Medion takes aim at Asus' Eee
Bigger screen, more storage, lower price
Medion, Europe's prime purveyor of low-cost PCs, phones and satnavs, is taking on Asus' Eee PC. Its Akoya sub-notebook will come in MacBook-like shiny black and white versions, sport a 10.2in display and cost just €399 ($620/£318).
Medion hasn't detailed the Akoya's processor specifications, but Intel's Atom has to be the most likely option. The mini laptop will come with 1GB of DDR 2 memory, Medion said, and an 80GB 5400rpm hard drive.
Medion's Akoya E1210: battling the Eee
The sub-notebook's portage runs to a trio of USB 2.0 ports, 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, VGA, 3.5mm audio I/O sockets and a Kensington security hole. In addition to wired networking, the Akoya comes with 802.11n Wi-Fi on board, and Medion said buyers will also be able to spec up a version with Bluetooth.
Other options include an external optical drive and a six-cell battery to complement the standard, three-cell one. Standard battery plus laptop together weigh 1.2kg, and the whole lot measures 247 x 179 x 28-36mm.
The display has a native 16:10 ratio resolution of 1024 x 600.
The unit comes with a two-year warranty and Windows XP Home Edition - which Linux lovers should have no trouble deleting and replacing with their favourite distro.
Less is More
Asus tapped into a whole new market with the £220 701. If they had just increased the screen size and left the price sub £250 they still had a winning formula.
But no, all these manufacturers have missed the point. They put in XP, bigger memory, Bluetooth, etc etc and then have to charge over £300 because of the increased specs. At that price point you are up against better normal laptops.
People wanted cheap & functional for mobile computing. That's it.
Re Asus 701
Yep,gotta second that! Writing this on one now, in apub in Oulu (panoulu - free access)
It's the muttz nuttz
HDD & Linux thoughts
The 4Gb in the Eee PC is plenty but Asus should stop using UnionFS.
UnionFS means there is a 2Gb read only system image and a 2Gb user partition. Unionfs munges the two together to look like a single filesystem. Its a very neat idea and the advantage for Asus or users is that zapping the user partition restores the machine to its factory state. But the disadvantage is that all write operations including patches go on the user partition. So if Open Office is patched and the patch is 150Mb you lose 300Mb in total because the original Open Office is still on the system partition, just masked out.
They need to sort this out. Personally I think they should dump their franken-Xandros and just go with a single partition running slightly modified Ubuntu. They can run their simple desktop on top. It means users can benefit from a properly supported distribution for patches and Asus can still control the UI.
XP is not necessary on these machines, though I think you could probably get something with similar functionality fairly easily. Afterall, apps like OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird work on XP too. That's the joy of heterogeneous applications - it really doesn't matter what the OS underneath.