Elonex One – the final word?

Discussions about the Elonex ONE have continued on this blog far beyond what was expected – I was hoping for an interesting discussion, and I will continue to keep comments open there, and on this thread.

It appears that the general sense for those who have received the original Elonex ONE is one of being underwhelmed with the experience.

I was really taken with the comments of Phil Archer (no, not this one, he’s spending all his time stargazing at the moment), and with his permission I’ve copied some of his comments here, as they deserve more ‘airing’ than buried at the end of a long stream of comments.

As Phil says…

I had an Elonex one for a week and sent it back for a refund as being “unfit for purpose”. Ok I’m a Silver Surfer who is not up to speed with Linux (mid you first computer experience was a Dec PDP 11/40 Ed11 teletype papertape and magnetic core memory..!)

People don’t believe that I’m old enough to say that my first job was operation an ICL 2900 series computer which had a massive 8 x 32 kbytes = 256 kbytes of memory.  I remember huge exchangeable disc platters which were 80 Megabytes large, which you could only carry two of at a time – ah, nostalgia’s not what it used to be.

The wifi only worked reliably up to about 6 metres, the email won’t work with google mail (on pop3 will connect but times out as probably it won’t accept security certificates) the browser won’t play real player stuff and the response time is too slow.

Phil is probably(!) much more patient than I would be, and certainly more patient than a typical 8-11 year old child, whom I still believe is the target audience for the original Elonex ONE(+).  Phil has also sought second opinions on the hardware/software.

Running the machine past 3 teachers,one a head of IT, all said it was no good the students would be pressing buttons like craay to make things happen, they would lose concentration and go off task and as Pod casting is taking off in schools the unit would not even play them.  The only good comment was that students with Special Educational Needs,  if issued permanently with one would look after it and the slowness might actually suit them particularly in the early years as the acquire basic literacy skills.

Phil continues with some useful comments for the many unix fans out there

However the linux geek will have great fun “jailbreaking” it they have already found out how to access xterm and the internal WIDI and blue tooth is on standard usb dongles inside so blutooth out Gbs in. There is the one button pwer on to get the boot menu and the “button of doom” which makes the unit start up as root user and drops all the fancy screens.

But i needed something that worked from the box that I could later dabble with as a learnt more. I hope I haven’t put you all off do have fun. I’ll experiment with Ubuntu and see if the pension stretches to an ASUS Eee PC

I’m sure Phil’s experience won’t be unique – other people have commented that the browser won’t support FaceBook, and the Elonex ‘OneUnion‘ page has remained the same since the product launch – like so much of the rest of the website.

The sub-notebook market (I really like the word laptot!) has matured a huge amount over the last six months.  I now have three friends who have the Asus eee 701, and have all been pleased with their respective purchases, though using them for different purproses.

As for me, I’ve decided my MacBook isn’t all that difficult to lug around, and has done me great service (hard disk crash aside) for the last year.  I don’t think there’s a need for another laptop just yet in my life.

Thanks again Phil for your experiences, and allowing me to share this with a wider audience.

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