RM readies Linux sub-laptop... for £169
Asus eePC reborn as MiniBook
Updated UK PC company RM - formerly Research Machines, 1980s school-computer buffs - is to bring Asus' tiny Eee PC, launched last June, to these shores - for a mere 169 quid.
RM's MiniBook: cheap enough for the kids to break with impunity...
The laptop will be branded the RM Asus MiniBook. The 890g, 22.5 x 16.5 x 2.1-3.5cm unit is based around a 7in display, has 256MB or 512MB of memory, a choice of 2GB or 4GB of solid-state storage, and a 900MHz Intel Celeron M processor.
The unit has an integrated 0.3-megapixel (VGA) webcam and 802.11g Wi-Fi, along with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port and an on-board dial-up modem. RM also said it plans to offer an optional 3G datacard for the device. There are earphone and microphone ports, an SD card reader and three USB 2.0 ports too.
Send pics from the beach... if you can find a hotspot
The MiniBook will run Linux, open source operating system fans will be keen to hear, and RM touted the laptop's 15s boot time. We're more impressed with the price: £169 ($344/€245) for for the 256MB, 2GB model, rising to just £199 ($405/€288) if you want a MiniBook with 512MB of RAM and a 4GB Flash drive.
The machine's pitched at schools, but we can see plenty of folk considering the MiniBook as a simple, inexpensive web surfing device.
Both models are due to go on sale over here on 1 November.
Update RM confirmed today that the pricing excludes UK VAT sales tax, currently charged at 17.5 per cent. That ups the two machines' prices to £199 and £234, respectively.
Educational use only.
I've been in touch about buying one of these for our business. No deal. It's for Schools only...
From an e-mail:
Following your enquiry regarding an RM Asus Minibook, unfortunately this device is not available to private companies, individuals or non educational establishments.
A check box will soon be added to our website, www.rm.com stating:-
"The RM Asus miniBook is exclusively available to UK Education. Please tick this box to confirm you are ordering on behalf of a UK educational establishment. RM reserves the right to reject orders that are later found not to be on behalf of a UK educational establishment."
I am sorry that we cannot be of assistance on this occasion.
RM Do not touch that Crap
RM makes a shitload of money out of Ignorant Schools by Selling them a (Supported my Arse server) Installed (by a Twat who thinks its a Great Idea on a DC with all the FSMO roles to configure it with Raid 5 across all 4 hard drives with no hot Spare) for over £16,000. This hardware complete with the Windows OS licence bought from you're average Server Vendor costs no more than £5000 with a 3 year Hardware support. The Schools who's managment think that RM's fudge of an Admin systems ( that actually slows down youre whole network is fantastic and then employs proffesoinal IT staff to Manage this nightmare of a system), is actually a good Idea need there heads examining. The School who's managment, when told by said IT proffesional that they could potentially save a shitload of money and a have more responsive and more configurable network if they migrated away from RM; still doesn't get it when I left after 6 months to work in Private School who used to use RM but saw the light and although it took 5 years to finish paying fo RM's rubbish is benefitting. After this debacle i wouldn't touch anything from RM with Barge Pole
Dedian not Suse
The OS is Debian, and not Suse as previously suggested.
Schools don't have to pay VAT, and as these are marketed at education the £169 price tag is exclusive of VAT.
RM - vs - ?
Their biggest real competitor in price and spec has to be the second hand market. £ 199 will buy quite a decent spec older Tosh, Lenovo, HP or Dell with a new battery being the only must have extra.