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Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the welcome-news dept.

Linux Business 251

k33l0r writes "Dell's entry into the sub-notebook market, the Inspiron 910, will ship with Ubuntu preinstalled. This was confirmed this morning when Gizmodo published (leaked) specifications for the Inspiron 910." I hope that's not the final form of the keyboard, though -- lots of wasted space on each side.

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That is great news! But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657173)

Will Dell's support still suck?

Re:That is great news! But.. (5, Interesting)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657317)

Of course it will, but at least you can seek better paid support elsewhere (Canonical) or indeed the quite excellent ubuntuforums.org for free. I love the way the UMPC market is exposing Linux to people who would never have heard of it otherwise, there was even an MS spokesdrone in our local computing press saying that "Yes, the Linux option is suitable for beginners but experienced users would prefer the Windows option on the EEE", laugh, I nearly wet myself.

MS ISV astroturf (5, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657475)

I'm involved with a fairly large Linux desktop deployment and I've noticed that whenever a blog post or article is posted for desktop Linux, a lot of MS apologist come in stating that Windows is a better deeper experience and you are shortchanging your students/workers by giving them Linux. While I'm a Linux zealot, I am willing to deploy Windows and MAC when I need to and it makes since from a performance/cost perspective. I don't believe this is a paid guerrilla advertising campaign from MS, but suspect that a lot of small ISV's that tied their livelihood to supporting Windows installations are nervous about the growing market share of Linux. It might be less than 1% of the market, but start paying attention when you walk into a call center, retail store, hospital or school. Actually paying attention may not be enough because they are well camouflaged.

Re:MS ISV astroturf (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658487)

I don't believe this is a paid guerrilla advertising campaign from MS

Can I ask why not?

I agree there's a significant effort from ISVs who are encouraged to "get out on the web and support the product", but there's also abundant evidence that Microsoft uses marketing groups like DCI and Law Media Group to astroturf more directly.

Why wouldn't they?

Re:That is great news! But.. (4, Informative)

badpazzword (991691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657737)

Experienced users are indeed more likely to prefer the Windows option -- as long as they are experienced as in they have Windows experience.

And Windows users who try to use their existing skills and habits generally also find themselves having many issues. In fact, Windows "Power Users" frequently have more problems with Linux than people with little or no computer experience, for this very reason. Typically, the most vehement "Linux is not ready for the desktop yet" arguments come from ingrained Windows users who reason that if they couldn't make the switch, a less-experienced user has no chance. But this is the exact opposite of the truth.

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm [oneandoneis2.org]

Re:That is great news! But.. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658283)

On the other hand , if they are experienced with Linux , they are going to get a lot more out of it then ever possible with Windows.

Re:That is great news! But.. (1)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658293)

True, and I do get what he was saying, however after years of "only a tech god could install and admin a Linux box" I found it hilarious that they were bringing out a new line "Linux is for noobs", actually I might make that my sig ;)

Same rag had two security articles last month flagged on the cover, the Fortify report on security in Open Source and the Debian SSL issue, 90% of their ads are either directly for MS products or for products that run in an MS ecosystem but they are essential reading on who's doing what in the Irish IT scene.

Re:That is great news! But.. (3, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657417)

Maybe you posted as an AC just to get a quick jab in but I would pose that question seriously.

It seems that, with the gadget crowd, Linux support is always sweet in the beginning as they oogle over the new machine but as soon as something new comes out the old gadget is left to collect dust. Suddenly Ubuntu moves on a version or two and people still running the old gadget are left in no man's land with support issues. The people who really understand Linux are too busy with the new gadget to support the old. It's the long term user who's left holding the bag.

Will Dell continue to support this as the distro progresses or should the unit come with a sticker warning the user not to upgrade beyond the current version? It's kind of burned my ass the number of times I tried to pull some older gadgets over to Linux only to find that if I use the distro's 2 or 3 year old package I was fine but if I wanted the latest and greatest I was busied with the work of just getting basic functionality going. The upgrade cycle concerns me too much in some cases to give Linux a try if the only support I have is community based.

I likely will not go "100%" Linux for a long long time. Most of it has to do with working in a Windows shop and, frankly, liking my games. But even if that wasn't an issue I still haven't warmed up to the community support aspect.

Re:That is great news! But.. (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657609)

I have found this to be less the case with Linux than any other OS. Linux distros tend to be very good with backward hardware support so it is usually very easy to upgrade your existing hardware to the newest distro version.

With Ubuntu upgrades, even to beta releases if you set your prefences to allow them, happen as easily as any other update. I've heard of some people having problems after upgrades but I don't believe they are very widespread. Compares with Windows upgrades I've done Ubuntu is better at preserving my setup and adding less stupidity I don't want. After a Windows upgrade it is always an adventure to navigate the through the various roadblocks they've hidden the screen resolution changing utility behind. I typically have to find it first off because my video drivers never survive the upgrade and it reverts to 640x480.

I mostly use Macs and since I'm not allergic to buying new machines the upgrade cycle is pretty simple. When I want to make old hardware useful I tend to go with Linux though.

Re:That is great news! But.. (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657843)

There's actually a pretty widespread problem upgrading to Hardy, where it hangs at "generating locales". In fact, in Firefox, if you select Google from the search at the top right, start to type "ubuntu upgrade", then scroll down, you should see both "ubuntu upgrade stuck generating locales" and "ubuntu upgrade locales" out of the roughly 10 suggested searches. (not my searches, the suggested ones.)

Re:That is great news! But.. (1)

Drencrom (689725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657693)

They can use the long term support versions of Ubuntu. They are supposed to be supported for several years.
On the other hand I love to update my distro every 6 months to test new things and thats why I use kubuntu.

Re:That is great news! But.. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658483)

They are supposed to be supported for several years.
Three years on the desktop (5 on the server) and a two year release cycle. That means one year of overlap

Which means depending on the point in the release cycle you install at you will have between 1 and 3 years before you have to upgrade or lose security updates. And that is assuming that the vendor can start shipping a new LTS release as soon as it is released, if they can't the figures get even worse.

compare that to MS who's current lifecycle policy promises 7 years of support overlap between between releases and 2 years of support overlap between service packs for the same release.

Re:That is great news! But.. (3, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657773)

I reckon a nootbook, or even a subnootbook, is a bit more than just a "gadget". Its in both the interest of people working on Ubuntu, and companies like Dell who use their product, to keep functionality going.

While the community based support for Linux have always been enough to cover my needs; there are a number of people offering Linux support who is more than willing to take your money and give you all the additional help you would require.

With the Open Source community continuing to grow I am certain it is only a matter of time until Linux gets the recognition it is beginning to deserve.

Re:That is great news! But.. (2, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657781)

A gadget like this doesn't need support. You install Linux and then you leave it alone - don't fix it if it ain't broke. It will keep running for many years and keep working just like the day you bought it.

How often do you update the software in your refrigerator?

Re:That is great news! But.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24658305)

How often do you update the software in your refrigerator?

My current refrigerator doesn't connect to the Internet, so it's not vunerable to new exploits.

You install Linux and then you leave it alone - don't fix it if it ain't broke. It will keep running for many years and keep working just like the day you bought it.

It should be fine for *three* years (if you apply the security updates regularly) - that's when the support is currently scheduled to end for Ubuntu 8.04. If you are still using it then, it *is* important that you upgrade to a supported release, unless you're happy to have it exploited and expose (e.g.) your banking details.
Yes, you're a lot safer than with Windows; you're 99.999% certain not to get a virus; but you are vunerable to browser based privacy-type exploits.

Anything that connects to the Internet needs regular security updates.

Re:That is great news! But.. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658547)

It should be fine for *three* years
That's three years from when it was released not three years from now. Ok so two years 8 months isn't too bad but when the next LTS release arrives the old one will have only 1 year left. Say it takes vendors 9 months to switch to the new LTS release and (assuimg the vendors don't abandon ubuntu before that) you will have machines being sold with only 9 months security updates support left.

Re:That is great news! But.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657783)

I likely will not go "100%" Linux for a long long time. Most of it has to do with working in a Windows shop and, frankly, liking my games.

Well that's clearly a non-argument.

"sudo apt-get install pixfrogger" should satisfy any gamer's needs for a lifetime.

Re:That is great news! But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657801)

The funny thing is that hardware support usually improves over time. By the time Ubuntu does move a version or two everything will be supported out of the box.

If community support bothers you, how do you deal with Microsoft? I doubt you have ever actually called them up and asked for support yet you seem to have no issues running Windows at home (using community support if you need it.)

Re:That is great news! But.. (5, Informative)

steeviant (677315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658099)

You a little deliberately short on specifics, your comment might be worthwhile if you were able to pinpoint a device that shipped with Linux on it where the creator of that product has dropped support, but is still around. Even so, you're still very vague with what's supported or not.

It seems that, with the gadget crowd, Linux support is always sweet in the beginning as they oogle over the new machine but as soon as something new comes out the old gadget is left to collect dust. Suddenly Ubuntu moves on a version or two and people still running the old gadget are left in no man's land with support issues. The people who really understand Linux are too busy with the new gadget to support the old. It's the long term user who's left holding the bag.

This is a large company (Dell) buying software from another reasonably large company (Canonical) so it's not really fair to talk about devices that maybe never supported Linux in the first place, made by who knows, supported only by geeks.

You talk specifically about Ubuntu dropping support for features from a previous release and then ignoring the users left out in the cold because of the new-shiny. Could you name an example of that actually happening? Because it's been my experience that my hardware works better with each release, and I haven't seen forums bubbling over with ignored support issues with older hardware as you imply.

Will Dell continue to support this as the distro progresses or should the unit come with a sticker warning the user not to upgrade beyond the current version? It's kind of burned my ass the number of times I tried to pull some older gadgets over to Linux only to find that if I use the distro's 2 or 3 year old package I was fine but if I wanted the latest and greatest I was busied with the work of just getting basic functionality going. The upgrade cycle concerns me too much in some cases to give Linux a try if the only support I have is community based.

Not everyone in the world has the weak consumer laws that you're obviously subject to... if Dell release a product and drop support for it within an unreasonably short timeframe, in much of the world they'll be pilloried and made and example of by the law - because many countries don't allow people to drop a product and run unless they're out of business. So no, I'd say there's no chance whatsoever that Dell will not "continue to support" it, unless they want to be bankrupted in court.

At any rate there's far, far less chance that Dell will fail to support an operating system that they can pick up and fix themselves if necessary, than there is that they'll drop support for something where they have no recourse if the manufacturer decides to discontinue support. Like, Ooh... I don't know... Windows, and most of the third party device drivers for it.

I likely will not go "100%" Linux for a long long time. Most of it has to do with working in a Windows shop and, frankly, liking my games. But even if that wasn't an issue I still haven't warmed up to the community support aspect.

Yes, because Microsoft is just bending over backwards to support it's customers when they have problems. It's not like anyone has to google through forums to find solutions for windows problems because Microsoft's support is SOOOO outstanding.

Seriously, what does Microsoft offer in the way of support to a single home user that isn't available for a cheaper price for Ubuntu or another commercially supported distribution? This supposed support sounds like a fallacy to me, pretty much like the rest of this post. It's fine that you like Windows, but there's no need to make up FUD about Linux to justify your standpoint.

Windows seems like a perfectly fine solution for a certain class of user, and to them I say "To each their own, and mind your fucking bullshit when you talk about mine"

Re:That is great news! But.. (-1, Flamebait)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658269)

Windows seems like a perfectly fine solution for a certain class of user, and to them I say "To each their own, and mind your fucking bullshit when you talk about mine"

Man, talk about attitude. I come up with a legitimate concern and I get shit on for it?

Since I do run Windows on 66% of all my machines at home now I'm a spokesman for Windows? Come on now. I'm seriously coming off with the feeling that since I'm not 100% Linux I'm unworthy of ever questioning it? This is one of the reasons I don't like dealing with community support. There are far too many of "you" out there who, at the second I mention Windows, go off in a tizzy about how much worse Windows support supposedly is. After that you guys all turn your noses up and act like I'm not worth of running Linux since I don't dedicate myself to it.

Oh well, so be it. I guess I'm just a Microsoft shill in your eyes since I use it at my job and choose to keep it at home.

But in any case, as if I'm worthy of Linux, the devices in question didn't ship with Linux on them but, being the idiot I am, decided to give Linux a try. I won't be making that mistake again anytime soon.

Re:That is great news! But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24658203)

It seems that, with the gadget crowd, Linux support is always sweet in the beginning as they oogle over the new machine but as soon as something new comes out the old gadget is left to collect dust. Suddenly Ubuntu moves on a version or two and people still running the old gadget are left in no man's land with support issues. The people who really understand Linux are too busy with the new gadget to support the old. It's the long term user who's left holding the bag.

Au contraire, Ubuntu 8.04 is an LTS version. It is Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

"LTS" stands for ... wait for it ... "Long Term Support".

http://start.ubuntu.com/8.04/
https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-announce/2008-July/000112.html
"This is the first maintenance release of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, which continues to be supported with maintenance updates and security fixes until April
2011 on desktops and April 2013 on servers."

[citation needed] (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658371)

I don't know which gadgets you are talking about.
As far as I'm concerned, old stuff doesn't get dropped. It happened to me a lot, lack of upgraded drivers, when changing OS, mainly due to manufacturer going out of business, or dropping product lines, but no in Linux, mainly because drivers crawl into mainstream Linux, and the manufacturer no longer has full control and responsibility over the driver. Usually, just recompiling the driver just works(TM).

Even if that _were_ the case (which it is't), Dell computers would stay supported by Canonical at least as long as there is Canonical. It's cheap to support a couple of hardware drivers that already work and are integrated in mainstream Linux, and it makes PR sense. Anyhow, it wouldn't be that hard for any individual to keep them maintained, at that point.

That's good news (3, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657185)

I wish my EEE 901 had shipped with ubuntu too, instead of Xandros.

Not that it's bad for beginners, but I'm not sure I want such a toy OS. I know Ubuntu eee exists, but I'd musch rather have the official distro. Or debian...

Ubuntu runs fine on EEE and Classmate (4, Informative)

xzvf (924443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657365)

Might be obvious, but a little googling is all it takes to put Ubuntu on an EEE. Edubuntu 7.10 installed on mine with no real problems. But for normal people, yes it would be nice if it came preinstalled. The Intel Classmate comes with a version of Edubuntu 8.04 from Go2PC that is getting more stable every day. This may be Ubuntu's market if they can sign up more OEM's.

Re:Ubuntu runs fine on EEE and Classmate (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657513)

On a 901?

I thought the network hardware (amongst other bits) wasn't supported right now?

Re:Ubuntu runs fine on EEE and Classmate (2, Informative)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657633)

You may (probably will) need to plug it in to a hard wired eithernet connection once to download/install the wireless card drivers. Besides that? shouldnt have any problems.

Re:Ubuntu runs fine on EEE and Classmate (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658155)

Wireless doesn't work OTB. You need to fool around a bit with either madwifi or ndiswrapper.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EeePC/Fixes [ubuntu.com]

Reportedly this should work OTB come version I later this year.

Re:That's good news (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657401)

What's so bad about ubuntu? its basically debian with some spit shine polish.

Re:That's good news (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657489)

There's nothing wrong with Ubuntu.

What I don't want is a hacked together, unsupported one-man project on what seems to be fairly generic hardware. "Ubuntu eee" is such a thing, at present, and not the official distro.

Re:That's good news (3)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657419)

Not that it's bad for beginners, but I'm not sure I want such a toy OS.

I've heard comments like this a lot and I am curious as to why you consider Xandros a toy operating system. I am a long time Fedora user and have been using Linux seriously for over 12 years and I am quite happy with the distribution that came with my EEE. I don't use the easy mode that the EEE defaults to (though I actually do like that mode), but nothing about the distribution seems "toy" to me.

Re:That's good news (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657461)

At the present time I'm not aware of anyone having managed to get advanced mode going on the distribution that comes with the 901. That's why I consider it a bit of a toy OS. I should have said toy desktop perhaps.

Either way, I'm a debian true believer that recently defected to ubuntu on the desktop.

Re:That's good news (1)

stavros-59 (1102263) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657541)

Not that it's bad for beginners, but I'm not sure I want such a toy OS.

It's a full system, nothing toy about the default Xandros distro I'm still running on my EEEPC701. I did the full desktop mod and the kernel upgrade for using 2GB of RAM.

If I'm demonstrating it to anyone I use the easy GUI.

I'm looking to get one with a 8.9"-10" screen that is still in the same class. The Dell one is looking good and the AcerOne looks great but has kludgy old XP on it here in Australia and no linux version available. The HP Mininote has Vista shoehorned in on a VIA C7 CPU. I can't get the linux version of that in Australia either.

If Dell do sell the linux version here, I'll buy that one. I'm not paying for a Windows licence I won't use. Those days are gone, for me anyway.

Re:That's good news (2, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657847)

Have you tried the eee (900 in my case)? The version of xandros on there is dreadful. Firstly, the package repositories are minute. Most of the packages I'm interested in aren't there (gvim, latex, xfig, gv, fvwm2, doxygen, xv, xpdf). That's one major strike against it. Secondly, it doesn't have any kind of standard login procedure, so I had to do some odd hand hacking to get fvwm2 to run.

Other than that, the GUI is not good for "real work". I define that as work that I like to do, and for that, I use pretty much the same WM config on every machine. It's not a WM config that anyone except me likes.

Ubuntu 7.10 "just worked" in a mildly broken ubuntuish sort of way. At least it's esaier to beat in to submission than the eee's version of xandros. I couldn't get 8.04 working in the timeframe I needed it to work in. I'll wait until the next version. It looks like proper WIFI drivers might make it in, considering the progress made by madwifi over the completely open drivers recently.

Re:That's good news (1)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658481)

The xandros repositories aren't as good as ubuntu's. At least, not in my area. The default install of opencv doesn't work with the built-in camera on my 701, and the scipy build is out of date, which made the very first thing I wanted to do with it impossible.

Now I've got a spare 4GB stick to install hardy to, so I'm going to give it another shot.

Mandriva supports the Eee PC (4, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657713)

Mandriva supports the Eee PC directly. Just get the latest version and install it. No big deal.

Re:Mandriva supports the Eee PC (1)

chemicaloli (1026172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657857)

Again no it doesn't support the new models yet, the 901 and 1000 still have issues

Re:That's good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24658095)

so, like you know you can "turn on" the full linux mode right?

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=20080718203812781&board_id=20&model=Eee+PC+4G+Surf%2FLinux&page=1&SLanguage=en-us
i would imagine dell's ubuntu load will have the sill icon click only front end as well. most subnotebooks i've seen do the same.

Re:That's good news (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658341)

So, like, you know this doesn't work on the 901 right?

Obligatory... (1, Funny)

m3j00 (606453) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657189)

But does it run linux?

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657245)

ubuntu == linux right?

Re:Obligatory... (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657293)

More like:
ubuntu =~ /linux/

Re:Obligatory... (1)

asliarun (636603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657493)

But does it run linux?

The question to ask is if it will run Windows? Dell will probably end up giving XP as an option. However, are they pre-installing Ubuntu because XP will not run satisfactorily with the base system configuration (512MB RAM, etc.), or because XP is more expensive?

I strongly suspect the former, and that Linux flavours and derivatives are being preferred by the OEMs mainly because they're leaner, faster, and offer much better boot times (aka Instant-On versions such as Splashtop) than XP or Vista. This has probably been said before, but it looks like "lightweight PCs" that straddle the space between full PCs and appliances/devices will embrace Linux like nothing else has.

I suspect that MSFT is already feeling the proverbial kick in the backside, and is probably in a "containment" mode right now with its OEM vendors. You wanna bet that they aren't already working on an "XP-Lite" version to counter this threat?

XP runs fine on 384 MB (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658655)

However, are they pre-installing Ubuntu because XP will not run satisfactorily with the base system configuration (512MB RAM, etc.), or because XP is more expensive?

In a way, a combination of both. My 7-year-old Dell PC has a CPU and RAM comparable to today's netbooks (0.86 GHz PIII, 384 MB RAM), and it runs Windows XP, Firefox 3, VirtualDub, Lockjaw, and StepMania just fine. But then I keep it comparatively clean, without a lot of icons in the tray and with no antivirus other than ClamWin's weekly full system scan. I'm guessing that XP will run just fine on this system, but the trialware that subsidizes an XP license does not.

You wanna bet that they aren't already working on an "XP-Lite" version to counter this threat?

There already is Windows XP Lite. It's called Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs [wikipedia.org] , intended to replace Windows 98 Second Edition in corporate environments. It's Windows Vista that needs to be made lite in order to run on a netbook.

Some specs (4, Informative)

Dougmeister (829273) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657227)

Items of interest (to me at least): 8.9" WSVGA TL 1024x600 (WLED) screen 2.20 lbs w/ 4-cell battery Bluetooth via mini-card (apparently not included) CPU 1.6 GHz, 533 MHz, 512K single core Intel Atom N270 Diamondville Thanks. Hope it does come in at the $299 price...

Re:Some specs (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658045)

The Atom being used for this is a horrible thing. It's designed as a low-power processor but so much so that under real use it uses considerably more power with less capability than an athlon 64. The slowest up to date intel or amd mobile processor will run considerably faster and with less power draw than the atom if running ubuntu.

Guess as usual, you get lower quality generic parts with dell, not that it's the first time for that.

Atom vs athlon benchmark linked here. [tomshardware.com]

Re:Some specs (2, Informative)

Trebonius (29177) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658511)

Actually, your article clearly states that the Intel processor uses less power than the Athlon toward the end. The point of that article to compare two *desktop* solutions, meaning complete motherboards.

In this case, the total AMD system uses less power than the total Intel system, which is noteworthy, but doesn't necessarily have any bearing at all on this particular laptop, or on the Atom processor itself.

Re:Some specs (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658653)

Note that the atom vs. Athlon benchmark you reference uses an old chipset for the atom. I seriously doubt that they would use that desktop chipset on this ultra-mobile... but I could be mistaken.

Re:Some specs (1)

4im (181450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658577)

8.9" WSVGA TL 1024x600 (WLED) screen

I wonder if that screen is one of those awful "glare" screens. Anyway, does anyone have specs on the brightness of that screen? Other netbooks do not have sufficient brightness for use under a bright sky. This picture [gizmodo.com] seems to show it's surface is mirroring :-(

Thankfully the pictures do show an RJ45 interface, specs published a while back on a german site made me believe there would be only WLAN included.

If the keyboard is usable and that screen is halfway decent, it just might be my choice of netbook (currently, over the EEE PC 1000).

This sub notebook.... (5, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657235)

was it originally developed or the Navy?

Get it? Sub notebook?

Oh, alright! I'm going back to work...well, I'll just pretend I have work.

Re:This sub notebook.... (5, Funny)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657285)

That was such a sub-par joke.

Re:This sub notebook.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657409)

That was such a sub-par joke.

Wow, man. That comment was, like, deep.

Re:This sub notebook.... (5, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657793)

I'll sink to any depth for a joke.

Re:This sub notebook.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24658041)

all these jokes are pretty watered-down if you ask me...

Re:This sub notebook.... (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658247)

I think you got yourself in over your head this time.

Re:This sub notebook.... (2, Funny)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658173)

I can fathom why you think that.

Keyboard (2, Informative)

elguillelmo (1242866) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657261)

I hope that's not the final form of the keyboard, though -- lots of wasted space on each side

I reckon it IS the final look, given it's true what the source cited in the article says, and the thing is shipping next Friday.
Anyway, you can use that space for a couple stickers...

Re:Keyboard (2, Interesting)

cwAllenPoole (1228672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657877)

I actually managed to get myself a copy of the XO laptop (one of the first "minimized" laptops) and I have to say this one actually looks substantially better (though I have yet to get a copy of the Eee for comparison). The keyboard seems adequate and comparable to the Eee: (and certainly better than the XO's) perhaps it is not glorious, but whatever. I will say, though, the swivel top of the XO was a nice feature which looks like both commercial models are missing, and I think that all three could use a touchscreen (I know that that is quite a bit more expensive, but if you saw some of the XO's features, you might understand). And it would be nice if they all had longer battery lives, but so it goes...

Re:Keyboard (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658471)

get myself a copy of the XO laptop

How do you get your copies to work? Mine always come out flat, flimsy, and don't work.

Re:Keyboard (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657983)

Having to implement changes today for a shipping date next Friday...

LUG--xury!!

In my day we'd ship it Monday, test it Tuesday, build it Wednesday and design it on't Thursday.

(And no I've never worked for Microsoft).

Probably the right way to go (5, Interesting)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657277)

I have an 8.9" eee pc running on the Intel Mobile Processor (read Celeron). I have both Ubuntu and XP running on dual boot but use Ubuntu more than often. XP is still **very** slow on the laptop and there is continuous disk activity while running it.

Well, I have the MSI Wind (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657809)

Unfortunately the must-have application on it is Windows only and WINE doesn't work, and it is running XP, but it is not slow, there is no continuous disk activity while using it and, in fact, after a week of use it is likely to get rather more use than I expected. It works just fine with a BT mouse, HSDPA dongle, and wireless.

Tom's Hardware suggested the Celeron is faster than the Atom, but really the Atom seems able to do whatever is necessary and any slight slowdown is compensated by the unnoticeable fan noise.

Perhaps this is partly due to Dell exercising a bit more pressure on Microsoft not to drop XP. Which, btw, according to the same hardware site, runs considerably better on both the Atom and the Celeron than on Vista.

Re:Probably the right way to go (4, Interesting)

cwAllenPoole (1228672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657923)

I'm really surprised that anyone would WANT XP on this. First, MS is poo-pooing its own product. Second, it is a lot harder to get XP customized and paired down enough. Third, (at least for me), one of the big sells of MS OS's is compatibility. With this, however, I'd imagine that most of the work will be with OOo, Mozilla, or equivalent, something which is already cross platform compatible.

No docking support... (3, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657279)

This would seem a lot neater, if not more worth while, if it had a dock option. I just look at what HP did with the 1100 tablet and it's dock and think that they had the right idea with some slight short comings. Something in the same vein could have been done with this.

Re:No docking support... (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657413)

in my country 'docking' is where man put penis into other man's penis. is very gay!

Re:No docking support... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657671)

In the rest of the English speaking world, docking means "to dock" - you know, where one vessel becomes connected to another or a port?

Oh, and nice fractured English. We know you type/speak better English than that, Larry.

Re:No docking support... (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657835)

This would seem a lot neater, if not more worth while, if it had a dock option. I just look at what HP did with the 1100 tablet and it's dock and think that they had the right idea with some slight short comings. Something in the same vein could have been done with this.

Use a USB Docking Station if you want more ports.

That's not the only issue with that keyboard (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657291)

The wasted space isn't the only problem. What's worse (and far, far worse IMHO) is the way the keyboard is laid out. The 3rd row down is placed too far to the left - the A and Q almost line up. Caps-Lock is WAY too short, and enter is too wide. Bit of the inverse of the crap Apple [stack.nl] once pulled off. To add insult to injury, the >, <, ? and " keys have a different size.

Really, I'd run away from that keyboard FAST.

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (1)

Pienjo (10175) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657339)

Not to mention the fact that it's missing the function keys. (Thought I'd login this time)

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657373)

And there's no shift key on the right side.

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (2, Informative)

questro (802656) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657555)

Look a bit closer at the picture, the right shift key is on the right side of the "up" cursor key.

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657569)

It appears to be there, to the right of the up-arrow key.

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (2, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657441)

Yes, because it's a full function computer that requires a full-sized keyboard, with all the function keys.

Apart from the ASD.. line being a bit too far to the left, the keyboard looks ideally suited for such a device. The alpha keys are larger to make typing easier, at the cost of the other keys.

Who uses caps lock apart from people who have remapped it to control?

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657985)

From what little I've seen of her typing, my girlfriend uses caps lock instead of shift.

I've also used caps lock at times when I've been typing a large amount of stuff in capitals (oddly enough), such as SQL statements and pl/sql code, which our local coding rules mandate should be in caps (now that I'm the most senior dev after a couple of others left, that may change...)

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (1)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658177)

Who uses caps lock apart from people who have remapped it to control?

I USE IT ALL THE TIME!

On a more serious note and to avoid the caps filter, maybe even losing the caps locks key all together wouldn't be a bad thing for a sub notebook (perhaps making a function of some sort, for those rare people who really need to use it). As a programmer, I use it fairly often, but I suspect that I spend almost as much time backspacing after leaving it on accidentally.

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658311)

Who uses caps lock apart from people who have remapped it to control?

Not sure. I have it totally disabled to prevent hitting it by accident, which used to happen a lot because of my elite typing speed skills. But seriously, I used to hit it accidentally all the time and it was really annoying.

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657487)

Dammit! I want all 101 keys on my subnotebook! And I don't care if that means that they're all 3mm x 3mm!

Re:That's not the only issue with that keyboard (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658357)

101? What is this, 1999? Everyone knows all those extra keys [ideazon.com] are really useful.

If it's a linux computer... (5, Insightful)

Squapper (787068) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657321)

...then print Tux on that silly windows key please?

Re:If it's a linux computer... (3, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657397)

Nah. Everyone should just use the Saint John's Arms [wikipedia.org] , like Apple does.

Re:If it's a linux computer... (0, Troll)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657431)

everybody knows ubuntu (or any linux distro) is there just to keep the price low and the next minute the buyer gets home (s)he calls a friend to install a ripped xpsp2 image from a well-known torrent site.

Re:If it's a linux computer... (1)

seriv (698799) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657971)

It would be really nice if they made it a meta key. I would love to have a laptop with a full blown meta key. Unfortunately, I am sure it would cost too much to change anything about they keyboards, since Dell has a full production line to worry about.

Re:If it's a linux computer... (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658369)

You could just remap the useless Caps Lock key to meta.

Totally slashdotted.. (1)

consonant (896763) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657345)

Linux won't really get to Proliferate much if the server keeps melting as this one has ;)

Where is touch screen & Pixel Qi battery savin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657381)

Where is touch screen & Pixel Qi battery saving...

I hate the touch pads on laptops.... where is touch screen and Pixel Qi's OLPC XO screen and battery saving tech?

co3k (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657525)

about half of the would choose to use other members in would take about 2 same worthless expulsion of IPF bloodfarts. FreeBSD = 1400 NetBSD these rules will clear she couldn't 'You see, even Their parting posts on Usenet are I won't bore you this mistake or irc network. The some intelligent centralized paper towels, Things in to avoid so as to so on, FreeBSD w3nt has brought upon Locating #GNAA, has brought upon Decentralized the developer non nigger patrons United States of I'm sick of it. www.anti-slash.org

Low Resolution Display (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24657581)

I'm hoping that there is an option to upgrade the display resolution. 1024x600 may be fine for most documents or websites but I have gotten used to my 1400x1050 14" display and I am willing to pay for higher pixel densities.

512MB RAM? (0, Troll)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657647)

I hope it comes with Xubuntu with specs like that. Get the upgrade to 1024 MB if your going to run Gnome.

Now I just have to contain myself until Friday.

Re:512MB RAM? (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657887)

I'm running Gnome just fine on my eee 701 with 512 MB of RAM. I don't usually keep more than a few windows open but there's really no need to. To be honest even though xfce looks and feels a lot like Gnome, there's just enough different in that I'm so used to Gnome i couldn't justify using xfce in this one case just for what appeared to be an unnoticable performance gain.

Re:512MB RAM? (1)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658213)

Ubuntu with Gnome runs fine on 512MB. My main system is an Athlon 2500 with 512MB RAM, and it runs Ubuntu with Gnome and all the flashy, wobbly effects with fairly good performance.

I think people forget that Ubuntu is a tuned, fast distro. The lagging I notice just comes from Flash and Javascript on websites, not from the actual OS.

I want more in that laptop (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657725)

I wish for more hard disk space, and Xubuntu instead of Gnome which eats up everything.

Re:I want more in that laptop (1)

Choad Namath (907723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658219)

And good luck with upgrading the storage on this one, it has a PCI Express minicard SSD instead of a standard SATA drive.

Re:I want more in that laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24658429)

There is no direct mention of Gnome in the article. The Dell mini-Inspiron might well be running Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

http://www.canonical.com/netbooks
http://www.ubuntu.com/news/netbook-remix

That is not Gnome.

Ubuntu, the better choice (1)

manoelhc (1172781) | more than 6 years ago | (#24657969)

Ubuntu must run in all "notepads"...

Eh? (1, Offtopic)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658053)

{Off topic pedantry}

Ubuntu can run on a spiral ring notebook? It would make more sense to install it on a laptop. If it is pre-installed, that would mean that it is NOT installed. Pre means before (not 'in advance'). As in... not yet. Pre Civil War means before the Civil War, not Civil War already in progress. Pre- is for events... not verbs. A machine with no operating system installed at all would be "pre"-installed. A "pre"-heated oven would be room temperature.

Marketing and MBA speak is killing the English language faster than a failing education system and buggy spell check programs.

Re:Eh? (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658199)

how is a preheated oven marketing or MBA speak?

Re:Eh? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658425)

Not preheated specifically, but the general abuse of pre-. It's in advertising and board rooms across the US. Watch a few commercials. Go to a meeting. Read a cookbook.

Re:Eh? (3, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658363)

Pre- is for events... not verbs. A machine with no operating system installed at all would be "pre"-installed. A "pre"-heated oven would be room temperature.

Curious, but both Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] and the Oxford English Dictionary seem to disagree with you. Since you need to have a subscription to the OED, I'll quote what they say:
pre-, prefix
With verbs, or participial adjectives and verbal nouns derived from them, in sense 'fore-, before, previously, in advance'.


Would you like to amend your statement to say that the OED is killing the English language? Because that would be a pretty silly argument to make.

It's a good idea, (1)

seventhc (636528) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658313)

but why does it still have a windows key?

Funny? (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658417)

Dell's Subnotebook To Ship With Ubuntu

I don't know why, maybe its the lack of coffee, but I actually chuckled when I read that.

Linux on the laptop may come before the desktop (1)

voss (52565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24658657)

What people use laptops and netbooks for is easier for linux to do than to try to be everything for everyone on the desktop.
 

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