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Vodafone Webbook Review: Cheap and cheerful Ubuntu netbook

Vodacom announced earlier this month that it has become the first Vodafone operating company to launch the Vodafone Webbook. At R1 499, the Webbook – which runs on the Ubuntu Linux 10.04 operating system – is touted as an affordable entry into personal computing for South Africans. But is it worth it?

The team at TechCentral reviewed the Webbook and this is what they had to say:

Specs and performance

With a 10-inch LCD screen, 512MB RAM, and 4GB of flash storage, the Vodafone Webbook sports an 800MHz Freescale iMX515 processor that is based on the ARM Cortex-A8. It also includes a low-end webcam — centred above the screen — and a built-in microphone for Skype calling.

Ubuntu, being a fairly low-demand operating system, results in the Webbook booting up in under 40 seconds, with another 20-second delay for it to be operational after logging in. Despite the reasonable boot time, the device is generally a little sluggish.

What is most likely to cause users problems, though, is the machine’s lack of storage space. With a 4GB flash drive, 2,4GB of which is used by the operating system and applications, the Webbook isn’t meant for storing multimedia files.

Design

The Vodafone Webbook, which runs on Ubuntu OS

The Webbook’s slightly-smaller-than-normal keyboard takes a little getting used to, while the textured trackpad is surprisingly responsive for such a low-cost device.

Weighing in at just under a kilogram it is as lightweight as one would expect from a netbook. Vodacom claims up to seven hours of battery life, but even five of actual time would be more than respectable…

Click here for the full article and info about availability and cost.

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