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[aprssig] New $200 Netbook Appears To Have APRS Potential

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed Feb 10 00:17:21 UTC 2010


Article posted on Slashdot.org today about a new cheap netbook that 
appeared at CES.

<http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/02/09/2138200/XCores-EduBook-a-Netbook-That-Runs-on-AA-Batteries>

The company's website is:

<http://www.norhtec.com/products/gecko/index.html>


This device reportedly is begins at only $200. More interestingly it 
runs off 8 standard AA-size NiMH cells rather than some proprietary 
battery pack -- i.e. it should be able to run directly from 12 VDC. They 
claim total power draw of 1.2 watts.

It has a BUILT-IN AC power supply. Only a standard cloverleaf laptop 
power cord is required with no external brick. It comes default with 8 
GB of flash memory but can also accommodate standard 2.5" laptop hard 
drives. It's supplied with a variant of Ubuntu Linux but is capable of 
running Windows XP instead. The device has three external USB ports and 
one internal one. There is empty space inside for added devices such as 
cellular wireless data cards. You could stuff a USB-interfaced GPS 
INSIDE the device.

Even it's standard 8 GB flash could easily hold Windows XP, and either 
MapPoint/APRSpoint or UIview/Precision Mapping resulting a device 
functionally similar to an AVmap 5 or nuvi 350 but with a 9" screen and 
real keyboard. A USB<-->serial dongle could connect it to a Kenwood D700 
or D710 for a complete but compact and cheap mobile APRS setup.

Another interesting application: Since it has a sound system with mic-in 
and line out, it could be ideal as a dedicated Echolink terminal due to 
it's low power drain.


Some specs off the mfr's website:

------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Gecko Edubook

Accepting orders for August shipments.

The Gecko EduBook is an upgradeable, low power, portable and cost 
effective laptop. Unlike most inexpensive laptops (often called net 
books), the Gecko EduBook is designed for tough, long service.

The Gecko EduBook does not have a fan. The Xcore86 CPU used in the Gecko 
EduBook is more energy efficient than any other x86 CPU running at 1Ghz. 
It can support Microsoft Windows XP. The Xcore86 only uses 1.2 watts of 
power. While the Gecko EduBook costs less than most every other x86 
compatible laptop, the Gecko Edubook features a large, bright LED 
backlit 8.9 inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600.


CPU 1GHz Xcore86 Device on Chip™
Graphics Integrated Graphics Chip
Memory 512MB / 1GB DDR2
Display 8.9" WSVGA 1024 x 600 resolution TFT LCD screen with LED
backlight
HDD SD Card or IDE Flash Disk
Audio Line-out, Mic-in, Internal Mic, Internal stereo speakers
Ethernet Built in 10/100 Base-T
USB 2.0 ports External : 3 ports, Inernal : 1 port (reserved for WIFI, GPRS,
CDMA, 3G or 3.5G USB dongles)
I/O D-sub 15 pin VGA out, integrated SD card reader, touch pad
Power / Battery Rechargeable AA Battery - NiMH 8 pcs (4 hours max) or
Li+3S (4 hours max) or Li+3S2P (6 hours max)
AC 100V-240V (no external adapter)


------------------------------------------------------------------------

--

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node: WA8LMF or 14400 [Think bottom of the 2M band]
Skype: WA8LMF
Home Page: http://wa8lmf.net

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