Customer Review

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars injecting objectivity, 12 April 2011
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This review is from: Meenee MNB737 13.3 inch 3rd Generation Laptop (Dual Core N570, 2GB RAM , 320GB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, Wi-Fi, Ubuntu) - Black (Personal Computers)
There were a few reviews of this product and given they were rather polarised I thought I would write something about my experience of the meenee.

I purchased the meenee as part of a 'research' project into off the shelf linux computing. Unlike many laptop computers, the meenee is available with Ubuntu Linux sparing the licensing fee associated with windows operating systems.

The hardware was reviewed comprehensively on a link from the Clausoft website (the meenee manufacturer), I think it is fair to say the machine is much as one would expect for a netbook in terms of processing power (i.e. at the slower end of things) but it has a very attractive screen size and is very light weight. The number of ports is limited and the usb ports were all upside down compared to my other laptops :) A neat feature is that some of the ports are covered by a sliding case so do not panic if you initially think only 1 usb port is available. The battery will last around 2 hours, there seems to be a rule of thumb that ubuntu will usually run for less time than windows (around 30 mins according to some commentators). In common with some other notebooks I'm running at the moment, the touchpad is easy to brush when typing, so some users may benefit from a usb mouse and the disabling of the touchpad altogether.

When booted for the first time I realised I didn't have a password - although it is obvious its meenee when rereading the product description - its the type of info that could easily be printed onto a sheet of A4 paper just so the uninitiated don't fall at the first hurdle. There are no ubuntu manuals supplied though there are books like 'Using Ubuntu Linux' by Babani Computer Books that will cover some of the basics though usually of older versions. Alternatively there is a wealth of help via online forums, etc, if you know what to ask for.

Then there is the issue of when the computer is started, the user is faced with Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook edition. This version of the Ubuntu operating system is clearly experimental, for example the only way to graphically navigate/manipulate the file system was to enter the bin (via the icon on the left hand vertical app launcher) and navigate out of the bin into the rest of the file system, not very intuitive, so I recommend that once the folder browser is in a more appropriate directory, you add it onto the app launcher for ease of use in the future.

There are some lovely features associated with new unity interface, I like for example the way workspaces are handled, but overall I'd rather have a fully functional baseline system. Returning to gripes one of the first things I tried to do was watch a film with the default video player, unfortunately it crashed and I found bugs already reported against it on atom based systems. I think installing VLC for video playback solved this.

Unity is also a little quirky in the way it handles application menus, so I was left with the impression that the operating system software was still requiring minor bug fixes to improve the user experience.

The other application software seemed to work fine, no problems, that included open office and rhythmbox music player. I was also able to enjoy oolite, a remake of the old elite space trading game from the 1980s via the stacks of free software available in the ubuntu software centre.

Overall my impression was that the machine is underpowered for the operating system, a battery life of 2-2.5 hours limits mobile computing and unfortunately the machine lacks the power to function as a desktop replacement. The choice of operating system is debatable too, other suppliers have notably avoided installing ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition, presumably due to some of the issues noted here. Note those comments do not apply to ubuntu 10.10 desktop(notebook) edition, which I have yet to evaluate on the meenee hardware.

So if your requirements are modest and you are willing to learn about linux the meenee is a place to start. Although the meenee looks like a slick laptop, it has more in common with a netbook in terms of processing power.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Aug 2011 20:05:56 BDT
P Howorth says:
have you tried it with any games? i'm getting this netbook anyway cos it's exactly what i'm wanting, and i'll try it with sims 2, but i'd be happy knowing i could get sims 3 if i so desired.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Sep 2011 22:31:30 BDT
Throne777 says:
You'll have to run the games under Wine (and there's no guarantee they will work very well) as the Sims games are intended for Windows, not Linux.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012 10:58:53 GMT
Big Ben says:
Not tried the Sims, but Angry Birds works well with Wine 1.2 and 1.3 in Bodhi Linux (E17 on a pruned Ubuntu Lucid base). 'Sims' was not that processor/graphics intensive iirc - but it's years since I last used it.
PlayOnLinux and Crossover are also worth checking out (as well as Wine). We get most of our current games from the Humble Bundles Linux offerings - others like Minecraft 'just work' in Linux.

Posted on 29 Sep 2012 12:55:06 BDT
Tracey says:
Note that Ubuntu 12.04 has since become available for free download, which is far more user friendly, especially for those of us more use to Windows
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