Engadget has a nice feature on the growth of Linux based UMPCs.
ASUS set the pace with Xandros on the Eee PC, and HP has tapped Novel SuSE Linux for the 2133 Mini-Note, but whereas the Eee’s positioning has been somewhat of a loose hybrid between an adult OLPC and the Nintendo Wii’s culture of global inclusion, the HP Mini-Note has been strongly focused on reckless, immature students while acknowledging potential for senior executives that have been known to share their temperament.
It’s interesting to see how this product niche has almost appeared from nowhere and is growing rapidly.
It seems to be a product that appeals to people who already own a computer, but want a laptop (and a small laptop at that) to complement it. The advantage of these little Linux laptops as well as the small size is the small price.
I have already seen quite a few of these laptops in college, brought in by learners, so I am expecting to see more of them.
As we roll out various deliverables of the Glossy project, we are starting to get some feedback from the learners, both positive feedback and reservations.
The micro-laptop umpc format (we are using the Asus EeePC and the Stone UMPC) are proving very popular with learners, especially as they come with cameras.
Students are enjoying using the iPods (the classic and the touch) however as our network proxy blocks the iTunes Store, searching for podcasts is proving impossible. Once you know the podcast RSS feed then it is possible to subscribe to (and download) the podcast, but of course finding the RSS feed is difficult if you can’t search the iTunes store.
As we roll out the student wireless network, some of the learners are really pleased that they can now access the internet via their own devices. Was interested recently to see a student who had purchased their own EeePC, installed Windows XP on it and was using it with a 3G dongle from Three.
So MoLeNET is starting to have a real impact on learners and learning.
Elonex who I remember as a manufacturer of high end laptops according to the Times will be releasing a £99 umpc laptop at the Education Show later this month.
…it includes a free word processor and spreadsheet, a free web browser and free e-mail software. It has a 7in screen, a rubbery little keyboard and no CD drive. And it all runs on an ageing chip that was designed before its target audience of seven-year-olds were even born.
Will be interesting to see if this is a cheaper/better option than the Asus EeePC for lending out to students in the library.
Seems I am not the only one enamoured with Asus’ tiny little linux based UMPC.
The Asus EEE PC perched on my knee combines GNU software with a Linux kernel powered by an Intel Celeron Mobile Processor to produce a very extraordinary little laptop. It weighs less than a kilogram, starts up from cold in about 12 seconds and shuts down in five. It has no internal hard disk and no CD drive. It offers 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a seven-inch display; wireless, dial-out modem and ethernet adaptors are available for networking and internet connections, three USB ports, mini-jack sockets for headphones and microphone, a VGA out, an SD card slot and a built-in webcam. All for about £200 – less than the price of a show, dinner and taxi for two in London’s West End.
So is Stephen Fry.
I have been wondering how good the Asus Eee PC is. The small linux UMPC is certainly creating waves in the tech world as well as the MoLeNET community.
Lilian (one of the MoLeNET mentors) demonstrated one at the MoLeNET Online Conference last Friday and I was quite intrigued.
So you can imagine my surprise when the one I had ordered arrived today.
It created quite a buzz and a lot of people were interested in what it was and how it worked and what it could do.
Key thing for me though was the reaction of learners which was very positive.
Had a productive meeting with Jason from our ITS departmentover some of the details of the Glossy project. Discussed how the PSPs, iPods will be used and how we will upload content to the devices.
We also discussed the merits of various UMPCs that we have been looking at.
Also discussed some software for the college, VisualHub for video conversion and Comic Life for creating comics.