Friday, December 30, 2011

MeeGo Netbooks : The Lilliput Army takes over

If you still havent heard of netbooks, then you must have been living in a cave for quite some time now. Over the past three years or so, the little cousin of the laptop pc has become increasingly popular. Essentially a smaller version of the laptop, with a smaller screen, lower specifications, and features such as the optical drive omitted, the netbook provides a compact and economical computing solution. 


While Windows still remains the popular OS, there have been other OSes developed specifically for low powered devices such as MeeGo, Ubuntu netbook, Splashtop and Android. While you cannot expect these devices to be able to run cutting edge games or full HD video, they are more than sufficient for one's everyday internet browsing, social networking, media playing and general office work such as word processing, spreadsheets, etc.


Since the processors are generally very power-economical, the netbook tends to run for around 4-5 hours even on a 4 cell battery. Today, netbooks make a very cheap yet effective computing solution - and amongst them the ones that ship with free OSes become even more economical as compared to Windows based netbooks.


Here I shall list two Value-for-money netbooks from Asus and Samsung, running Meego. Both of them are based on the Intel Atom and cost around Rs 12000 in India. Meego provides a simple and fresh interface that is easy to use. 



Asus X101


Specifications 

Operating System
MeeGo
Display

Graphics
10.1" LED Backlight WSVGA (1024x600) Screen

Intel GMA 3150 Onboard Graphics
CPU | Chipset
Intel® Atom™ N455 Processor 1.66Ghz    |   Intel NM10 chipset
Memory
DDR3, 1 x SO-DIMM, 1GB ( Maximum 2GB )
Storage
250 GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Disk
Wireless Data Network
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n@2.4GHz*1
Bluetooth V3.0*1
Camera
0.3 M Pixel Camera
Audio

Mic
High Quality Speaker

Internal mic
Interface
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Audio Jack (Headphone/Headset)
1 x Card Reader : Micro SD
VGA port
RJ 45 LAN port
Battery
4hrs (3cells, 28W/h) battery life
Dimensions
262 x 180 x 17.6 mm (WxDxH)
Weight
0.92 Kgs (w/ 3cell battery)
Color
Texture : Black, Red, White, Brown





 Samsung N100

Operation System
Operation System
MeeGo™
Processor
Processor
Intel® ATOM™ Processor N435 (1.33GHz, 667MHz, 512KB)
Display
LCD
25.65cm (10.1) WSVGA LED Display (1024 x 600), Anti-Reflective
Physical
Dimension (W x D x H mm)
264.0 x 188.0 x 26.7 ~ 34.7 (10.30" x 7.40" x 1.05" ~ 1.36")
Weight (kg)
1.03 (2.27lbs)
Graphic
Graphic Processor
Intel GMA3150 (Int. Graphic)
Graphic Memory
Shared with System Memory
Memory
System Memory
1GB DDR3 System Memory at 1,066MHz (1GB x 1)
Memory Slot
1 DIMM Slots
Storage
HDD
320GB S-ATA II Hard Drive (5,400RPM)
Main Chipset
Main Chipset
Intel NM10
Multimedia
Sound
HD Audio
Sound Effect
No
SoundAlive™
Speaker
1.5 watts Mono Speaker (1.5 watts x 1)
Integrated Camera
Web Camera
Communication
Wired Ethernet LAN
10/100 LAN
Wireless LAN
Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 100, 1 x 1 802.11bg/n (up to 150Mbps)
I/O Port
VGA
Yes
Headphone-out
Headphone-out
Mic-in
Yes
USB
2 x USB 2.0
Multi Card Slot
4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
RJ45 (LAN)
Yes
DC-In (Power Port)
Yes
Input
Keyboard Type
83 Key
84 Key
Touch Pad, Touch Screen
Touch Pad (Scroll Scope)
Security
Security
BIOS Boot Up Password
HDD Password
Lock
Kensington Lock Slot
Recovery
No
Samsung Recovery Solution
Power
AC Adapter
60 watts
Standard Battery
6 Cell (upto around 10hrs backup)



Comparison
 
Feature
Asus X101
Samsung N100
Processor
N455 1.6 Ghz single core
N435 1.33 Ghz single core
Hard drive
250GB 5400rpm
320 GB 5400rpm
Bluetooth
V3
No bluetooth
Battery
3 cell, 4-5 hours
6 cell, 8-10 hours
Price 
(flipkart, Dec 2011)
Rs 11962
Rs 12983

What to buy?
Depends on what you want, finally. While the Samsung seems to have almost double the battery backup of the Asus and an extra 70 GB hard disk space, the Asus has bluetooth and a slightly faster processor. Also, the Samsung costs around Rs 1000 more.

If you are travel a lot, the Samsung's battery life may be a great advantage, although it lacks bluetooth. If one needs to connect devices such as phones using bluetooth, it could be added using a usb dongle usually available for around Rs 200-300.


The Asus on the other hand is slightly cheaper and has a faster processor which may perform slightly better playing videos and the like.


Ambiguity
Samsung N100 - Older models have 250GB hard drive; No internal mic on older models




Some other cheap netbooks are listed here.


Buy
Flipkart

Letsbuy
Samsung N100

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