Wednesday, October 31, 2007

RM Asus miniBook

RM Asus miniBookThe ASUS Eee PC sub-notebook diskless Linux computer will be sold in the UK as the "RM Asus Minibook", by Research Machines. There is a review of the miniBook from UK PcC Advisor Magazine.

RM is a UK company selling IT products to schools and universities and are positioning the miniBook as a student computer:
The RM Asus miniBook provides individual access to Learning Platforms for every learner at an affordable price.

It can be purchased outright or through flexible financing schemes, including warranty and insurance, spreading the cost to suit the available budget. ...

From: 'RM Asus miniBook -The genuine "anywhere, anytime access" pupil device', RM, 2007.
This approach should work well. The MiniBook is a bit quirky as a mainstream business product, but should work well with support from a school or university. The institution could provide wireless access and even recharging to suit the mini book and also web based education resources which could work within its limitations. The machine should work well with Moodle and similar web based education content management system.

DIY Educational Computer

An enterprising notebook seller could produce a similar product from a low cost notebook computer. That would cost more than the miniBook, but might produce a better computer. As an example start with the Twinhead Slimnote 12KF, which a 12 inch screen subnotebook computer with a AMD 1.8Ghz CPU for $AU1,549. I have the more expensive Twinhead 12D with an Intel processor (Twinheads are also sold as Avertech). Omit the internal DVD/RW Drive and replace the hard disk drive with a 8 GB Sd Flash Card, then install Linux in place of Microsoft Windows.

A cheaper computer, which might be even more desirable for students could be produced by starting with a lower cost computer, such as an Acer for under $AU1,000. The Dell Inspiron would be another option; some models are supported with Linux by Dell. and start at under $AU1,000.

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