Jul 05

Elitegroup ECS G10IL…that is called ECS G10IL. And what is that? The successor of R2D2?

No, it’s the new Netbook PC of Elitegroup with a strange name – it weighs less than 1 kg and it speaks 3G.

While Asus can lay claims of having invented a complete new line or range of small, budget notebooks – the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) or Netbooks – the fierce competition is currently heating up more and bringing out new and similar gadgets every week with better value for money or smaller form factors.

Basically most competitors, be it the MSI Wind, the Acer Aspire One, HP 2133 or others simply copy the successful recipe of Asus, adjust the price a little here and there and attach their own logos to that new piece of plastic and metal.

What’s a Netbook?

ECS G10IL from topLet’s see what varieties we got so far:

  • 8″ to 11″ Displays starting with 800×600 up to 1280×768 resolution
  • 512 MB up to 2 GB RAM on 1-2 slots
  • 40 GB – 250 GB HD’s or 32-128 GB SSD’s
  • VIA or Intel Atom Processor from 800 MHz-1.8 GHz
  • 802.11b/g WLAN, Bluetooth 2.0, Gigabit (10/100 NIC), USB Connectivity
  • Multi Cardreader for SD, MMC, Memory Card or else
  • 3-6 Cell Li-ion Batteries
  • SuSE Linux, Ubuntu, Xandros or Windows XP OS
  • Prices from USD 299 to USD 500

These are all pretty straight-forward and similar. It looks like everyone is only screaming “Me too! Me too! We want a piece of this market!”.

You can make a Netbook only that small and cheap, but why has every vendor to offer basically the same thing?

And what makes a Netbook a great gadget for a Traveler?

ECS G10IL from sideCertainly, a Netbook offers several advantages:

  • it’s small, light and handy, not so bulky like a full-blown laptop
  • you can bring, create, store and upload your documents while you travel
  • upload your pictures to Flickr or Picasa without the need for backups, which might get lost along the way
  • maintain your Contacts, Calendar, Notes and Social Networking sites on the go
  • use Skype or other VoIP telephony to stay in touch with loved ones
  • can use a Netbook in Internet Cafes without exposing your personal data to Keyloggers and Viruses
  • if it gets broken or stolen, you will lose only a fifth or even tenth of the price of a normal laptop

Main problem – getting connected to the internet

The main problem for the long-term traveler might be more to find an open or free wireless Hotspot, while traveling. All above mentioned Netbooks only offered so far Wifi or 56k Modem as connectivity options.

ECS G10IL from frontUnfortunately, when traveling in not so developed areas in Asia, Latin or South America, Africa or elsewhere, Wifi can already be a problem. Especially in the island nations of Asia, like Indonesia or Philippines, finding a fast and reliable WiFi Spot can be a huge problem.

Most mobile provider jumped on the ISP train already awhile ago, by offering 3G services on top of GPRS, to bridge that growing internet problem. After all it’s way easier to put up some antenna towers, than digging and sinking cables to connect thousands of islands for broadband internet connections.

That’s one of the reasons, why 3G internet is very popular these days in Asia and other regions as well. It took off here with a big bang and much more attention than in Western markets. Prices are coming down and various providers offer 3G services, in some areas even better than in Europe or the US, where landline based broadband is much more common and saturated the highspeed internet market already years ago.

3G – the holy grail?

ECS G10IL KeyboardNow we are coming back to the one unique feature of the ECS G10IL: it is the first one, that has inbuilt tri-band HSDPA and HSUPA, also called the “Super-3G” technology. The new broadband video technology allows downloads speeds of up to 7.2Mb/s for the HSDPA and 2Mb/s for the HSUPA.

Just throw in your local SIM card and you are set to go. No extra cables, adapters, routers or sitting on the roadside near that Wifi spot, because their food or drinks are too expensive. You won’t even need a mobile phone anymore, if you use your Netbook for sms-texting and equip it with some headset. Okay – I’m kidding here.


So, now with the release of the ECS G10IL, will we all have Netbooks with 3G connectivity soon to let us access the internet wherever we may roam? Is a gadget like this the Uber Gadget for Travelers? Maybe, maybe not – but it is surely a step in the right direction.

Mainly, it will drive prices and functionality the way we travelers want it.

For a handful of dollars you can now have almost full laptop functionality for your travels. Without the fear of losing your data or losing a lot of money, when things break down or get lost. Besides WiFi – 3G is the internet technology to go for travelers and lesser developed countries.

Now and even more so in the future – you will store your data online and a price tag around USD 300 will make it even more interesting to bring this technology with you on the road.

Would you agree?

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written by Chris

14 Responses to “Goodbye Asus Eee PC! The Uber Gadget for Travelers is something else”

  1. BorisNo Gravatar NEW ZEALAND Says:

    While the technology crazy geek in me starts salivating and wants to have one, the explorer and traveller in me can’t help but think that my days of exploration might soon be over. I mean, where’s the sense of adventure, when you’re always reachable?

  2. devariNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    thanks God it is not Vista :)

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Boris, agree, that for a 2-3 week holiday one doesn’t have to be reachable. Although for me after a while I would be quite itchy to check news and other online resources, so I would consider bringing some internet gadget on longer trips. But that’s probably only my growing internet addiction or dependence…. :D

  4. QuickrouteNo Gravatar ARGENTINA Says:

    I have an old school Treo phone to send/receive emails.
    I can access the web via GPRS but it’s sloooooooooooooow!

  5. peterahonNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    i wonder which photo is searched that connects my blog to yours? anyway…

    am planning to buy EEE PC since I don’t hav budget yet for a MacNotebook…

    this notebook made me to re-think the purchase, at least I have something to compare it with. So I’ll read the link you provided and let me see what to buy, hmmmm….

  6. peterahonNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    oh in the review it says that mobile company will be selling it bundled with their 3 G service so it might not be available to be purchased sans the the 3 G?

  7. DigitalnomadNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    It has taken some time for the consumer market to catch up, but watch what happens next. I think this form factor is coming on strong. Thanks for the reference link. I just started a new blog on the Asus B51E at the same name, B51E dot com.

    Mike aka Digi

  8. James The Professional AdventurerNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I just started using the Sony VAIO VGN-UX280P UMPC, it is so small it fits on your belt

    But overall UMPC’s have pretty limited uses – but they look cool


  9. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    peterahon, I’m not so sure if you really have to buy a 3G plan with it, but they probably will offer it without as well. Meanwhile there are even more netbooks with 3G announces, like Digitalnomad said, the format looks really promising. And James, that piece you got there looks pretty neat as well, I hope someone else than Sony would produce one. ;-)

  10. James The Professional AdventurerNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Sure – I also have a problem with Sony, way too much Sony software and the price is high

    For 3G I just use a 3G pocket mobile modem here in Indonesia, it works anywhere

    You are right about things developing fast in the gadget world – That fact drains my slush fund

  11. The Ultimate UMPC for Travelers - ECS G10IL | Cloudbook UMPC UNITED STATES Says:

    […] website, Nomad4ever, has crowned ECS G10IL as the uber gadget for travelers. A normal UMPC or Netbook itself is a […]

  12. zaskodaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    This may be exactly the sub-notebook I’m looking for. Still, I want to see what Dell’s upcoming offerings for sub-notebooks are before I make a purchase.

  13. SergeyNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    i am still thinking that better to have modem/phone for 3g connction – it will allow you to save money on buing cheapper notebook or you get better specs for the same money.

  14. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Meanwhile I bought an Acer Aspire One with built-in 3G.and am perfectly happy with it. Here are some more details. But you are right, Sergey – a separate phone/modem combination would work also, for me it’s just simpler this way. But it’s up to everyone’s personal preference.

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