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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The silver lining

After what seamed like weeks, no months, it finally came. The eagerly awaited CloudBook arrived by way of FedEx Monday afternoon. Christmas had come early. After tearing open the box my initial reaction I have to admit was one of shock. Its tiny, maybe a little smaller than I was expecting but that’s ok, small is good, at least where technology is concerned. In the box was everything one would expect to be in the box, computer, battery and power supply, you know the usual, and then right at the bottom of the box was a little zip bag, upon closer inspection the bag contained a cable, a small cable, a really small cable. I am not sure what exactly this cable is for, it is obviously meant to go inside the laptop, where I don’t know, I find it rather odd that that they would ship this mystery cable knowing full well that opening the case voids the warranty, on the other hand maybe that’s the plan they know full well we cant resist looking to see where this spurious extra cable belongs, anyway I figure I will find out when I upgrade the memory. I slid the battery into the laptop, pressed the power button and held my breath, I don’t know why but I am always amazed when something new actually works right out of the box. It did work it booted up and guided me through a few setup screens before we actually got to gOS. I have to admit I have played around a little with gOS before so I kina knew what to expect, and its ok I like the idea of it I just don’t think the industry is quite ready for it yet but that’s another story all together. gOS on the CloudBook though is not so great, I am not going to go on and on about it but I will say that everything everyone else has said about this version is right. Like I said in my previous post I never intended running gOS on this device anyway so I hooked up an external USB CD drive and installed Windows XP Pro, this went surprisingly well, and so did the driver install (all the XP drivers are available on Everex’s website). Now I guess we are getting to the point, there are plenty of good reviews of this product and I don’t want this to be another but I did want to comment on the major points that most reviews seam to slam this laptop on.

First and probably the biggest is the speed, this computer, as I expected, is not a speed demon, with XP on it, it kind of trundles along at its own pace, but its certainly not unusable. The display is great, it is super bright, and very readable at 800x480, if you need more screen real estate there is a 1000x600 setting which isn’t that bad albeit a little small for me. The sound, well what can I say about the sound? It makes noise I don’t think I would really want to listen to through the built in speakers but like I said before this is not a walkman, headphones sound pretty good though. I guess the last point I would like to touch on is the heat, it dose get hot but its no where near as bad as I was expecting from the reviews I had read. I had the unit running all day today, installing software and doing windows updates and at the end of the day it was hot but not as hot as some other laptops that were in the store today, I guess what I am trying to say is all laptops get hot and this one is no different, I am not sure why people expect otherwise just because its little.

So to sum up, after one full day of use I am actually quite impressed, it isn’t perfect, there are a few kinks I am still trying to work out, like the webcam doesn’t work in yahoo messenger, but all in all its not a bad gizmo. The speed really isn’t that bad and should only get better with a little more memory but I think the hard drive is what is really holding it back. In my humble opinion, if you have an extra XP license, this laptop is well worth $299.

I can’t wait for the extra memory to arrive, there are lots of mods that I am already planning, I will try and find time tomorrow to post a list of the mods I want to do.

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