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Tags laptops , netbooks , windows xp

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Old 6th January 2009, 09:53 AM   #1
Ocelot
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Smallest SubNetbook/Palmtop capable of running Windows XP

I have this director who doesn't get on with blackberries. It's not that he's a technophobe - far from it. No, he just finds them too fiddly and itty bitty. What he want's is a bigger more capable palmtop. So he asked for a netbook.

He want's to be able to read e-mails, browse the web and access and work on files via our VPN. Without having to re-engineer our architechture that means he needs, at least Windows XP

When I spoke to him about speccing one out I showed him printouts detailing the Asus Eee PC, Acer's Aspire 1 the HP Mini Note, the MSI Wind and the Dell Mini 9.

The smallest of these options I present is the Eee PC at 225 x 170 x 32 millimetres. As a visual aid I brought along a paperback novel and said that these are all about the size of two of these side by side. Pretty close.

He thinks he's seen ones just over half that size. Now I don't doubt him. Memory can be falliable so it's always possible that he's seen an Eee PC and been so impressed by it's daintyness that it's shrunk in his memory but it's just as possible he's seen something smaller and lighter but which doens't have the grunt to run XP what with the Windows CE family and Linux running happily on anything from Mobile Phones upwards. I'm thinking of the iKit or Pandora.

Years ago I remember seeing a fully fledged PC on something just over half the size. It was the toshiba libretto and had the distinction of being able to fit in my inside jacket pocket. However back then a fully fledged PC ran Windows 95. I see that the toshiba are no longer making the libretto and that their last offering the Libretto U100 series, was too wide to fit in any but the most copious of pockets. It was only slightly smaller than the Eee PC.

So does anybody know of any devices smaller than an Eee PC that can run XP or failing that, something halfway between a blackberry and a Netbook in a clamshell design and I'll have to thrash out the compatibility problems?
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Old 6th January 2009, 11:46 AM   #2
Nick Bogaerts
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Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
I have this director who doesn't get on with blackberries. It's not that he's a technophobe - far from it. No, he just finds them too fiddly and itty bitty. What he want's is a bigger more capable palmtop. So he asked for a netbook.
[...]
The smallest of these options I present is the Eee PC at 225 x 170 x 32 millimetres. As a visual aid I brought along a paperback novel and said that these are all about the size of two of these side by side. Pretty close.

He thinks he's seen ones just over half that size. Now I don't doubt him. Memory can be falliable so it's always possible that he's seen an Eee PC and been so impressed by it's daintyness that it's shrunk in his memory but it's just as possible he's seen something smaller and lighter but which doens't have the grunt to run XP what with the Windows CE family and Linux running happily on anything from Mobile Phones upwards. I'm thinking of the iKit or Pandora.
The keyboard on my Eee PC 901 is already a bit cramped, and the screen is as small as I would consider reasonable for a fully-fledged computer. Something half that size might be considered 'fiddly and itty bitty'.

It's small and light-weight enough to travel, but I still wouldn't recommend running XP on it. Asus have unfortunately outdone themselves in offering not one but two completely useless OS's on it.
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Old 7th January 2009, 03:26 AM   #3
thought_fugitive
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There are a number of options for you that meet the criteria of your description, but I'm not so sure if there's anything that exactly matches what your director is thinking of.

Fujitsu Life Books are very small tablet PCs that are based on Windows. Their screens are around the size of EEE 701s, possibly smaller, but the display is on a swivel and the computer can be operated through the touch screen. Major cons with these seem to be they're shipped with Windows Vista, and I think all of them have a CPU clock of 800mhz. Even for XP that will probably be pretty slow.

Sony has the Vaio UX series which seem like they'd be very similar to what your director is looking for - they are extremely compact, have a touch screen, and there's a retractable keyboard with keys similar to but significantly larger than the buttons on smartphones. In terms of computing power and hardware, they're quite similar to most other netbooks.

Dimensions for a Vaio UX380: 5.91" x 3.74" x 1.50"
Dimensions for a Life Book U810: 6.7" x 6" x 1.3"

I don't think you'll be able to find a fully-featured XP computer that'll fit in a pocket, however you should explain to him exactly how small and portable units like these, as well as the netbooks are! It's really quite remarkable.
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Old 7th January 2009, 04:13 AM   #4
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Something half the size of a netbook would still be twice the size of a blackberry, and with a clamshell design would have a keyboard and screen twice the size again. So yes it's certainly not a laptop replacement, for a start it wouldn't be suitable for touch typing. However he's not looking for a laptop replacement, he already has a laptop.

It seems that these netbooks like the Eee PC 901 (Is that still the best spec?) are marketed as being replacements for laptops. What we want is something far more portable like the iKitt or Pandora but with a Microsoft OS. Ideally XP but Windows Mobile at a push. The old two thumb typing technique will be fine, just so long as (unlike the blackberry curve) there's no difficulty hitting just one key at a time.

I found that the old HTC Universal (Mine was an Orange SPV M5000) had a fantasitic keyboard and I think that something half again the size of that would certainly be just fine for my director.
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Old 7th January 2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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I have a Samsung Q1U and love it for an ultra portable machine. The keyboard is manageable with big hands (thumbs). Runs Vista with a 1024 x 600 screen. You can add bluetooth and usb mice and keyboards for more versatility.
http://www.tabletpc2.com/Samsung_200..._New_York.html
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Old 7th January 2009, 06:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Reality Believer View Post
I have a Samsung Q1U and love it for an ultra portable machine. The keyboard is manageable with big hands (thumbs). Runs Vista with a 1024 x 600 screen. You can add bluetooth and usb mice and keyboards for more versatility.
http://www.tabletpc2.com/Samsung_200..._New_York.html


This is a great little machine. I have one running Ubutnu mobile edition and it's a phenomenal resource to have. Very handy, and not much bigger than a PSP. The touch screen is nice and very responsive. I found the Vista software to be sluggish, though, as mine only has a 800mhx proc. The gig of ram helps once it boots up, however it took a long time to boot with vista. I have boot time to roughly 30 seconds with ubuntu and tweaks. I also use it to VPN to home and work, check emails, use IM clients and open a quick ssh session when I need to. Browsing on the 1024x600 screen is a lot of scrolling, but worth it. You can, however, rotate the screen 90 degrees to get more of the page lengthwise.
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Old 8th January 2009, 11:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
This is a great little machine. I have one running Ubutnu mobile edition and it's a phenomenal resource to have. Very handy, and not much bigger than a PSP. The touch screen is nice and very responsive. I found the Vista software to be sluggish, though, as mine only has a 800mhx proc. The gig of ram helps once it boots up, however it took a long time to boot with vista. I have boot time to roughly 30 seconds with ubuntu and tweaks. I also use it to VPN to home and work, check emails, use IM clients and open a quick ssh session when I need to. Browsing on the 1024x600 screen is a lot of scrolling, but worth it. You can, however, rotate the screen 90 degrees to get more of the page lengthwise.
You can bump the ram to 2 gig if you don't mind cracking the case, and there is also a software overclocking utility out there as well. Tips and trick here:
http://origamiproject.com/forums/3/ShowForum.aspx

I just keep mine in sleep mode all the time. Boot is instant!
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Old 8th January 2009, 07:27 PM   #8
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I have a Lenovo S10 that came with XP factory installed. I'm really happy with it so far (had it for about 2 months now). Roughly 4 hour battery life per charge. The keyboard is a tad smaller than what I'm used to, so it leads to some interesting mis-spellings as one finger hits two keys. I've actually solved most of the problems by going back to my "almost" touch-typing (i.e. using more than two fingers).

It's not a palmtop, smaller than a standard notebook, but infinitely more portable and useful. No optical disk drive. I bought the cheapest external USB DVD R/W drive I could find, which is really funny because it's a full-sized drive and weighs MORE than the S10. I only use it for installing new software and for the occasional backup. I have the DeLorme USB GPS dongle, and thought I would either have to copy the map data DVD to the hard drive or lug around the external drive, but I got around that by copying the entire DVD to an SDHC card and plugging the card into the slot on the side of the S10 when I need to navigate.

The biggest challenge I had was finding a carrying case small enough for it that didn't look like it was made from an old neoprene wetsuit, or didn't look like a purse. I ended up "settling" for a small leather portfolio on sale at a leather goods outlet. MUCH easier to carry around than my previous Compaq, and takes up less desk space.

Typically, I just hibernate the S10 between uses, No battery drain, and boots up in maybe 15 seconds or so.

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Old 15th January 2009, 06:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by thought_fugitive View Post
There are a number of options for you that meet the criteria of your description, but I'm not so sure if there's anything that exactly matches what your director is thinking of.

Fujitsu Life Books are very small tablet PCs that are based on Windows. Their screens are around the size of EEE 701s, possibly smaller, but the display is on a swivel and the computer can be operated through the touch screen. Major cons with these seem to be they're shipped with Windows Vista, and I think all of them have a CPU clock of 800mhz. Even for XP that will probably be pretty slow.

Sony has the Vaio UX series which seem like they'd be very similar to what your director is looking for - they are extremely compact, have a touch screen, and there's a retractable keyboard with keys similar to but significantly larger than the buttons on smartphones. In terms of computing power and hardware, they're quite similar to most other netbooks.

Dimensions for a Vaio UX380: 5.91" x 3.74" x 1.50"
Dimensions for a Life Book U810: 6.7" x 6" x 1.3"

I don't think you'll be able to find a fully-featured XP computer that'll fit in a pocket, however you should explain to him exactly how small and portable units like these, as well as the netbooks are! It's really quite remarkable.
Thanks for that. Showing that I'd managed to track down smaller machines did make me look good. That Life book looks rather nifty, and the VAIO UX series is just incredible looking. In case you haven't seen it Sony VAIO have just unveiled the VAIO P series. That looks liek the ideal thing if i=only it wasn't so damn expensive.

In the end though he relented on size when it became apparent that to get smaller than a netbook would cost much more than the money he was willing to spend. We've got him and Eee PC 901/XP just as I origianlly advised. He very pleased with it in general but has one minor quibble - touchpad sensitivity, especially the tap the touchpad to click function.

The control panel has the standard mouse options, adjusting acceleration, double click speed, and cursors but nothing specific to touchpad.

Has anyone had the same problem and found a way to turn off tap to click on this device?
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Old 15th January 2009, 06:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
Thanks for that. Showing that I'd managed to track down smaller machines did make me look good. That Life book looks rather nifty, and the VAIO UX series is just incredible looking. In case you haven't seen it Sony VAIO have just unveiled the VAIO P series. That looks liek the ideal thing if i=only it wasn't so damn expensive.

In the end though he relented on size when it became apparent that to get smaller than a netbook would cost much more than the money he was willing to spend. We've got him and Eee PC 901/XP just as I origianlly advised. He very pleased with it in general but has one minor quibble - touchpad sensitivity, especially the tap the touchpad to click function.

The control panel has the standard mouse options, adjusting acceleration, double click speed, and cursors but nothing specific to touchpad.

Has anyone had the same problem and found a way to turn off tap to click on this device?
Is this running XP or Ausus' Xandros linux designed for the Eee? If the xandros, you can edit the xorg.conf file by opening a shell prompt.





---disregard, you just said it was XP. I don't know how to disable that in XP.
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Old 15th January 2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Yes XP. Thanks for trying though... Got that Windows inertia thing going. We run windows caos our apps run on windows. Our apps run on windows because we got windows. Changing OS means changing almost everything.
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