Elonex preps sub-£100 Eee-alike

February 29, 2008 | 07:39

Tags: #eee #elonex #one #sub-notebook #ultraportable

Venerable box shifter Elonex has revealed further details of its Eee PC rival, the Elonex One. Is it enough to make people want to switch from the popular ultra-portable?

The most important thing first: the One will be available in a variety of colours: black, pink, green, white, and silver. Phew, and I was worried it wouldn't match my shoes.

More seriously, sub-£100 unit might sound like a bargain but it's worth checking out the specifications before plonking down your hard-earned readies on a pre-order. The One shares the all-too familiar 7” 800x480 display of the Eee, which will disappoint those of you waiting for a cheap ultraportable with a high-resolution display. The internals aren't too impressive either, with just 128MB of DDR 2 RAM and a 300MHz CPU. Granted, the processor is a custom job from specialists LNX which punches well above its weight and draws very little power, but anyone feeling constrained by the Eee's 630MHz Celeron won't be pleased by the drop in performance on offer.

Storage isn't too great either, with the One having just a single gigabyte of solid-state storage to its name. Whether the One will be joined by Twos and Fours having predicable levels of storage isn't yet known, although if any Elonex employees are reading then I'll sell the idea for 5 percent.

News is better on the connectivity side of things: the One will ship with a 10/100 Ethernet NIC and 802.11b/g WiFi onboard. No Bluetoooth, though.

The shape of the unit is rather odd, with the traditionally slim TFT panel being bulked out and having the USB and Ethernet port located to the left side of the screen. I'm not entirely convinced this is a good idea – I'd be worried about the device being top-heavy when sat on my lap with the display open. I know that my Eee has a tendency to rock backwards if I'm not careful when using it on the sofa, and that has a traditional slim display panel.

The battery life is the fairly standard four hours for this kind of device, although if my experience is anything to go by a vendor's hour lasts about thirty minutes. The keyboard is a reduced-size QWERTY layout with a 'splash-proof' membrane, and can be removed for cleaning.

It's hardly going to set the world on fire, but £100 for a Linux-based laptop with wired and wireless network connectivity certainly has my attention. Sadly, interested parties will have to wait until June to get their hands on one, and with the initial production run limited to 200,000 units it could prove difficult to get hold of unless pre-ordered.

What do you think: an Eee for those on a budget, or just another pretender to the throne? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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