Functional notebooks

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| It is the bundled Linux OS that makes the Sahara's image books, HCL's MiLeap
| and Asus's Eee PC work better. Try running a Windows on these existing
| devices (with the above mentioned hardware configurations) and you will
| realise screens either have too little real estate (too few pixels) or the
| pixels are so tightly packed that the devices become hard to read.
| One of the problems with Windows XP on a device this small is that the
| interface doesn't scale well. There are accessibility options which allow you
| to increase the font size in documents, the width of the scroll bars and so
| on, but they're not designed to cope with a small high-resolution screen.
| The ‘close window' button for example, stays the same size, which makes it
| quite difficult to pinpoint with the built-in mouse.
| A Linux OS, on the other hand, uses the Gnome desktop, which allows you to
| change all font sizes and if you increase the font size for windows title
| bars, the buttons increase in size as well, making them much easier to click
| on.


Is this the laptop for the rest of us?

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| The memory is 512 MB — again just about OK, since the machine is fuelled by a
| mobile Celeron processor. Where HCL has innovated is to replace the
| Classmate’s Windows operating system with a lean-mean Linux distribution,
| Ubuntu, throwing in the OpenOffice suite and a Firefox browser. *
| This alone will have shaved Rs. 10,000 from the cost of proprietary software
| options — and it allows HCL to sell the machine at Rs. 14,000, making it
| arguably, the cheapest laptop in India today. *
| A Linux laptop may seem a bit unsettling for many of us — but the experience
| was painless on this machine.
| The machine kid-proof or should we say, ‘family-proof’, the entire computer
| is encased in a protective hood that can take a lot of bashing.

ASUS EEE PC launching in India

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| ASUS EEE-PCThe ASUS Eee PC is a subnotebook computer designed by ASUS and
| Intel noted at the time of its introduction for its combination of light
| weight, Linux-based operating system, solid-state drive and low purchase
| price. *