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Netbook sports 320GB hard disk

Sep 18, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Czech vendor Eltrinex has announced a netbook computer that runs Linux or Windows XP Home Edition, and sports a 320GB hard drive. The “MobilePC” includes a Via C7-M ULV processor, 10.2-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, and a bundled external DVD writer, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Eltrinex's MobilePC)

Today's netbooks have increasingly become clones of one another, more often than not using Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor and 945GSE chipset. Nothing wrong with that, of course, though the Atom is rumored to be in short supply still, putting shipments of products such as Lenovo's Ideapad S9 on hold.

Instead of using the Atom, Eltrinex's MobilePC employs Via's 1.6GHz C7-M ULV, also found on HP's 2133 Mini-Note PC and a handful of other mini-laptops. The supporting chipset isn't specified, but is probably either Via's VX800 or its earlier VX700, both integrating traditional northbridge and southbridge functionality into a single physical chip.

Eltrinex breaks the mold in several other ways as well. For example, it has fitted a 320GB hard disk drive, the largest we've seen in any netbook to date. Also, the MobilePC's wireless networking chip unusually includes 802.11a as well as the more typical 802.11b/g. Operating in the relatively uncrowded 5GHz band, 802.11a provides greater immunity from interference, at the cost of some range compared to the 2.4GHz standards.

The Eltrinex MobilePC is bundled with an external DVD-RW drive

Eltrinex also ships its netbook with a bundled, USB-connected external DVD-RW drive, “for installation of software and for data backup.” While such a device could, of course, be added to any other mini-laptop, it's nice to see it thrown in.

Other features are more typical, including a 10.2-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution, an Ethernet port, VGA output, two USB ports, and audio I/O. The MobilePC has a 2200mAh battery and ships with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, says Eltrinex. Meantime, a webcam is not specified, but photos suggest a camera might be present.

In an effort to promote use of the C7-M ULV in mini-laptops, Via created two reference platforms, the 2007 NanoBook, and this year's OpenBook. The MobilePC is apparently not based on either of these, however. It more closely resembles the One A440, a Linux netbook released in August by a German retailer, but that device has an additional USB port and slightly different cited dimensions.

Features and specifications cited by Eltrinex for the Mobile One include:

  • Processor — Via C7-M ULV clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Display — 10.2-inch screen with 1024 x 600 resolution
  • Storage — 320GB, 2.5-inch SATA II hard disk drive
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11a/b/g

  • Other I/O:
      2 x USB 2.0
    • VGA
    • Audio mic and line inputs (headphone output also presumed, but not listed)

  • Expansion — memory card reader (MMC/SD/MS/MS-PRO)
  • Bundled accessory — External DVD-RW drive (requires USB port)
  • Battery — 2200mAh
  • Size — 9.9 x 7.3 x 1.33 inches (251 x 185 x 34mm)
  • Weight — 2.6 pounds (1.2kg)

According to Eltrinex, the MobilePC ships with Windows XP Home already installed, but is also compatible with Linux. Step-by-step Linux installation instructions will soon be offered, the company says.

Pricing was not released. However, the MobilePC appears to be available from websites in the Czech Republic for approximately 12,000 Korunas (approximately $710).

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