Go to Toys 'R Us for your Linux netbook needs

One of the most annoying things, thanks to Microsoft strong-arming PC manufacturers, is finding a Linux netbook to buy at a store-front retailer. But, it turns out that there's at least one store that still carries Linux netbooks: Toys R Us.

Why? Well, perhaps Microsoft overlooked it, but small computers, like netbooks, turn out to be ideal for people with small hands-kids. So it turns out that Toys R Us still carries 7" netbooks.

To be exact, the chain carries the Asus 701SD, in white and black versions, and the Asus 900A. Both run Xandros Linux.

Now, neither of these computers are state of the art. Both computers, for example, uses a 900MHz Celeron processor rather than a 1.4GHz Intel Atom. The 900A, with its 8.9" screen size, a GB of RAM and a 4GB SSD (Solid State Drive), is clearly the best of the pair. That said, no one will ever mistake either of these as great netbooks.

But, if you're like a lot of people and you want to get your hands on something before buying it, then at least this gives you a chance to see what a Linux-powered netbook looks and feels like. Alas, there's no way to tell if any given Toys R Us store will have them in stock except to try your local one a try.

You can, of course, also order one from the online store. The 701SD currently sells for $149.99, after a rebate, and the 900A retails for $229.99. On-line or brick-and-mortar, you may want to move quickly.

According to a report from the United Kingdom, Asus may still be advertising Linux on its netbooks, but in the United Kingdom, a company representative told the publication that there's "been a gradual migration over the last three months" from Linux to XP. And, according to this one sales official, Linux is no longer available at all from Asus on its netbooks.

Maybe on second thought, Microsoft has continued to make sure that netbook users won't get the Linux choice at retail outlets... by making sure there are no Linux netbooks available anywhere.

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