About a week ago, I stopped by my boss’s office to discuss with him replacing my HP netbook that I use for support.  It isn’t a bad computer, exactly, but I find the system’s limitations too constraining, enough where I’d rather carry around a four year old Toughbook.

He pointed to a little laptop that’d been collecting dust in the corner of his office.  “Take that.  We need to evaluate these, our software vendor is recommending these over the Toughbooks.”

I looked cautiously at the little rubbery chicklet-shaped computer.  “Ok, I’ll see what it can take.”

Outside case

The computer is a 2goPC, tablet netbook.  I had never heard of them.

Inside of computer

Upon opening the case for the first time, I was struck by the overly plastic look.

All the options seemed in order.  There are 2 USB connectors, one on each side, which is a nice touch.  One video output jack.  The network connection was hidden under a rubber cover.  The only question was the stylus.  Where was it?

After searching, and then asking my boss, who’d actually unboxed the thing, we found that the little metal loop we’d thought was a tie down was actually the socket for the cord that keeps the stylus from wandering off.

A little handle on the back provided a good grip for carrying the device.

I showed it off to some of the rest of my department.  Typical comments involved such statements as “looks like it should have Playschool or VTech on the front” and “it looks like a toy.”

So, I booted it up.

Screen with Dolphin user interface

What started was this awful interface with oversized icons that wiggled when the mouse went over them.  There are few words that convey the silliness of this.   Eventually, I found out that it was some Dolphin user interface software that shipped with it.  Bye bye Dolphin software.

Now that the annoying input was settled, I spend some time getting the updates and typical software on the device.  Firefox, Acrobat, Java all went on with no complaints.  I was a little worried about the processor, it listed an Atom processor on the front label.  Looking into the Task Manager showed two CPU processors.

The unit also had 2GB of RAM.  Considering that it was running XP Pro, that was just right.

The keyboard was a bit funky, but tolerable.  There was a lot more that warranted a second look, like the built in camera that could rotate, or the tablet mode, but that will be covered in a later post.

So ended day one with the little netbook.

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