Feeds
65%

Maxdata Belinea s.book 1 sub-notebook

Hard drive-equipped Eee killer?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Drive, memory and procesor performance shouldn't be taken in isolation, and actually using the s.book, we found it to be entirely fit for purpose. Just as the Eee is. We're big fans of small laptops, and that means we like the Eee at lot. We like the s.book too, but not the pop-out VoIP handset it comes with. It's a small unit about the size of an old iPod Nano. There's a single-line OLED screen, and it connects to the sub-notebook over Bluetooth.

Allegedy, anyway. The unit doesn't even begin to charge until you flip it's tiny on/off switch. When it is, you're left to juggle three apps to get it to work: Toshiba's Bluetooth software; SkyWin, which links the handset to Skype; and Skype itself, which is pre-installed but in a version much later than the one described in the SkyWin manual.

Maxdata Belinea s.book 1

VoIP phone included

After going through this rigmarole, using it proved less than satisfactory. Button presses outlined in the manual didn't appear to work, and some key presses generated 'No API' messages. When we got two computer connected over Skype, we couldn't hear anything through the handset.

If you use Skype frequently and are prepared to put the time in getting the handset set up, good for you. But we suspect most users will get as frustrated with it as we did and, metaphorically speaking, chuck the thing across the room.

Poor add-ons aside, we did enjoy using the s.book. The Eee's relative lack of storage space isn't an issue for us because it's a secondary machine used primarily for writing, emailing and web browsing, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate having 80GB of hard drive space for songs and other stuff too. Ditto Bluetooth, to be able to connect not to the VoIP gadget but to a mobile phone for cellular connectivity.

The s.book is pleasant to use, easier to type on than the Eee, though the touchpad is too small. This machine doesn't feel as cramped as its rival, even though its screen and keyboard are the same size as the Eee's, and it's only a slightly larger machine. There's no question, it's more comfortable to use than the Asus.

The only real negatives are the battery life, the almost constantly whirring fan and, if you're considering the Eee too, the slower processor. At £420, the s.book's £200 more than the Eee. For us, that's too much to pay for an 80GB hard drive, a rubbish VoIP handset and an unnecessary touchscreen.

Verdict

Like Asus' Eee PC, Maxdata's Belinea s.book 1 is a true UMPC, not one of those ghastly tablet things. It delivers the performance you need for productivity apps and browsing, in a small, easy-to-carry unit that's way cheaper than most small, 'executive' notebooks yet is packed with connectivity options.

Like the Eee, the s.book's short battery limits its mobility, and its constantly whirring fan will annoy some users, but it wins with its big storage capacity, good looks and, frankly, sheer bloody portability. But, at £200 cheaper, Eee remains the better buy.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

65%

Maxdata Belinea s.book 1 sub-notebook

A highly portable, well-connected sub-notebook hindered only by a high price, low battery life and unnecessary add-ons...
Price: £420 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.