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InSTEP Schwinn Blue Red Jogger Stroller
(10 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Solid performance for 399 bucks.
Feb 13, 2008
Review by thetaxiguy
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:SIZE, WEIGHT, Strong WiFi, Price
Cons:HD Space, Small keyboard, maybe a tad under powered
The Bottom Line: CANT BEAT IT for size and weight. Takes a little effort to build it in to something special.
Wow, I was not even in the market for something like this but as soon as I came across it on the web I had one in my hands by that afternoon.
Recommend this product?
Let me start by saying I love this thing BUT if you do not like a Linux Operating System or have moderate PC knowledge you might want to weigh your other options. By Moderate PC knowledge I mean know how to load an operating system and install RAM etc..
This little thing comes with a breed of Linux installed. Linux is an operating system. For those of you that still dont know what I am talking about, that translates to IT DOES NOT HAVE WINDOWS ON IT.
So right off the bat you have to ask yourself a couple questions. Is browsing the web and word processing going to be enough for you? If it is then you are ready to go. There are Linux apps installed for these basic pc functions. For someone like me I needed the ability to run all sorts of applications, which left me with one option. Format it and install Windows XP. This is not a difficult task but does require hardware such as an external CD or DVD drive (because the eeePC only has USB inputs.)
Once you have the external drive you also should look at upgrading the RAM. For the most part you can get 2GB of DDR2 laptop memory for about $50. You do this for many reasons. The main of which is the eeePC only has 4GB of HD space. So you need to manage it well. Having 2gb of RAM allows you to turn off the Windows paging file saving you around 1GB of HD space. (the paging file is a portion of the HD that windows uses to simulate RAM on machines that dont have enough RAM) With 2GB of real RAM you will no longer need the Paging file to make fake RAM. This will also make for a lot less read/write traffic on your solid state HD. (which means longer life).
So once you have your RAM and Windows XP installed it leaves you around 2.5 GB of space to play with. This will last you a while if you install all of your apps to another drive. Which brings me to another add on. There is a space for a SD memory card. I got a 4GB at Circuit City for 35 bucks. You can find some 8 and 16GB on ebay for a decent price. This SD card solves many of your storage issues right here. Just let Windows and critical apps reside on the C drive and install all else to the D: drive.
Now lets step back and look to see what happened to our cost.
EeePC $399, Ram upgrade $50, 4GB SD card $35, (legit copy of Windows XP) $99. So we are just under 600 bucks to have windows on our Tiny PC. This is fine for me, I still think its a bargin. But some people will look out there and say "well I could buy a real laptop with a bigger Hard Drive and CD built in Etc.." This is true and it brings me to the one MAIN reason anyone should ever buy this PC.
The Size. Yes, you are paying for size. The ability to toss it in a back pack and bearly know its there. Pull it out where ever you may need a wifi pc.
So if you are in the market for a Tiny PC, lets continue.
What you get:
You get a 7 inch LCD partnered with a Celeron 900 mhz processor.4Gb Solid State hard drive (that means its all electronic, aka no moving parts) Built in WiFi. It comes with 512mb of RAM, 3 USB ports, and a port for an external monitor. The built in Wi-Fi was very impressive to me. It had more range then my $1100 Dell Full Sized laptop. The 512mb of RAM is probably ok if you are staying with Linux but not reccomended for the XP route. You will live and die by the USB ports on this machine so having 3 of them is good.
Battery life is around 2 to 3 hours depending on the things you are doing and screen brightness.
The touchpad mouse is very responsive althought the button feels a little bit cheap. The key board is ok for typing but you will definately make some mistakes typing at full speed until you are used to it. (unfortunately that is a price you have to pay when having a laptop this small.)
It comes with a Neopreen case that its really no more then a dust cover (its not going to save it from any heavy objects. Fortunately this is the same size as many DVD players on the market so look there for travel cases if you desire.
The built in webcam is a nice little suprise. If you did not know it was there you could easily miss it. So this might be a fun candid camera device as well.
Over all I would say this: You are paying for size and weight. If you have the knowledge, you can build this into something really cool. If you can afford to go with a little larger sized and a little heavier computer then there are better buys out there as far as speed and HD space go.
Amount Paid (US$): 399
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