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Teo, the New Tough Linux Netbook From ZaReason - page 2

It's About Time

  • May 19, 2010
  • By Carla Schroder
Imagine, thinking of your customers. What a novel concept. You fine readers might recall my rant This is Why Lenovo Sucks at Linux, in which Lenovo's Worldwide Competitive Analyst admitted that Lenovo is perfectly willing to invest significant resources in mitigating Windows' deficiencies and creating even more lock-in. But Linux is a non-starter because "You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data".

The Teo ships with wi-fi and the Webcam disabled. To enable them, press FN+F11 and FN+F6 respectively. If you remove the battery they will reset to off. Both work perfectly, and even Network Manager behaves in Ubuntu 10.04, finding and joining wireless networks like it's supposed to. To play with the Webcam, fire up Cheese. An LED lights when the webcam is active.

Power management works flawlessly, with simple useful settings to tailor it your own preferences. The Teo is supposed to get eight hours' battery life. I don't know if it does; the little Gnome battery meter never got above five and a quarter hours. I do know that we used it all day every day without draining the battery completely, picking it up to do something and then putting it down, and charged it up at night.

The touchpad is pretty nice. Usually I don't like touchpads, because I prefer a Thinkpad-style trackpoint. The Teo's trackpad is smooth and responsive, rather than fingernails on a blackboard as many of them are. Cathy says they have been looking into offering trackpoints, though there are pricing and patent hurdles.

Ubuntu Key

And, like all ZaReason computers, it comes with an Ubuntu meta-key instead of a dumb old Windows key. Nothing says "We totally do not understand our customers" like a Windows key on a Linux computer.

Performance

Despite the Teo's modest specifications (by modern standards) neither of us experienced any performance annoyances. Web surfing, using Cheese, OpenOffice and other applications was fine. A good part of the credit must go to Canonical, because 10.04 is a pretty nice release.

Teo Montana!

I'm trying to talk CEO Cathy into an extended loan so I can take it on a road trip next month through Montana. I usually lug my Thinkpad T61 along on trips, so this would be a great experiment to see if it can replace a big heavy laptop. Then we'll see how well it performs running Digikam and Audacity, because we'll be taking a gillion photos, and recording old coots telling stories of the old days and playing music.

Specifications

Processor Intel Atom N450 Processor (embedded), 1.66GHz
Chipset Intel NM10 Express
Graphics & Video Module Intel GMA 3150 (shared system memory)
Main Memory 1GB on board and 1GB on SO-DIMM Total 2GB DDR2 667MHz RAM included
Display 10" Non-glare WSVGA (1024 x 600)
Hard Disk Drive 160GB SATA HDD included
LAN 10/100 LAN x 1
Wireless LAN WLAN 11b/g/n included
Webcam 1.3 mega pixels
I/O Ports
- Monitor (VGA) : 15 pin D-Sub x 1
- USB 2.0 : 3
- MIC-in : 1
- Headphone out : 1
- LAN jack (RJ45) : 1
Audio
- Intel HD Audio
- Speakers: 2
- Internal Microphone x 1
Battery Pack 6-cell Battery included
AC Adapter 19V DC, 40W/Input: 100~240V AC, 50/60Hz universal
Dimensions 10.2" x 7.1" x 1.5" (with a 6-cell Battery)
Weight 2.8 lbs. (with a 6-cell battery)
Keyboard 93% of a regular keyboard for easy typing (key-to-key distance)
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