Monitor maker aims s.book sub-notebook at Asus Eee PC
Better spec, higher price
Fancy Asus' tiny Eee PC but put off by the equally diminutive spec? Monitor specialist Belinea's s.book micro laptop may be just the ticket: it's got the same 7in screen as the 4GB Asus, but comes with double the memory, 20 times the storage capcity and a 1.2GHz CPU.
To be fair, it'll set you back a little more than the Eee PC. The Belinea retails for around £420 - £200 more than than the Asus.
Bilinea's s.book: better value than the Eee PC?
Still, that premium also buys you a sub-notebook with 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, a larger keyboard, Bluetooth, Windows XP Pro pre-installed, a touchscreen, an integrated VoIP handset and a two-year return-to-base warranty. Like the Eee PC, it has a 7in, 800 x 480 display.
It also has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi - but here's the catch - it comes courtesy of a USB add-on.
The 23 x 17 x 29cm, 970g machine's not quite as compact as the Eee PC, but it does come close.
The s.book is based on chip maker VIA's Nanobook reference design, which was developed to show off the company's energy efficient C7-M chip. It's essentially the same machine as Packard Bell's EasyNote XS20.
Packard Bell's EasyNote XS20: like the s.book, but lower-specced
The XS20's available from PCWorld for £499 and includes a 30GB hard drive and runs Windows XP Home Edition. It lacks the VoIP handset and the touchscreen.
Having tried both the XS20 and the Eee PC - look out for our full review of the Packard Bell in the New Year - there's actually not a lot to choose between. The extra cash buys you a more advanced spec and a slightly bigger, more usable keyboard, but then the the XS20 has a tiny touchpad above the keyboard rather than in the usual below-the-spacebar location.
Interestingly, the Belinea s.book appears to have a traditionally sited touchpad, which gives it another advantage over the Packard Bell.
Bilinea's s.book: VoIP phone included
However, big limit for all three machines is their 800 x 480 display, which is just too low to be practical in a day and age when most websites are designed for 1024 x 768 screens. The Eee PC's Linux operating system arguably makes a better stab of fitting into the limited screen space than Windows does. But it remains a flaw you might be willing to put up with on a 200-quid machine, but not necessarily one setting you back £500.
• Asus Eee PC
Eee, Windows and Competition Authorities
But it remains a flaw you might be willing to put up with on a 200-quid machine, but not necessarily one setting you back £500...........
One thing that occurs to me about the eeepc is that in part at least it's as cheap as 200 this because of its lack of windows.
I wonder how much Asus will charge for a windows version. Will msft be giving windows away? It will be interesting to see how a windows version sells, and at what price. If its £40-80 it may be too much as it would push th eee to base laptop levels. On the other hand, if it's really cheap or a no cost then I wonder if the competition authorities will assuse msft of dumping.
This could be the first time it will become really clear how much OEMs pay for windows.
I'll stick with the cheap n cheerful EEE PC, and its cheap n cheerful mascot :) I can usually wait until I'm at my desk before I do any real number crunching, or leave the big jobs running on the server at home, just keeping in touch with it over the web.
Re: 10hr battery life: I don't care what colour my car is, or about top speed, or number of seats, or interior features, as long as it gets three light years to a thimble of petrol... Heh. Seriously though I've been waiting for ASUS or another runt-laptop maker to take a leaf out of Nintendo's book (a dog-eared leaf from some time ago) and supply an optional external battery. That worked pretty well for the likes of the Game Boy; can just plug into the AC adaptor socket. When you don't need it, you can leave it at home, and it can be small and neat enough to fit into a pocket or bag anyway. Maybe someone will make an aftermarket one, or hack one together out of a more standard Li-Ion battery or something. That would be interesting...
Okay, I might think twice, but ...
how does the bird coming with it look like ?
Does she warrant the hefty gap in the price ?
No sir, I don't like it
Don't like the look of these machines. They're not as sexy as the EeePC and more expensive. If I was spending in the region of about £400 I'd get a normal laptop. Not sure why they put that crappy looking VoIP phone on their too. I'd have thought it would have been better to put a slightly bigger screen on there and a software VoIP phone?
I certainly don't think we'd see Paris Hilton stumbling drunk out of a limo with one of these under her arm.
£414 at currys gets you an advent 8112, a 12.1" core2, 1gb, dvd-rw sporting powerhouse, ok so it comes with vista but thats easy sorted with a quick format
also there is 1 redeeming feature for the packard bell - comes with an atheros based wifi card, add linux and you have a pocket sized mobile aircrack-ng suite - now who needs by fon??