Saturday, October 18, 2008

Which One Would You Choose?

With the influx of mini PC's/sub notebooks/webtablets/UMPC's entering the market, the decision about which machine to choose, for 1:1 laptop schemes, has been made so much more complicated.

The 4GB, Asus Eee PC 701, Linux version with its 7 inch screen, is the cheapest on the market with a price tag of just over $400. Another $100 more will buy you the Microsoft version. For $650 you can buy the 20GB Linux version and $750 will get you a 12GB Microsoft version both with the larger 9 inch screen.

Acer have their very flash looking Aspire One, 8GB, Linux version for just under $700 and the 8GB, Windows version for around $800. Both with 9 inch screens.

The 30GB, Classmate from Dell packed with a whole range of educational features including a water-resistant keyboard, collaboration software, theft deterrent features and student PC monitoring comes in at well under $600 for the Linux, version and a bit over $600 for the Microsoft version. Both with 9 inch screens.

When it comes down to deciding which one to choose, you have to consider these four things

1) functionality
2) features
3) aesthetics
and 4) price

Well the Eee PC 701, seems to win it on price. The Acer, Aspire One, is beautiful with it's shiny case and high resolution screen and the Dell Classmate is jam packed full of educational features.

All in all the functionality is the same with Microsoft costing an extra $100 and the much needed larger screen size demanding a couple of hundred dollars.

As a school functionality and added features would rate well above aesthetics but we have to be especially mindful, that we're not paying for features, that we'll never use. Let's be honest how many wash cycles do you use on your washing machine.

At the end of the day if you're happy to stick with just a few wash cycles like the internet and Openoffice, then the entry level, Linux, Eee PC 701 is excellent value for money. If you need a few more wash cycles then you'll need to be looking at a Microsoft machine. If you need to do a bigger load then the 30GB Classmate with all its added features would be the one for you. A larger screen costs you more and if you want it to look pretty then you'll have to pay more for that too.

How big is your load?
H0w many wash cycles do you need?

*all prices are approximate and have been quoted with GST
no discount has been given for bulk orders

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