this sounds great but i can't actully find any support for it.

    My next thing is just say i'm getting the aspire one. My first though was i should get XP as it will run fine as i'm not doing any intensive task but then i thought about viruses. Would i need a anti virus or not.

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    The SSD on the Linux version of the Aspire it absolute crap. Seriously. It's soooo slow. You're not talking about something a bit on the slow side. You're talking having to take Windows XP apart if you want it running at a semi decent speed.

    I'd assumed the XP models came with a hard drive for space purposes...

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    The SSD on the Linux version of the Aspire it absolute crap. Seriously. It's soooo slow. You're not talking about something a bit on the slow side. You're talking having to take Windows XP apart if you want it running at a semi decent speed.

    I'd assumed the XP models came with a hard drive for space purposes...
    Ah that's interesting to know thanks -i'm looking for a sub notebook for a friend atm.
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    The SSD on the Linux version of the Aspire it absolute crap. Seriously. It's soooo slow. You're not talking about something a bit on the slow side. You're talking having to take Windows XP apart if you want it running at a semi decent speed.

    I'd assumed the XP models came with a hard drive for space purposes...
    I totally agree with you about the slow 8GB Intel SSD, people on some of the Aspire forums are reporting write times as low as 5Mb/sec - meaning even Xubuntu lags. I think the XP models come with 80GB hard drives (maybe upto 120GB), but some mad people have managed to get XP onto the SSD, although I doubt they can live with it long term??!!

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    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I'm putting XP on our Aspire Ones (with SSDs) and Eee PCs. We're giving them out to the year 8s, and obviously accessing a Windows domain on Linux is difficult or impossible, short of simple shares.

    You're limited to forcibly removing everything from XP that you can, using nLite, a practice I swore I'd never take in a corporate environment, but it's plain impossible to do otherwise. Got a feeling something is going to bite me in the bum later down the line though...

    A quote from a post I made on another forum on what I did once Windows is installed:
    - disable write-caching (quite open to opinion as to whether it speeds thing up or not)
    - disable prefretch
    - disable last file access updating
    - use FAT32 rather than NTFS if you can
    - disable page file if you can
    - disable volume shadow copies
    - disable System Restore
    - try not to use realtime virus scanning
    - use the classic theme & remove the window animations (doubt it would make that much difference, but it doesn't take anything away, and fits with the smaller screen resolution of netbooks)
    - disable any unused services (not normally something I've bothered doing anymore, but you're grasping at straws with these things)


    Aim to stop or limit drive access as much as you can, particularly writes, as that's where these cheap SSDs are falling over. They're awful.

    Managed to get the SSD in an ACER Aspire One up to half decent speed today, and it's far slower than the one in the Eee PC 701 (don't have any 901s at work). Got 30 of these to push out in the coming week... hell of a lot more hassle than I'd anticipated. Obviously had to break my own rule and resort to some fairly heavy nLite chopping up of XP too. Can't imagine what XP would be like without doing so.
    If you cut down on writes as much as possible, it's tolerable.

  10. #10
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I am torn between an Aspire One with 1GB RAM/120GB HDD/Linux (then install my own XP) or a 901 20GB.......the 901 is appealing in many ways, specifically Wireless N, multi-touch pad and battery life......but the Aspire is so much better value @ £225 on the High Street ! About time the 901 dropped a few pennies
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I'd recommend the aspire one over the EEE. The keyboard is just that bit bigger and its makes a big difference. Some of the keys on the EEE are a joke, like the tab key

    But I also agree the Linux on it is not very good. I've broke it 2 times already, you cant even connect to a HP network printer without unlocking the advanced mode and installing new programs.

    One advantage of the EEE pc is the linux it uses, the F1 timing website works out of the box (Problems with other distributions) it may not look as flash but it is just better

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Bit late to the discussion here but I've just bought and upgraded an Acer Aspire One 512Mb / Linux Linplud / 8Gb SSD version.

    I've pulled it apart and upgraded RAM to 1.5Gb and also installed a full version of windows XP SP2 on it with all my necessary programs - paint shop pro 8 / firefox / word / vlc / excel / windows media player 11 / windows live messenger / winamp (v2.8) / utorrent / avg 8 free edition / all the drivers and downloads for xp from the acer website

    I have disabled windows updates as they will only take up more of the limited hdd space left (about 800Mb on the SDD). I also have a 16Gb SD card for file storage. Hoping to merge this with the 8Gb SDD to show a 24Gb drive (as I believe the linpus OS could do).

    During install and setup it was lagging and choppy due to the high amount of reading and writing from the SDD but now everything is in place its running pretty smoothly.

    I can tell you video performance is MUCH smoother with XP - youtube and iplayer both suffered framerate issues when under linux (which admittedly only had 512Mb ram at that stage). But I don't think the performance reduction was due to RAM, more to do with a poorer drivers for the linpus OS.

    I think gav offers some excellent advice and I'm going to try some of it myself but the basic machine now it's setup is more than acceptable speed wise. Just dont be doing things that need loads of read/writing - ie for Paint Shop Pro I've disabled undo. I only require it for image resizing and basic functions.

    Boot to USEABLE windows (ie responsive) is about 90 seconds.

    Once you've installed XP from a 1Gb USB pendrive. Using this guide here you'll need to edit the boot.ini (found in root C drive) so that you aren't confronted with an option of what to load when you turn on, here's a copy of my edited boot.ini if you aren't sure how it should look. This assumes you have followed the guide above to the letter:

    Quote Originally Posted by boot.ini
    [Boot Loader]
    timeout=30
    Default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [Operating Systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    Guide to installing RAM: here. there are a few guides on Youtube but I like this one as it's long and runs through it in realtime. The proceedure and method are also clean and it offers some good advice to ensure it runs smoothly.

    My comments on upgrading are it's easy enough if you know what you're doing and confident with opening up a PC. My main top would be to ensure you have resecured all the cables correctly. I had problems with the SDD cable, keyboard cable and touchpad cable. All of which you need to ensure you reseat correctly. You can tell if this is done as the flipdown lid will NOT be raised at an angle. The cable sits in a slight trough like so:

    Cable is respresented by * and should sit into trough.

    __ ************* __
    """|_______________|

    Make sure it's not caught on the side, it's VERY easy to overlook and rush this.

    If you have any questions about the Aspire One please reply and I'll do my best to answer.

    I've very happy with mine, wireless signal strength is also excellent.

  13. #13
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Cptwhite, just a quick question Have you disabled the XP page file or is it still active? I would guess with 1.5GB of RAM and no real memory intensive programs you could probably get away with out one?

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I hadn't so far, but I have just done so due to your promting. Will see if this improves responsiveness, but felt it was adequate beforehand anyway

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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    I only ask because of the slow speed of the SSD if you can live with out it (never use up all your RAM anyway) you may actually see an increase in performance

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  17. #16
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    Re: Which Sub Notebook?

    Yes, thanks for the tip

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