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back to article Medion takes aim at Asus' Eee

Medion, Europe's prime purveyor of low-cost PCs, phones and satnavs, is taking on Asus' Eee PC. Its Akoya sub-notebook will come in MacBook-like shiny black and white versions, sport a 10.2in display and cost just €399 ($620/£318). Medion hasn't detailed the Akoya's processor specifications, but Intel's Atom has to be the most …

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Dead Vulture

B A T T E R Y ?!

You know the drill by now, Tony! Will Medion too supply a crap battery especially for the UK market, and will El Reg continue all requests to investigate the matter like it is doing with Asus?

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Paris Hilton

Medion takes aim at Asus Eee, misses high.

What's the bloody point?

I can buy a reasonable spec 15 inch laptop for less than that. With a DVD writer!

All aboard the gravy train!

Paris, because she's pointless too...

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Price

But it's still twice the price it should be for it to be desirable over a 'normal' laptop. Fail.

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Stop

sub notebook competition - excellent!

get that price below £300 and boom - we're off..oh..and get rid of windows....

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This post has been deleted by its author

Only 11n ?

"Akoya comes with 802.11n Wi-Fi"

Nice'n'all, but there are hardly any 11n hotspots, compared to those offering b/g.

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Too big to be an Eee competitor

Only a couple of inches smaller in the main dimensions than my hulking beast of a 13" Toshiba. Everyone has different views on what makes the Eee special, but none of the alternatives yet tick all relevant boxes.

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ton

medion just rebadged

the msi wind, might be a bit cheaper if the offer the xp version with the 3 cell (msi has the 6 cell for $549)

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Not an Eee competitor

Unless/until it ditches Windows, the HD and the big price.

BTW, 1024 x 600 isn't 16:10 (or 16:9, come to that)

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Fail

Make Windows the upgrade option for a fee. Just let us have the kit.

Take out the HDD. Just bung enough for an OS a few extra user-defined Apps and a few docs. I'll use SD cards / USB keys as-and-when for anything else.

Stop this "battery upgrade" from a pish battery nonsense. It's adding inevitable cost. No-one is gonna buy the naff bettery if it's the same form factor.

+ IT'S GOTTA BE SUB £250. End of. Sub £200 would be in impulse buy territory.

As soon as the price gets within, real laptops (with DVD-RWs, etc, as mentioned) are a competitor. They may not have the form factor, but at an equal price, the bonus of being evvah so small comes under pressure from cold, hard bang for yer buck considerations.

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Pointless exercise...

...so long as they bundle Windows with it. They could cut the price a tidy bit by leaving out That Which Makes Computers Run Slowly, probably making a lot of buyers a lot happier through better performance and lower price.

@Tom Chiverton: Since 802.11n is backwards compatible to a, b and g, you'd be safe with the coldspots you encounter (well, safe is of course a relative term when it comes to encryption quality on 802.11a...).

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Paris Hilton

Re: Jon Ramster

"Um, you are still paying Microsoft Tax for an OS from 2001. That's not good enough."

Maybe, but that tax is next to nothing since MS is doing XP Home for machines with a screen smaller than 10" for under £7 now with the new revamped licensing scheme for small form factors.

But otherwise, nice looking little machine, and like the others more info on how long it'll run for in normal operation would be handy. They really need a beach babe though like Asus though! Paris as I'm sure she's open to all offer from Medion or anyone else.

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Missed the point, yet again

Price is still £100 more than the Eee, another miss.

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Asus 701 hit the sweet spot

People who compare the price to a regular laptop do not get it. I have a 701 and the thing is just so practical. It is cheap, very compact and perfect device for computing on the move. My train was delayed an hour today so I hooked up a 3G modem and used it from the station. Later on I checked my email, was sent two letters in .doc format from my solicitor which I was able to read and respond to. All in a very small, form factor that can be stuck in any bag with no effort.

My regular laptop is obviously a lot more powerful but I would not consider hauling it and all the peripherals in a laptop bag just for a bit of mobile computing.

The 701 does have faults like the small screen but these can be overlooked when the price and size are considered. The Asus system software is also lacking some polish that would make it more pleasant to use. I think the 900 / 901 rectify the screen but I wonder if the other bells and whistles like increased storage make the devices too expensive for their own good. These things do need to be cheap and cheerful.

Asus needs some decent competition to keep them on their toes. The atrocious VIA Nanobook in all its incarnations missed by a mile so hopefully the Medion will have better luck. Just keep the price low and the focus on making something that can do browsing, email, office and a few games out of the box.

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re: only 802.11N

N is backwards comaptible with B and G.

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11n

is backward compatible with b/g so its a nice extra to have :)

and price, well yes, close to a cheap 15" laptop, but this isnt a 15" laptop! its a 10" have alook at the price of a Sony TZ 11" machine? £1300 and say that £300 for a more compact machine is overblown??

I quite like it and looks to be a toosup between this and the HPmininote to supliment my MBP :)

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I agree...

....they are all getting it wrong, and that includes Asus themselves now. We're only gonna use it for web-browsing, typing and the odd media playing.

All we want is a nice, tiny (yet usable) mini that includes WiFi, SSD, and most importantly is under £200.

Give us that, again, and they'll fly off the shelves like the first Asus is continuing to do.

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Paris Hilton

Where is the Babe?

Until Medion have an equivalent babe they stand no chance of competing with ASUS.

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Alert

Warranty ?????

funny,,

i thought that under EU Regs the warrantys were 3 years...

batterys excluded of course..

and the exchange rate sucks of course,

yet another example of Rip-Off-Britian..........

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b

HD = no good!

gotta go SSD with these things..imo.

without SSD you ain't a player..!

i think external optical drives are a good idea, tho. one could get an external dvd writer and use it for all sorts of platforms and this system doesn't have to maintain in within the OS.

3 usb ports is good.

btw, tracking this space here:

http://www.eupeople.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=487

:)

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Boffin

@ DrXym

"People who compare the price to a regular laptop do not get it."

Yet you've gone halfway to contradicting your own point:

"The 701 does have faults like the small screen but these can be overlooked when when the price and size are considered."

Let's finish things off...

The MEDION does have faults like the PRICE, and these CAN'T be overlooked when when the SPEC and SIZE are considered.

Based on various comments being bandied about, I'd be confident in saying that, of the folk who haven't bought an EEE 701 4GB yet, there are an awful lot of 'em who think the following thoughts about the EEE 701 4GB:

a) it's a really useful form factor;

b) to be fair, it looks pretty decent too, for a cheapie;

c) the specs are easily useful enough for a bit of light, but functional PC usage (I can save the more heavy duty tasks for my 'proper' machine);

d) battery life seems fair;

e) at sub £250 it's very tempting indeed;

BUT...

f, for fail) the screen *really* shoulda filled that whole 'black space' where the speakers are.

Whoever can sort f) out without knackering a) - e) up will come out on top. Everyone so far has failed. Including Asus themselves, with the 900, by upping the specs, along with the screen size and the PRICE. To a point where the "proper laptop" argument becomes unavoidable.

In case the manufacturers just aren't understanding all this, I'll make it even simpler:

***If you make a machine equivalent to the EEE 701 4GB in every single way, but put in a 9 or 10 inch screen. Price it at £250 you'll sell more machines than you ever dreamed of.***

Once that has been sorted, then we can talk about add-ons like Bluetooth, HSDPA, Windows, upping the included storage, and other optional extras.

Who's willing to put a tenner on naming the first manufacturer to crack it?

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Missing one thing

No obvious techno totty to compare to the Asus' beach friend.

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Anonymous Coward

Storage is not a huge issue

4GB SSD is fine - you can have a full system in under 450MB.

And a mobile harddrive , usb flash, or sd can fill the media gap if you like.

Really it is just the screen resolution on the Eee 700/1 range, but you know that is workable, with a small font.

Faster SSD, combined with Splash Top, and larger screen dimensions - res to 1024 x 600.

Even 1024 x 480 is fine.

Oh, up the power controls on the wifi but that could just be a driver issue as well.

A UMC is great, the laptop I use is a desktop replacement, and bought as such, but having a really nippy small mobile device opens up a lot more possibilities.

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HP Mini Note

Looks far better. It's got a smaller screen with higher resolution (1024x600 on a 10.2 inch screen is nearly criminal) and it's cheaper. And it comes with Linux (not that anyone is expected to use Suse, but you can format that off easily enough,) for a handy discount.

Really anything with less than 1280x768 res is a useless toy, not a real computer.

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An Emerging Pattern - good for linux

It's been obvious to me at least that M$FT will try to defend itself by a) continuing with XP and b) trying to buy off makers like ASUS with givaway windows prices for this type of device.

It's interesting that the PC makers are rushing into this space - presumably this is because there is profit in it!

Part of that is hardware, but a major thrust seems to be linux itself - normally a major cost component of any PC.

Of course M$FT has very deep profits, but does anyone think it credible that they will give away XP licences to the whole market?

Nope - I dont think so - the shareholders wouldnt have it.

So it looks increasingly likely that Linux will have this market sewn up.....and in a year or two that will spread into larger desktop machines too.

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Why do they have to be so expensive?

You can now get portable DVD-Players for less than 100 Euros. They contain an LCD screen, a powerfull processor with MPEG2 decoding ASIC and even a DVD-drive. Can it really be so hard to build in a slightly better LCD and slap on some light operating system? I mean nobody really needs multitasking on a portable device.

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Re: Re: Jon Ramster

Allan Rutland • Tuesday 20th May 2008 12:04 GMT

>"Um, you are still paying Microsoft Tax for an OS from 2001. That's not > good enough."

>Maybe, but that tax is next to nothing since MS is doing XP Home for >machines with a screen smaller than 10" for under £7 now with the new >revamped licensing scheme for small form factors.

It's still £7 for something that should be an option. That's over two pints of beer! STOP INSTALLING XP HOME BY DEFAULT.

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Stop

Meh

Looks nice, but I agree with the other comments about the price, an HDD, and bloody Windows XP *Home*.

And until someone can show a standard Linux distro installation on the hardware with no tweaking, saying that the XP can be replaced with Linux is a statement of FAIL.

(Sure, Ubuntu and so on plays nice with a good number of hardware configurations, but do you want to take that risk with an entirely new processor and presumably accompanying chipset?)

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@Allan Rutland

But the screen is larger than 10"?

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Less is More

Asus tapped into a whole new market with the £220 701. If they had just increased the screen size and left the price sub £250 they still had a winning formula.

But no, all these manufacturers have missed the point. They put in XP, bigger memory, Bluetooth, etc etc and then have to charge over £300 because of the increased specs. At that price point you are up against better normal laptops.

People wanted cheap & functional for mobile computing. That's it.

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Re Asus 701

Yep,gotta second that! Writing this on one now, in apub in Oulu (panoulu - free access)

It's the muttz nuttz

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HDD & Linux thoughts

The 4Gb in the Eee PC is plenty but Asus should stop using UnionFS.

UnionFS means there is a 2Gb read only system image and a 2Gb user partition. Unionfs munges the two together to look like a single filesystem. Its a very neat idea and the advantage for Asus or users is that zapping the user partition restores the machine to its factory state. But the disadvantage is that all write operations including patches go on the user partition. So if Open Office is patched and the patch is 150Mb you lose 300Mb in total because the original Open Office is still on the system partition, just masked out.

They need to sort this out. Personally I think they should dump their franken-Xandros and just go with a single partition running slightly modified Ubuntu. They can run their simple desktop on top. It means users can benefit from a properly supported distribution for patches and Asus can still control the UI.

XP is not necessary on these machines, though I think you could probably get something with similar functionality fairly easily. Afterall, apps like OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird work on XP too. That's the joy of heterogeneous applications - it really doesn't matter what the OS underneath.

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Maybe it's 'cos I'm a minimalist....

Riding from school today - on my moped - I decided to pop into a bar in the city (coffee, cos Finland's a bit tough on DUI. Not as bad as UK, but I digress).

I whipped the Asus 701 out of my coat pocket (Finland, remember - coats are de rigeur) and set up a fellow student's gmail account.

Took about 5 minutes - 15 sec bootup, 20 sec to connect to Panoulu, and then the rest to figure out how to do it, and do it.

I had 5 folks staring at me, and then wanted to know where they could get one. UK, of course - they're not available in Nordic countries - I guess å, ö and ä are a bit tricky.

It does what it says on the tin. If I buy a 'fridge, it says on the box, "Keeps food cold". It doesn't say "Washes clothes, irons shirts, makes coffee, gives good head". If I wanted that, I'd go to the nightclub, and get a bit o' totty.

Horses for courses. The Asus does exactly what it is designed to do. Touchpad aside, I wouldn't change it for anything, esp. the price.

School? Well, I'm 52, but still got a brain.

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