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RM Asus miniBook £169 laptop PC review

At first glance the RM (Research Machines) Asus miniBook doesn’t seem like much, it’s tiny at 22.5cm wide, 16.5cm deep and just 3.5cm high. Plus, it weighs less than 1kg. It runs the custom Debian Linux core and applications all run from a 4GB RAM drive with almost zero effort.
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Once the OS has loaded you are presented with what can only be described as a tabbed desktop with a taskbar at the bottom of the screen. The tabs, labelled, Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings, Favourites, and of course Help are all stuffed with icons enabling you to perform almost any task you can think of. Selecting the settings tab reveals access to a host of features from the mundane volume control to the useful ‘Add\Remove Programs’ which uses a graphical utility to automatically download and install any extra applications you require. Unfortunately we did not have time to see this in operation.

As I said earlier, we had it for only an hour or so, but our first impressions are very strong. Providing no build gremlins creep in, we suspect the RM Asus miniBook is destined for a huge user and fan base, and more importantly, this could be the way that Linux finally emerges into the UK education sector at user level in massive quantities. RM Admitted to us that the profit margin on these is not very large, but boy, it is going to sell a lot of them.

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