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Old 13-03-2009
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Kogan Agora Netbook

Australian company, Kogan introduces the Agora 10-inch netbook PC, the same Kogan behind the $900 KEVIN37 TV, and a yet-to-be-released Google Android phone) came into the PC Authority offices today to show us pre-production models of the Kogan Agora Netbook.Apart from being tough enough to survive a beating from a large polar bear, it has a large, easy-to-use keyboard, and uses a matte screen.



Other specs include 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard-drive and a 3-cell battery. Kogan will also offer an Agora Pro netbook, with 2GB of RAM and a 6-cell battery; each will come with the gOS Linux operating system, with Windows 7 offered down the line once Microsoft release it.It's likely to be the first netbook built where the customers have had their say in the configuration, with users offering feedback through kogan.com.au.

Users indicated that while they wanted Bluetooth it's not something they use regularly, and so it has been separated from the main unit to save on battery.The samples are the culmination of a consumer-driven design process, and he showed off 3-cell and 6-cell models, running gOS and Windows 7, in both black and white.The final version will be come in black only, however.

The 10.2in screen is enclosed within a 12in chassis, allowing for a good size keyboard. It's about 92% of fullsize - the same as the HP mini 2140 - and we found typing on it was responsive and comfortable, with no badly placed keys to throw us off-stride.The 1024 x 600 screen looks crisp and bright, and the trackpad is well sized and functional.
Styling will be slightly different in the final version, using a pattern, rather than the swoosh line pictured here.



The big difference between the Kogan Agora and almost any other netbook available in Australia right now is the price, and the choice of operating system.The 3-cell, 1GB Kogan Agora Netbook will sell for $499, while the 6-cell Kogan Agora Netbook Pro, with a Bluetooth mini-dongle and 2GB of RAM, will cost $549. You can get the Bluetooth dongle as a $10 optional extra on the cheaper model.
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Old 13-03-2009
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Re: Kogan Agora Netbook

It is standard fare with an Intel Atom N270 processor, 802.11g, 100Mb Ethernet, VGA out and a 160GB mechanical hard drive. While Kogan admits 802.11n, HDMI, SSD and gigabit Ethernet is eventually the way to go, for now it doesn't make cost-sense to include, and most users are happy with the lower specs.As for the netbook?s performance, Australian PC Authority found the 92-percent full-size keyboard responsive and comfortable, with a decent layout, and the 1024 x 600 display was ?crisp and bright?. OpenOffice loaded (in gOS) in around 30 seconds.



The styling of the gOS interface is very reminiscent of Mac OS X - especially the Dock - and it comes preloaded with Skype, OpenOffice, Firefox and a swag of Google Apps. Because gOS is based on Ubuntu, it's compatible with all Ubuntu apps, too, making it both user-friendly and flexible. The Ubuntu file manager also makes it easy to add additional applications in a manner not unlike the Android Market or iPhone apps store.

The Agora Netbook looks like a winner and may just upset the other players in the game thanks to its good build quality at a great price. If users want to install Windows they'll have to foot the cost themselves ? and in this area, the big brands may have a bundling advantage ? but at the current time, for the tech savvy this looks like a great buy.
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Old 13-03-2009
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Re: Kogan Agora Netbook

Its really a great and affordable netbook. The hardware is exactly what you?d expect from a netbook, so it?s the price that?s the big winner, really. gOS runs nicely, and I?ve included a boot test side-by-side with gOS and Windows 7.
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