TCA (my initials)

January 15, 2008

nose to nose (green linux part 3)

Filed under: techno lust — TCA @ 10:45 pm

This is part three of the year of green linux. Here are parts one and two.

The UPS truck delivered my iGo Stowaway bluetooth keyboard yesterday. It runs on a single AAA battery. More about that tomorrow.

Uploaded some screenshots of my Nokia n800 in operation. I’ll upload more soon.

The n800 is a “PDA on steroids” thanks to Garnet VM. It’s an emulator that’s currently in beta. Hundreds of Palm OS apps now run on the n800, and they run very fast.

Steve Jobs delivered his annual keynote presentation at MacWorld today. Green Apple is competing with Green Linux.

It’s like pitting a BMW against a Volkswagen bug, but what the heck… The Everex Zonbu notebook versus the new MacBook Air. Here goes.

GREEN-NESS

Tie. Both have earned an EPEAT Silver rating and both have the Energy Star.

PRICE

ZONBU NOTEBOOK
$479 (before discount)
Two years of Zonbu Service Plan costs $14.95 per month, minus a $200 discount on the purchase of a notebook

MACBOOK AIR
$1,799 to $3,098
Three years of Apple Care costs an additional $249

Zonbu notebook wins! It costs less.

DIMENSIONS

ZONBU NOTEBOOK
Height: 1.5 inches
Width: 14.1 inches
Depth: 10.7 inches
Weight: 5.3 pounds

MACBOOK AIR
Height: 0.76 inch
Width: 12.8 inches
Depth: 8.94 inches
Weight: 3 pounds

MacBook Air wins! It’s thinner and lighter.

ENGINE

ZONBU NOTEBOOK
Processor: 1.5GHz VIA C7-M
Memory: 512MB

MACBOOK AIR
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 2GB

MacBook Air wins! A paltry half a gig of RAM weakens the Zonbu notebook.

DISPLAY

ZONBU NOTEBOOK
Display: 15.4 inch WXGA widescreen (1440×900)
Graphics: VIA Chrome9 HC IGP (128MB shared)
VGA output built-in
Audio: Microphone and headphone ports

MACBOOK AIR
Display: 13.3 inch glossy widescreen (1280×800)
Graphics: Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor (144MB shared)
Up to 1920×1200 on an external display
DVI output using micro-DVI to DVI adapter
VGA output using micro-DVI to VGA adapter
Optional composite output using micro-DVI to video adapter
Optional S-video output using micro-DVI to video adapter
iSight camera built-in
Audio: Built-in microphone, headphone minijack

Tie. The Zonbu’s 15.4 inch screen is sweet, the Apple’s external display support kicks butt.

STORAGE AND PERIPHERALS

ZONBU NOTEBOOK
Hard Disk: 60GB
Optical Drive: DVD-RW/CD-RW Dual Layer
USB: Three ports
Ethernet: 10/100 Mbps
Wifi: 802.11g
Power Supply: 65W AC Adapter
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (3 hours)
Optional additional battery
Optional 50GB remote storage backup via internet (can be upgraded to unlimited storage)

MACBOOK AIR
Hard Disk: 80GB (Optional 64GB solid-state drive instead of hard disk)
Optical Drive: Optional external USB SuperDrive
Optional Time Capsule wireless backup (500GB or 1TB) and wi-fi base station
USB: One port
Ethernet: Optional USB 10/100BASE-T Adapter
Wifi: 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1
Power Supply: 45W MagSafe AC Adapter
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Polymer (5 hours)

The Zonbu wins! It has three USB ports, built-in ethernet and an optical drive. The Apple has only one USB port, no optical drive or ethernet. However, it does have superior battery life between rechargings, 802.11n and Bluetooth.

INPUT

ZONBU NOTEBOOK
Keyboard: Full-size
Trackpad: Solid-state

MACBOOK AIR
Ambient light sensor for automatic adjustment of keyboard illumination and screen brightness
Keyboard: Full-size with embedded numeric keypad
Trackpad: Solid-state with “multi-touch gesture support”

MacBook Air wins! The Zonbu has nothing resembling the ambient light sensor. “Multi-touch gesture support” is similar to stuff that you can do with your fingers on an iPhone.

I won’t bother to compare OS X Leopard and Zonbu Linux.

Okay, okay… Apple wins the showdown. But the final score is too close for comfort.

I hope to see inexpensive Air clones running Linux soon. For example, an Asus Eee with a 12 inch display would be nice.

Speaking of displays… We need green displays. Someone should take a look at notebook technology and invent a desktop display that burns little juice.

Why not a wireless battery-powered lightweight 12 inch stand-alone display for a device like the n800? Who knows?

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