After using SUSE on the HP Mini-Note for much of the afternoon, I’m convinced that the operating system provides pretty much everything most people will need in a laptop experience. I was able to configure and setup my system in about 15 minutes, and get online in just a few more. The computer does a pretty good job of finding and connecting to available internet connections. And it has a full suite of productivity software including Firefox, Evolution, and OpenOffice.org.
In the video above, I try to give an overview of the software included with the SUSE version of the Mini-Note, and how the computer performs. I apologize for the poor video quality. I was using my Eee PC webcam to record the video, since my digital camera can only record about 180 seconds of video at a time.
A few other quick notes.
- The battery charges quickly. Within about an hour of plugging the computer in, the battery was fully charged, even though it was running for most of that time. Compare that to an Eee PC battery which takes a few hours to charge fully — when the computer is turned off.
- I’m a bit disappointed to see that the AC adapter has 3 prongs. This makes the Mini-Note slightly less portable, since it’s often difficult to find a 3 prong power strip at coffee shops and libraries. I might have to spring for an extended battery since the Mini-Note reportedly only gets 2 to 2.5 hours of battery life from a standard battery.
For my next trick, I plan to install Windows XP. Personally I’m just more comfortable with the operating system, and since I write about Windows and Linux software for a living what I really want is a dual boot system, and that usually means wiping any existing operating systems and installing Windows XP first and then another OS. I’ll probably try to get Ubuntu up and running, since that’s one of the most popular distros these days, and it’s the one I have the most experience with. But I’m relatively impressed with SUSE and I may return to it.
Update: As several people have pointed out, the Mini-Note comes with SUSE Enterprise Linux, not OpenSUSE. So just ignore me when I say OpenSUSE in the video, and I’ve changed the text of this article a bit. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!