While there are many netbooks on the market from a variety of different vendors, for the most part they are composed of the same hardware. They generally carry an Intel Atom processor with a solid-state drive or hard drive, 1GB or so of memory, and an 8" to 10" screen. One area though where these netbooks can differentiate is with the operating system. While Microsoft's Windows XP continues to be used on a large number of netbook computers, when it comes to those vendors deploying Linux each usually has a slightly different flavor. ASUS prefers a spin of Xandros on their Eee PC, there is Linpus, gOS, and many others are out there. When it comes to Dell with their popular Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, they happen to be using Ubuntu but with a few modifications. In preparations for an article later this week where we will be extensively looking at Ubuntu's netbook performance, in this article we are taking a closer look at Dell's Inspiron Mini 9.
14 April 2009 - 25 Comments
ASUS is among the few tier-one hardware vendors that understands Linux. Of the dozens of ASUS products we have tested over the years, it is hard to remember a product from ASUS that did not work well with Linux. ASUS was even the first motherboard vendor to ship with an embedded instant-on Linux environment known as SplashTop and they continued their adoption of this lightweight Linux desktop with their notebooks and a massive number of motherboards. Earlier this year ASUS also struck a deal to put Phoenix HyperSpace on some of their products, which is another Linux-based environment. On top of these other Linux efforts, ASUS also ships a modified version of Xandros Linux on their very popular Eee PC series. Their recently introduced Eee Top series, however, is not Linux friendly at all with the current generation of Linux distributions. The ASUS Eee Top ET1602 is a mighty fine piece of hardware at an exceptional value, but it does not know how to play with Linux without taking some advanced steps.
17 March 2009 - 20 Comments
Finding a laptop that can run Linux is no longer much of a challenge. As we have shared in numerous netbook and notebook reviews, a majority off the shelf PCs shipping with Windows can easily be replaced with Linux and chances are most -- if not all -- of the components will "just work" on this open-source operating system, while ill-supported parts can usually be configured to work in just a few steps. For those looking to save time or avoid a potential headache, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and other major vendors have been offering Linux notebooks for some time now. One of the smaller vendors though that has been offering Ubuntu Linux notebooks (along with desktops and servers) is System76 Inc. This Colorado-based company not only ensures their hardware is 100% compatible with Ubuntu Linux, but they also preload some popular software packages that are not installed by default on Ubuntu. In this review we are looking at the System76 Serval Professional notebook.
9 March 2009 - 12 Comments
When we were looking at the Phoenix HyperSpace instant-on Linux environment, we had a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 in our testing labs for a few weeks. The ThinkPad T400 was introduced in the second half of 2008 as a ThinkPad refresh based upon Intel's Montivena (a.k.a. Centrino 2) platform. The Lenovo ThinkPad T40 has a 14.1" display and is described by Lenovo as "performance meets portability" with a lightweight design, hybrid graphics that allows switching between an IGP and discrete GPU, and superior power management. In this article we have some feedback on the T400 when it comes to Ubuntu Linux compatibility as well as some of the tests we ran on this Core 2 Duo notebook.
23 February 2009 - 9 Comments
Intel has been at the forefront of producing hardware for netbooks and other mobile devices thanks to their Atom processor family, but they are also looking at being a key part of the mobile software ecosystem. Back in 2007 we witnessed the launch of the Moblin project, which is Intel's open-source venture for creating a complete stack of software for these mobile devices. Originally, the Moblin core was based upon Ubuntu, but Intel ended up rebasing off Fedora last year and they have been preparing for the second version of their core operating system. Just this week they released Moblin V2 Core Alpha, which we are looking at in this article. Specifically, we are looking at how fast this Intel software is able to boot!
27 January 2009
While there are many different netbooks on the market, one of the models that has been selling quite well and is popular with many enthusiasts is the IdeaPad S10 from Lenovo. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 can be customized, but is equipped with an Intel Atom N270 processor, a 10.2" anti-glare display, and Broadcom 802.11b/g WiFi. In this latest Phoronix article we are looking at the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 along with providing some Linux-based benchmarks.
26 January 2009 - 18 Comments
As we shared last month, at Phoronix we will begin delivering reviews of retail netbooks and notebooks with all testing (of course) being done under Linux. Earlier this month we looked at the Samsung NC10 Netbook and are in the process of working on a few other reviews currently, but in this review we are looking at Dell's Inspiron 1525 notebook.
13 January 2009 - 10 Comments
Fifteen months ago we exclusively showed off SplashTop from DeviceVM, which was an instant-on Linux environment embedded into ASUS motherboards and since then it has worked its way into products from other OEMs. DeviceVM continues to work on further refining SplashTop by adding in virtualization support and other features, along with a promised developer SDK. Phoenix Technologies, the company producing the BIOSes for many of the motherboards on the market, is today introducing their SplashTop competitor. HyperSpace is the Phoenix Technologies product being unveiled this morning with several distinct differences from SplashTop.
6 January 2009 - 8 Comments
It seems that each and every week there are new netbooks that are introduced, but there are not many differences between most models. Some netbooks will have a slightly longer battery life, a different exterior, or a solid-state drive, but there are more similarities than differences. However, one of the latest companies to join the netbook bandwagon here in the United States has been Samsung with the introduction of the NC10. Is there anything special about this 10.2-inch Atom-powered netbook? We will tell you in this Linux review of the Samsung NC10.
4 January 2009 - 26 Comments
With the Atom-based ASUS Eee PC 901 we have already delivered disk encryption benchmarks and a Linux distribution comparison of Xandros, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. This Intel 1.6GHz Diamondville processor isn't the fastest, but it's performing quite well for a netbook. With netbooks and their users often on the go though, for those not using the suspend and resume mode the boot time can be equally important as the in-desktop performance. To look at this we are delivering boot performance benchmarks for the Eee PC 901 from Fedora 9, Fedora 10, Ubuntu 8.10, and Mandriva 2009.
25 September 2008 - 6 Comments
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