IDG News Service - Of the many Taiwanese companies developing minilaptops for global markets, only Elitegroup Computer Systems Co. (ECS) was prescient enough to build 3G (third-generation telephony) capabilities right into its offering, the G10IL netbook.
Last week, I had a chance to try one out at ECS's offices in Wugu, Taiwan, just outside of Taipei.
The ability to surf the Internet wirelessly over 3G airwaves via HSDPA and HSUPA (High Speed Downlink/Uplink Packet Access) is one of the things that sets the G-series laptops apart from rival offerings, such as Micro-Star International Co.'s (MSI) Wind laptop and Asustek Computer Inc.'s Eee PC.
The G10IL I tried out was a standard G-series model, around $500, with a 10.2-in. screen, six-cell battery for around five to six hours of run time, an 80GB hard disk drive (HDD), a webcam, 2GB of DRAM, an Intel 1.6-GHz Atom microprocessor and Windows XP. Different configurations, including substituting a Linux operating system, will cost less. The minilaptop can also connect to Wi-Fi networks.
The company's J-series, for example, is the low-cost series of ECS's netbook family. It will still come with the 10.2-in. screen and HDD, but it skimps on other features to try to knock $100 or more off the price, ECS representatives said. Both the G-series and J-series come with options for Linux from Linpus Technologies Inc.
The way the software and other operations ran on the G10IL were generally similar to other minilaptops. That's largely to be expected since most of them run on the same components, including Intel Corp.'s Atom microprocessor. Like MSI's Wind and the Eee PC, the devices are made for surfing the Internet and general office-type tasks such as data input and some multitasking, but not video editing and other heavy programs.
The design of the G10IL looks nice, with a similar feel to MSI's Wind. It is about half to two-thirds the size of a mainstream laptop PC and weighs about 1 kilogram.
But boot-up time on the G10IL was slow at around 40 seconds. Once started, the netbook handled multiple programs easily and was generally easy to use.
One issue was the keypad, but it's an area that all minilaptops have trouble with. On the G10IL, I found it difficult to hit the right keys. Companies have made the keypads flat with keys bunched together. There's not much space between keys for your fingers to feel around and navigate. You need your eyes to do so.
Over the course of trying out mininotebooks, it seems clear that typing on them is a bit different. My habit is to rest the heels of my hands on the laptop as I type, but on mininotebooks, you can't really do that without interfering with the mouse pad.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more