Just in case you didn't get the memo, 2008 is the year of the affordable ultraportable. (If that wasn't such a cumbersome name to remember, I'd grab the domain name myself). The latest company to throw its hat in the ring is Australia's Pioneer Computers.

Pioneer is offering two low-cost computers in its DreamBook line that appear to be built around the VIA Nanobook reference design. What sets these computers apart from the Asus Eee PC or Everex Cloudbook is that Pioneer is offering a whole slew of customization options. For example, you can expand the hard drive, choose Ubuntu, Windows XP, or Vista as your operating system, or even select a multi-boot system with up to 4 operating systems preloaded.

Of course, you'll probably save a few bucks if you just order the Ubuntu model and install any other operating systems on your own. The company offers an option to partition your hard drive before shipping, but charges a few dollars for that service as well.

The lowest cost computer is the dubbed the DreamBook IL1, and the base model includes:

  • 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel screen
  • VIA C7-M, ULV 1.0GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM (upgradeable to 1GHz)
  • 1.8''HDD 40G PATA/80G PATA
  • 3-in-1, SD/MMC/MS
  • a 2, 4, or 6 cell battery
  • Weighs 1.1 kg
The IL1 starts at $499 Australian, or around $450 US.

If you want a bit more oomph in your tiny computer, you might want to check out the $699 ($625 US) DreamBook CE26:
  • 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen display
  • VIA C7-M, ULV 1.2GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM (upgradeable to 1GHz)
  • 1.8" 30/60/80/100 GB PATA IDE
  • 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD/SDIO/MMC/MS)
  • 4 cell battery
  • Weighs 0.97 kg
Unlike the Everex Cloudbook, it appears that these DreamBook models are available today. I'm not sure what

[via jkkmobile and EeePCNews.de]

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The design looks better than Cloudbook but I prefer the HD-free eee.

mikecane2008 said...

>>>512MB RAM (upgradeable to 1GHz)

Typo.

1GB.

I'm glad to see another entrant.

And, yeah, it does look better than the Cloudbook.

mikecane2008 said...

BTW, I just checked out the Pioneer site and played around with configuring a system.

I wouldn't recommend anyone outside of Australia buy it for this one reason:

>>>UPS Air Express (for all PC & notebook, up to 10kg per box, Worldwide) [+$182]

Look at that ship price!!

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