As many of you know I am a huge fan of netbooks and think that over the next 3 years they will have a decisive impact on the Education sphere. Some 5 weeks ago I promised a three parter on netbooks which never appeared as the fog of war which is exam season descended. I cant help but return to this topic but the blog posts will not be the same. This is largely because the netbook market changes so rapidly, perhaps more than any other technology. I would however like to focus on four areas this month. Firstly today I will cover the continued drive down of pricing we are seeing both in the UK and US. From here I want to look at education specific offerings which have started to appear in the last few months. Later in the week I will cover a new netbook on the market from Asus which I think will bring One Note into one of the most important products in education. I will then wrap up with an overview of the 10 inch market as it currently stands and examine if the Samsung NC10 is still king in this field.
The netbook above is Dell’s Mini 10v. Dell is a huge player in the laptop market and although a relatively late starter to netbooks it is now starting to make an impact. This base model is available in the US at just $299 with an Intel Atom N270, 1GB Ram, 120GB Hard drive and 3 cell battery. Of course in the UK we would expect this to be more expensive and in truth often see the same pound price as dollar price. Excitingly this is not the case with The Dell Mini 10v which is available for £199. Looking in more detail however in the UK we are delivered a lower spec with Linux and an 8GB Solid State Drive for this price. An equivalent (and indeed slightly higher spec to the US version) is available for £249 so a slight premium for living on the other side of the Atlantic.
In September I predicted that a decent yet basic spec netbook would be available in two years for less than £200. It appears that is has taken only 9 months. Whilst I would still like to see specification improve with faster processors, graphics capability and 2GB RAM this machine is a massive step in the right direction. Tomorrow I will look at a Dell netbook made specifically for education which may prove revolutionary in the move towards mobile learning.
For those of you out there looking to purchase Netbooks for you schools in the new financial year a useful resource might be the April edition of What Mobile magazine which is out now. A few weeks ago I covered Netbooks in great details so if you need to get up to speed you can with the following posts:
- The best netbook for education?
- Netbook prices falling, specs rising?
- 8 Netbooks for Education to consider
- Samsung NC20. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
- The Netbook and why it is not a UMPC but the greatest change in computing…
- The 3 coming changes in netbook technology
The post I ran on 8 netbooks for education to consider was based on US availability, prices and specs as these were more easily available online. Now that What Mobile have run an article it makes sense to quote UK prices.
One interesting observation is almost all the netbooks reviewed in this article had 3 cell batteries and every one on Amazon US had a 6 cell battery. In terms of prices and specs the numbers in £ and score in stars (out of 5) are as follows in the running order:
- Asus S101 £440 (high end model) 4 stars
- Acer Aspire One A150 £280 4 stars
- MSI Wind U100 £269 4 stars
- Advent 4213 £280 3 stars
- Toshiba NB100 £260 4 stars
- HP 2140 £379 4 stars
- Samsung NC10 £292 5 stars
- LG X110 £295 4 stars
- Dell Inspiron Mini 10 £299 4 stars
- Lenovo Ideapad S10 £260 3 stars
In all the Lenovo and Advent appear to be bringing up the field with most of the netbooks comparing fairly against each other. Yet again the Samsung NC10 stands out as the clear winner with a full 5 stars. The article spans 5 pages with quite a lot of detail on each Netbook and is well worth reading.