We ran the usual Gimp Filter test, which applies a Gaussian Blur filter to four mixed images arranged as a single 2048 x 1366 picture. Under the power saving mode, the miniBook Plus achieved this in 10.74 seconds; in high performance mode it was 7.78 seconds, and in super high performance, 7.08 seconds. By comparison, the scores the Eee PC 901 were 15.21, 10.85 and 9.80 seconds, respectively.
The Gimp Results
Time in seconds
Shorter bars are better
When it comes to battery life, the miniBook Plus comes up trumps. Under our usual test of running an H.264-encoded movie continuously on a loop (with volume at half setting, screen brightness at maximum and Wi-Fi left on) until the battery went flat, the miniBook Plus ran continuously for 211 minutes in power saving mode, 181 minutes on high performance mode, and 177 minutes in super performance mode.
Battery Life Results
Time in minutes
Longer bars are better
This isn’t as good as the figures for the 901, which were 280 minutes, 230 minutes and 229 minutes respectively, but it’s still impressive. We also did a real world test, which involved using a battery-powered miniBook Plus for word processing, downloading and installing QuickTime 7 and Adobe Flash player, playing YouTube videos, using the webcam, web browsing - and also plugging in an USB optical mouse and a USB flash drive for much of the time. We also left the Wi-Fi switched on. Under these conditions, the miniBook Plus ran continuously for four hours and six minutes on a single battery charge – again, impressive stuff.
The RM Asus miniBook Plus doesn’t exactly squeeze a quart into a pint pot, but you do get all the features you might expect to find on a larger computer, such as a good-sized keyboard, reasonably-sized hard drive and Windows XP. And at less than £300, it’s also excellent value for money. Sure, compromises have had to be made in terms of size and weight, but it’s still highly portable, and we got more than four hours operating time from a single battery charge. Although the miniBook Plus lacks an Atom processor, it's clear that performance hasn't suffered to any great extent because of this.
Schools have been waiting for a highly portable, highly affordable Windows computer that offers good performance and a nice level of functionality. The miniBook Plus delivers all of this – and more.
RM Asus miniBook Plus netbook
The reason that schools want Windows machines
...has been made abundantly clear. Button it, penguinistas.
In any case, even if the Linux options do run very marginally better (no better on battery life though) the time saved is negated by the time spent fannying around trying to get stuff to work. Assuming that there even is a way.
It might not be the optimum hardware for the job, and call me crazy if you like, but personally ("because I can") I'd be wanting to run AutoCAD 2000 (& Paint.NET & other progs like Inkscape, OpenOffice, Sketchup, Blender, Apache2Triad, &c) on one of these fellas.
No problem at all on XP - I'd be up and running in no time.
Bang on all you like about how Linux has alternatives, but there are some glaring holes that even Wine or "the forums" can't sort out.
The so-called "Windows Tax" for having XP on these SCCs runs at around £20. To me, that's a fair price. And the best value for money (for me) is represented by running FOSS (+ a few select others) on XP.
Remember that if your prefered Linux configuration is not available then you can buy the Windows machine, decline to accept MS's T's&C's, install Linux, and claim the cost of the MS licence back. But "You might need to do some searching around in the forums on how to do that." - as Lintards are so fond of saying. :-)
Anyways, back to school use: why do they even need "small laptops"? What's wrong with marginally less portable, but cheaper, "standard laptops"? Surely the scrimping on weight can't be that important in the classroom. And a "proper" sized laptop is more condusive to getting work done. Or if, for whatever reason, a 9" screened machine is so important - what's wrong with the cheaper Aspire One (cheap because of a poor battery that need not be an issue within the school environment)? Or an equivalently priced Advent 4211 which has the bonus of a 10" screen in a 10" case rather than this awkward Eee freaky hybrid.
If this absolutely is the machine of choice, why not buy direct from Asus? Are the schools' collective hands forced to spend taxpayer's dosh with the seemingly uncompetetively priced RM for some particular reason?
This whole RM thing seems like a racket from where I'm standing. Or am I missing something?
RM involved - double the price!
so, slap an RM badge on it and you can double the price.
why do schools need laptops? surely a huge clunker of an full-size tower would be better, then you could put a few housebricks into the case to stop the chavs knicking them!
Wrong Assumption - As usual.
ITYWF it comes in a variety of flavours from RM.
Dear Mr. ElReg,
could you please write an in-depth article once, how rebadging adds value? I don't understand the issue. You buy a lot of EEE's or similar, slap on other labels --- so you have to sell it higher: where's the point for me as a buyer? I don't get this whole industry.
A four page review,
and no picture of the beach totty?