back to article Elonex punts £99 Linux laptop

UK PC maker Elonex will next week launch an offensive against Asus' elfin Eee PC by offering a compact Linux laptop for just £99 ($193/€132). Elonex One Elonex's One: for schools and colleges That's less than half the price of a 4GB Eee PC - if you can lay your hands on one. Asus' machine is still tricky to obtain, stock …


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  1. James Halliday

    Here's more details - assuming Elonex have just slapped their own badge on it.

  2. Matt Bradley
    Thumb Up

    "And if the screen half of the clamshell casing looks a little bulky"

    Its because the screen half IS the computer (including a mouse controller at the back of the screen). The keyboard is a separate dockable unit.

    This looks pretty clever for £99, I have to say. The only thing that's missing from these units is a slot for a mobile simcard, if you ask me

  3. John

    Re: Here's more details...

    I don't think that is the same machine - it's similar, but the ports down the side of the screen look different.

    However, if it is the same, the spec is disappointing. A 300MHz x86 processor coupled to max 256MB of RAM isn't going to light any fires, even running lightweight Linux. I have a 2G Eee, whose processor runs at 570MHz and which has 512MB RAM, and it's fast enough running a browser and OpenOffice. But I don't think you'd want to go much less powerful.

  4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Looks top heavy

    I have trouble with my Eee on my lap. Because you are not on a flat surface, the feet at the back do not keep it at an angle, and the screen makes it fall backwards.

    This thing looks like most of the weight is in the screen, which would be even worse! Still. less than $100, would be a bargain!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screen half

    'And if the screen half of the clamshell casing looks a little bulky, bear in mind this is a "hard-wearing case" - as Elonex puts it - designed to withstand the rigours of the classroom.'

    It also looks like they may have moved at least some of the guts to the lid -- the base is suspiciously slim and the plugs are all on the lid. In fact, engadget's article explicitly states that the guts are in the lid:

    It seems to be a reworking of a far-eastern tablet PC, minus the actual tablet bit (touchscreen) and plus a keyboard. This sounds quite good, really.

    Only downside I can see is that it's going to be more than a little top-heavy.

    So it doesn't sound quite so good -- as a laptop.

    But still:

    Remove keyboard.

    Fix main unit to the kitchen wall.

    Use wireless keyboard and mouse.

    Voila: recipe browser and client for network media player.


  6. Ralphe Neill

    The more the merrier!

    Asus identified (created?) a market and now everybody is scrambling to get on board. The more the merrier! Laptops, notebooks, sub-notebooks all sold with Linux on board - heaven on a stick.

    Here is Australia we have seen a rash of "manufacturer's cashback" deals as makers try to bring the low-end laptop price as close as possible to that of the Eee PC.

    It's a good thing!

  7. David Perry
    Thumb Up

    For admins and techs..

    Looks perfect. I'd prefer windows or OS X to linux (more au fait with both of them) but something that's enough to run diagnostics in the field or just check network points are behaving etc looks good. Wonder if I could squeeze win2k onto it (I know XP would be pushing it).

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  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Reminds me of the Fujitsu Stylistics of old

    Which were full blown machines - I used to have 2, one PIII650 which would run XP (sold for a profit!) and another Celeron 500 that sits in the kitchen as a media player and internet access which cost 50 quid.

    Add a case that will support them upright and a dinky USB keyboard and you have this device, but with a hard-drive, more memory, larger screen blah blah blah

  10. Dai Kiwi

    Could be a good book reader

    A review of what seems to be a differently badged version is at

    At GBP99 I'd definately be interested in using one w/out the keyboard as a book reader - its the same size as a thin trade-paperback. With a 7" screen even textbooks should be readable in a non-painful way. No mention on the battery life, I'll bet it's not be brilliant unfortunately. Guess we'll heve to wait and see if there's any difference in the specifications for Elonex's version.

  11. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Oops. Pounds not dollars

    I'm sure I used the pound symbol. Still, I guess they are next to each other.

  12. George Johnson


    Can't see the whole unit, but it looks seriously ugly and the spec doesn't look like it will take much of a pounding. My EEE is running plain Ubuntu and its about 60 secs to boot up, but handles well, DOSBOX runs games very well. The spec on that Elonex is obviously going to require a very special build, doesn't seem like it will support Mr Gates offerings, which might keep people away.


    EEE - Tricky to get hold of?

    Don't know about now, but I tried for about a week at the end of January, to find a 512MB EEE in stores and online, my Missus said "Have you tried ASUS website in the UK?"

    "Don't be stupid woman!".

    Sure enough she was right, as always, I went to ASUS online store and got a 1024MB/4GB model for 30 notes more than the 512MB model, delivered in 2 days flat!

  13. Nick

    Re: Re: Here's more details...

    I agree with John about the specs. I have an OLPC XO-1 which has (for what it's worth) a 433MHz processor and 256MB of memory. The lag starting applications is very noticeable (~10 sec), as is page load on graphics heavy websites. I think that the level of the Eee is about as low as you want to go with regards to specs.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @Peter (Re: firewall)

    To get extra ethernet ports you just need a USB ethernet adapter (apple seem to think that people will buy one for the new air, but you can get others cheaper).

    I have to say though, if that's what you're after you should look at the NSLU2 - it's a linux box that's slightly bigger than a cigarette packet, and you can run full blown debian on it; retails for about £50 and power consumption is so small it's unreal (about 3W with nothing plugged in).

    As with the EEE, people will do all sorts of mods - the USB controller has some spare ports that aren't wired to anything; I've put a bluetooth adapter inside mine for example.

    Sorry for being off topic, but I thought it would be worth enlightening people!

  15. paul

    Windows Sales?

    I have an eeepc. This came with linux installed - so surely whoever keeps track of market share of OS should notch one up for linux. However, not everyone likes linux and some people have put windows on their eeepc. Now these mysterious people who keep track of the market share of each OS wouldn't know that and still think its a linux sale. Ahh how refreshing.

    My other computers and ps3 all have linux on but these people dont count them.

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  17. Dave Bell

    Power Comparisons

    This machine seems to have twice the RAM, but half the clock cycles, of the old laptop I'm currently running Win2k on. Allowing for a bit of CPU change since it was made in 1999, which tends to close the clock-cycle gap, this might not be a bad machine.

    But how long will the flash RAM last?

  18. James Pickett
    Thumb Up

    Falling over

    If the lid's as heavy as it looks and you take the keyboard away, what keeps it upright?

    Apart from that, I'm all in favour!

  19. Steve Anderson

    Obvious usage...

    This will make a marvellous digital photoframe, looking at the size and pondering the power consumption. A photoframe that can download the occasional torrent!

    Anyway, I'm going to be at the show next Friday and will be heading there with a load of questions, a camera and some eager hands to try it out.

  20. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Windows XP and these little computers

    "My question is, isn't XP no longer allowed to be sold from April or May this year? What will happen then?"

    Embedded Vista?

  21. heystoopid


    Libretto , the market has become a just bit more crowded these days !

  22. Rob
    Paris Hilton

    lid size = screen size

    this looks even worse than the eee to be honest, if screens are so expensive they have to use these piddly little ones that mean you get huge ugly bezels wasting space around the edges, surely it would make sense to offer one with a proper lid sized screen? -same with the eee really. yes it would cost more, but surely not that much?

    (& yes, i have absolutely no idea how much differing screen sizes would affect the bill of materials)

    Paris, as she would also like to see the big picture.

  23. bygjohn

    re: lid size = screen size

    According to something I read on Asus used the 7" display for the eee because it's a known reliable unit, it's been used in satnavs etc etc for a while. They used the same philosophy when sourcing other components, going with known reliable units wherever possible. Seems like a wise move on the whole.

  24. Rob Sked


    Fook me, are they still around?!?!?

    I still remember their clunky machines in our school library! (Circa 1993)

  25. andrew mulcock

    if not for schools

    and it looks like they now have a web site for it.

    but your only going to get one if you are lucky, as they are limiting the initial release to 20K units.

    and what's this about rubber keyboard, sounds like a ZX spectrum to me.

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