The ZaReason Terra HD is an ultraportable laptop from Linux system builders ZaReason.It sells for $449 and it’s available with a choice of Linux-based operating systems preloaded, including Ubuntu 10.10, Debian 5, or Fedora 13.

Ubuntu Linux Tips & Tricks has published a detailed review of the laptop, and the reviewer seemed pretty happy with the performance even though there were some bugs with her pre-release unit.

The case looks almost identical to the HP Mini 5102, right down to the island-style keyboard layout and button placement. Like the HP netbook the Terra HD also has a burhsed aluminum lid.

On the other hand, the ZaReason notebook has an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display while the HP netbook has a 10 inch screen. ZaReason says the keys on the keyboard are also full sized.

The laptop has a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, GMA 3150 graphics, 3 USB ports, a memory card reader, VGA, Ethernet, mic and headphone jacks. You can choose a 3 or 6 cell battery, up to 2GB of RAM, and a choice of wireless cards, storage options, and other options. You can also add a 3G modem if you like. The base model runs $449, but if you soup up the specs, it’s not hard to drive the price up over $1.000.

You can find more photos at Ubuntu Linux Tips & Tricks and complete specs at ZaReason.

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10 replies on “ZaReason Terra HD mini-laptop with Linux reviewed”

    1. Sorry about that, I usually try to stick with gender-neutral pronouns when I don’t know, but I clearly slipped up on this one.

    1. Well, since most of the hardware is manufactured in China from the likes of Foxconn and others, it’s not that much of a surprise. Even Apple’s hardware is manufactured by Foxconn.

      1. But Apple’s hardware is unique to them so is HP’s and when someone copies them they have put all that work into designing them for nothing… until HP sues them.

        1. You mean like the chicklet keyboards that came out from all major PC manufacturers after Apple did that with their MacBooks? I don’t recall seeing anything in the tech news about Apple suing all of them. Not sure you can really go after PC manufacturers for something like that, even if it does resemble another product to the tee. Now, if it had a similarly looking Apple/HP/insertcompanynamehere logo….

          1. When I was working in laptop design for dell we had to spend ages on just drawing up concepts and most of them never got turned into real laptops, so I feel HP’s pain.

  1. For my next netbook/laptop, I am seriously considering getting a ZaReason system. Yeah, it costs a little more compared to the preinstalled-Windows portables out there, but for someone that is looking for a Linux-based portable, you can rest assured that the hardware is going to work with any distribution out there without worry (they make sure of that). They even give you a choice of distributions other than Ubuntu to be preinstalled. Definitely a great offer from a great company. Hacker Public Radio recently did an interview with Mark who is the community manager for ZaReason. You can find that interview here:

    1. Mark’s the community manager, not the head 😉 Cathy Malmrose is the head of the company.

      HPR’s admin screwed up and put Zareason as Mark’s last name, hence the confusion.

      1. Ah, my mistake. Thanks for the correction. I’ve already made the change in my comment. 🙂

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