on 8 March 2011
After reading such positive reviews on here and some review websites I was convinced this was an ideal purchase. However, upon receiving the laptop I immediately had several concerns about it until it completely packed up and wouldn't even start. With no real tech support I had no choice but to send it back to amazon for a full refund.
LCD ripples when typing on the keyboard - annoying and suggests it is prone to break soon
Mouse button is on a rocker - again annoying but not the end of the world, however with Ubuntu NBE I found no opinion to use the tracker pad as a tap click interface (well in all of the 15 minutes it was working, was about to put Ubuntu 10.10 on)
Battery was very hard to fit in due to the physical shape of the casing, had to be quite forceful with it and there were no directions on a correct way to do so (might seem obvious, but you wouldn't want to break it)
Specifications stated are not correct (webcam is of a lower resolution)
As previously mentioned, the hard drive packed up shortly after turning on for the first time, would of preferred to have had the opinion from amazon or the company to have a repair/replacement but the company only have a postal address and amazon would only give a refund.
It is a shame that such an aesthetically pleasing netbook is dogged by bad design and lack of support, especially as 13.3" netbooks and now even laptops are quite a rarity.
on 6 June 2012
I really like this laptop. I will probably continue to use Ubuntu but I have Windows 7 on an old laptop which will install on this one. I have upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04 which is the latest edition. It will work on any computer and is optimised for touchscreens, apparently. It's free, and needs no antivirus. I intended to wait for Windows 8 to be released and buy a new ultrabook but I'm glad that I bought this one. At this price I feel that I can buy another computer next year if the urge is great. I have used Ubuntu before but the latest edition is far better than Windows 7. Drivers for printers, etc. are already provided. I've got a new HP Wirless All-in-One printer which worked as soon as I connected it; even the wireless scanner worked with no problem.
The Meenee looks and feels great, and although some negative comments about the track pad are justified I have found it perfectly adequate. It is also much larger than I have been used to. The sensitive curser is getting better all the time and I think the track pad just needs cleaning. Another issue is the default password which is required to make administrative changes to the system. There is no mention of it as far as I can see; I knew it was "meenee" before I ordered it by reading someone else's review. I think the makers should include this information in the owner's manual in a prominent position.
Another issue I have is concerning the specifications. Amazon advertise it as having 3 USB ports but mine only has two. Not a big problem, but they are on opposite sides which makes connecting my extenal drive, with a USB power connector, more difficult. The hdmi and card reader will be handy, and bluetooth will make up for the lack of a third USB by allowing the use of a wireless mouse or connecting my phone, etc.
The keyboard is US with no pound sign but there is a way to type it by using a combination of keys. I haven't found out what they are yet but in office programs the sign can be found in menu bar under INSERT-CHARACTER so it's not such a problem. Many computers sold in UK and Europe have US keyboards.
I haven't used everything yet but I am very impressed with this this machine which resembles a Mackbook Pro, but obviously not quite as good in many respects.
on 12 April 2013
I was pleasantly surprised to find that it shipped with Ubuntu 12:04, earlier reviews had me expecting an older version and I was happy not having to have to upgrade. Ubuntu being half the reason i bought this laptop, I have really no comments on the OS. It's fast, sleek and not paying any fees to M$ is just plain awesome. For anyone not used to running this great Linux-based distro, i highly recommend giving it a try. It's virus-free, user friendly and it looks great.
Going back to the machine itself, it is a pretty descent laptop given it's price. Not to say stylish - I just love the minimalistic, slick look that it has. Sure, it's no 1000$ macbook (even if it might look like one), so the quality of the case is not really comparable in the same way being plastic and all. But the casing feels sturdy and durable, and so i don't really see this as much of an issue. The keyboard is great, it is really comfortable typing on and it feels sturdy enough (although only time can reveal the quality).
However, the computer is not free from flaws. Although this is minor and did not deter me from buying, a battery that lasts 3h is pretty bad. With chromebooks shipping at similar price and similar hardware offering 7 hours of battery, it's not really that much to ask for a longer lasting battery. If it could have just lasted 2-3 hours more, this laptop would have been almost perfect when it comes to portability.
For some reason, the Meenee only has one headphone/microphone jack. This doesn't really affect me, as my external mic uses USB, but it might be an issue for others with skype-headset.
Also, I should warn you about the trackpad. Even though it feels pretty nice moving your fingers about it, and it is responsive enough, you need to apply way to much force in order to click. It's just not intuitive and very annoying. Secondly, if you happen to come in contact with the touchpad with your other hand while using it, the curser just freaks out. It's actually mildly amusing watching the mouse curser fly about at completely random directions if you move about the touchpad with two fingers. Don't know if it's a driver issue or just bad hardware, but it's pretty annoying either way. So I would recommend using and external mouse and disabling the trackpad altogether (which is easily done by pressing Fn + F2).
Other than that, I have no complaints what so ever, and the issues that do exist are pretty bearable for me. I would definitively recommend it to anyone looking for a sleek, lightweight and inexpensive laptop.
on 16 May 2013
I mainly use laptops for giving presentations, which means I need to be able to connect up to a projector. I was a little nervous at first about this laptop when I read that it had only an HDMI connector, and lacked a VGA connector. However, I was reassured that projectors that can accept HDMI input are reasonably common these days, and that it shouldn't be a problem.
If only it were as simple as that.
It is important to realise that HDMI and VGA connections differ not only in the shape of the physical cable connector, but also in the nature of the signal that passes through them. They are fundamentally incompatible. What this laptop has is a VGA signal passing through a mini-HDMI connector (yes, HDMI connectors come in different sizes, in case this wasn't complicated enough for you).
This means that you can't plug it into a VGA projector, because it doesn't have the right shaped socket, and you can't plug it into an HDMI projector, because it has the wrong kind of signal.
Fortunately, the problem is easily solved, as the manufacturer sell a £10 adaptor that plugs into the HDMI socket and provides a VGA connector. You can buy one here:
This will allow you to plug into a VGA projector, but you will never be able to connect to a projector or other device that accepts only HDMI input. The product description is just plain wrong when it tells you you can connect the laptop to an HDMI TV. You can't, at least not unless your TV also has a VGA input.
I only wish someone had told me that when I bought the laptop. It would have saved me turning up to a conference and looking like a right knobhead when I was completely unable to give my presentation.
Anyway, that aside, I'm actually quite pleased with my purchase. My main requirement was that I wanted a laptop that didn't come with a pre-installed copy of Windows that I would have to pay for and never use. I wanted a laptop that would work with Ubuntu. This one does. At least, it works with the Ubuntu that's pre-installed on it. I plan to reinstall the software sometime soon (it has a rather old version of Ubuntu on it, namely 11.10, suggesting that the product has been sitting around in a warehouse for quite a while) and if anything goes badly wrong with that I'll leave a comment under this review to update you, so do check the comments if that's of interest.
This is not the fastest laptop in the whole world ever, but at this price, what do you expect? It seems more than adequate for the sorts of things I use a laptop for: surfing the web, checking emails, giving presentations, and perhaps the odd bit of gentle word processing. If you are a hardcore gamer, then this laptop is probably not for you, but for my purposes, it's just fine.
It feels better made than I was expecting at this price, and it's a nice compact size. The trackpad is a bit awkward to use, but it's easy enough to plug in an external mouse.
Overall, if you're looking for a laptop to run Ubuntu without having to spend much money on it, then I think this fits the bill nicely. But do make sure you buy the HDMI-to-VGA connector as well if you want to be able to plug it into a projector or other external display.
on 12 March 2012
Having had 15" laptops in the past and more recently having had 10" netbooks, I was after something in-between on my next purchase and had always thought that 13" is just the perfect size.
You are not going to get more bang for your buck! Okay, it's an atom processor, but a good atom processor and 2 gigs of RAM makes it a super netbook or just sub of a notebook. This is perfect for any task other than gaming, especially if you love a sleek, thin and lightweight laptop you can carry about easily.
Also, you receive a very warming and personal service from this small company - they value quality customer service so you need not worry about buying from them - they will respond if you have any issues (not that you will!).
Lastly, I took the Ubuntu OS off this laptop and put Windows 7 on it which I can confirm runs absolutely fine, like Ubuntu. I have also just stuck the Windows 8 beta on it which also runs very well.
Bottom line - Great build quality and it comes cheap because of the free OS (which is a great idea). Can handle any other OS and looks cracking!!!
on 15 July 2012
I bought this laptop after reading a number of reviews about how good it is, fast, quite and 3.5hrs battery life etc. Well I am very disappointed with it. The laptop is very noisy, completely unacceptable, the keyboard feels really cheap, wifi doesn't work and the final irritant, the battery took 3.5hours to charge, but only gave me 1hour 20 minutes on a full overnight charge. If you want a laptop that is fairly quite with a pretty decent battery life, this is not for you. The mouse pad is awful believe me. The mouse keys are so difficult you will have to use and external mouse. I don't normally write reviews but unfortunately this laptop didn't cut it for me. The noise for me was unbearable!
I will be sending it back based on no wifi, blue-tooth cutting in and out, the noise of the hard disk and the appalling 1 hour 20 minute battery life.
Spend more and get something better.
on 2 January 2012
I've had my meenee for about 6 months (well, actually 2, but more on that later) and it's holding up fairly well. I'm happy to support a smaller manufacturer, but there are some drawbacks to the computer that I don't think are a consequence of the company size.
In 6 months, I've had two hard drives die in this PC -- many bad sectors. Clausoft arranged for a free replacement (which was good) but the replacement meenee developed the same issue a couple of months later (I haven't contact them for a second replacement for other reasons; they may well have obliged).
Both Windows and Linux (I had one meenee with each) get installed sub-optimally -- neither goes through the proper "firstboot" process, so you don't get to choose usernames, time zones, etc. (and are stuck with a user called "User" in Linux and Windows). Windows seemed poorly installed in general on my second meenee: Device Manager crashed on launch, and they're using some sort of volume licence arrangement so you can't reinstall yourself. The GNU/Linux experience was pretty poor, but that might be the fault of the Ubuntu version they're using.
My main complaint is the poor performance of this computer, or rather the poor performance / price ratio. I could forgive the not-so-powerful processor *or* the sub-2-hour battery life, but not both. With something like the Asus EeePC 1015PEM 10.1 inch netbook (Intel Atom N550 1.5GHz, 1Gb, 250Gb, WLAN, Webcam, Win 7 Starter (Black)) also available, several hours' battery life difference seems like a huge price to pay for a slightly larger screen and an independent retailer.
It's also worth mentioning that the meenee's included IR remote doesn't work under Linux, and probably never will.
on 25 November 2012
Great idea - make a cheap lowspec slimline laptop and put linux ubuntu on it to save os license costs. The lap top initially looks great and has in-built camera BUT on closer inspection:
- the keyboard was warped a sign of very poor build quality with stuff under it pushing up and causing curvature
- no getting started docs.... i.e. you have to google and guess to find the initial password and then getting wifi and other items working takes a while and a fair bit of research and a lot of updates
- I did get everything going however but then I am much more technical than the average user but when everything was working the processor was struggling with even basic tasks such as running a youtube video in the browser, multitasking really poor
- sound awful
- trackpad is barely useable making a mouse an absolutely essential accessory
on 14 January 2012
This laptop is amazingly cheap and it's working fine. Fellow European-mainlanders please note you WILL get a UK power cable with it. I had expected this and it's no problem, i had a cable lying around.
Performance is what you'd expect for ubuntu on this 1.8 ghz Atom processor: reasonable. Programs start quite swiftly; browsing will work just fine, as will reading your email. Skype is running fine but the built in webcam is so-so. Do not expect to be able to do high quality video editing with a laptop like this.
The screen is nice and bright. Keyboard is excellent. No driver issues regarding the mouse pad that others have described on sellers' facebook page.
As for the software: i'd been using ubuntu for years already so nothing new for me here. What i noticed is that the update-sources were set to china. The chinese servers were VERY slow, so i set them to the Dutch mirrors myself. No problem for me, but if you're new to ubuntu this might give you a small headache. ;)
When the device is first booted, you'll see it's running ubuntu 10.10 but you immediately get an update-prompt telling you that 11.04 is available. This update will take quite long but rendered no problems besides the chinese update mirrors mentioned earlier.
All in all: this is a complete bargain. At 225 GBP (some 275 euro right now) you cannot go wrong on this one. It is working exactly as expected and i'm very happy with it.
on 29 January 2012
I read a lot of reviews before buying this notebook and because most of them seemed positive I took the plunge
As I only needed a device to browse the web I originally was looking at tablets so when I saw the meenee for half the price it got my attention, decent specs for my needs....BUT and unfortunately there is a but the battery life is not that great when compared to more costly notebooks. My arrived with a faulty battery which only gave me about an hour of use with bluetooth turned off and running Ubuntu 11.10 and that's surfing the net only, after some excellent follow up by Clausoft I received a new battery the following day and now get around 2 hours, which for a super slim battery isn't too bad, taking in account the machine specs and the juice needed to run it, you could probably squeeze more out of it if you reduced screen brightness and did a few other tweaks to the OS.
The look and feel of the machine is very solid as many have mentioned before me so I won't go into that.
I give the Meenee 4 stars out of 5 simply because it's punching above it's weight class and holding it's own.