Netbooks Continue to Proliferate--Who's Winning?

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 20, 2008

As netbooks proliferate--based on both Linux and Windows--reviews are flowing in for many of the hottest models. Lenovo's IdeaPad S10, which, questionably, runs Windows and not Linux at this point, has been taken through its paces at Laptop Magazine (see the video). As a long-time user of ThinkPad notebooks, I'm not surprised to hear that they love the keyboard. Meanwhile, reviews are lukewarm for Sylvania's G Netbook Meso, featuring the Ubuntu Netbook Remix operating system. How do these compare to the Asus and Acer netbooks?

The g Netbook Meso, seen at left, has raised eyebrows for several reasons. One is that it's strange to see Sylvania pushing a Linux-based netbook, and the other is the fanfare surrounding Canonical's Ubuntu Netbook Remix operating system.

The $399 version of the g Netbook Meso has a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor and 512MB RAM. In addition to the Linux-based version, there will be a Windows XP version available in September. Laptop Magazine sees it as having a fighting chance, but laments the small keyboard. They give it only two and a half stars.

 The Lenovo S10, in white at left, is getting rave reviews, and notices for its 10-inch screen and comfortable keyboard. I remain baffled at why Lenovo isn't offering a Linux version of this netbook, though. It goes for $429, is lighter than the Asus Eee PC laptops at only 2.4 pounds, and is based on Windows XP at this point.

Finally, we've written about Asus' and Acer's Linux-based netbooks. See the collection of links below for our thoughts after hands-on use, and many good links to our sister blog JKOntheRun's hands-on tests of the Acer Aspire One:

Back in June, we wrote about Acer's entry into the Linux-based, low-priced laptop fray. The company's Aspire One laptops, at under $400 and pre-loaded with lots of open source software, compete with other netbooks such as Asus' popular Eee PC laptops. Now, our sister blog JKOnTheRun has put one of these laptops through its paces. Check out the unboxing video here, and a list of complaints here. JKOnTheRun has concluded that Asus' Xandros Linux distribution is a better choice than the Aspire One's Linpus Lite.