We’ve had a long and arduous search for a usable resolution (at least 1366×768) portable netbook, that will run Ubuntu smoothly, and we’re pleased to report our findings! The MSI U230-040US netbook fulfills all our requirements without so much as a hiccup.
Most netbooks have a 1024 x 600 pixel display. This fails miserably with some applications that are designed for higher resolution, like Eclipse, for example. Working with Eclipse can be annoying enough, but in a lower resolution display, important fields in certain windows are unusable and almost completely hidden.
Portability is important and this system weighs in at 3.3 pounds. It’s got a good solid feel to it, and the display bends back to an angle of about 135 degrees. The keys are next to each other, not spaced out like the Sony Vaio. The netbook’s measurements are 11.71″(L) x 7.49″(D) x 0.55~1.22″(H).
This system passed all our tests and is available, as a complete dual boot system from eRacks, called the eRacks/CUMULUS. We’ve got Ubuntu and Windows 7 on this one.
The built-in Webcam is 1.3MP and works with Cheese Webcam Booth, both photo and video. There is a 4-in-1 Card Reader (XD/SD/MMC/MS), and three USB2.0 connections. Bluetooth is working without any special configurations.
I’ve set the processor for 800MHz at OnDemand. The other settings are Conservative, Performance, and Powersave with a higher 1.6GHz is available.
All-in-all this system gets top marks for usability and portability.