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Elonex ONEt+ review: Elonex ONEt+

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The Good Very small and light; surprisingly responsive; good selection of core applications; silent operation, with no moving parts.

The Bad Keys are too tiny for most adult hands; limited third-party software options.

The Bottom Line With a bargain-basement price tag and a design to match, we were all set to hate the Elonex ONEt+. But, as long as you're not expecting the Moon on a stick, it's a smashing laptop for kids and undemanding adults

6.5 Overall

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With most netbooks now selling for well above the £200 or so they first appeared at, the Elonex ONEt+ looks like an encouraging return to form. Originally sold for about £100, plunging exchange rates have nudged this little machine up to around £125. That's still cheap, but have too many corners been cut to keep the price this low?

Note: Due to an editorial error, this product was initially given a score of 8.0, but we've now lowered that to 6.2.

Toy-like design
Taking the ONEt+ out of the box, your first thought may well be that you've been the victim of an Internet scam. A shade smaller than the Asus Eee PC 701 and made from cheap-looking plastic, with a large, equally cheap-looking badge on the lid, the ONEt+ looks more like a battery-powered toy you'd find in a pound shop than a genuine computer.

At just 635g, there doesn't feel like there could be much inside the ONEt+, either, but the plastic case isn't as flimsy as it looks. The thick, rigid lid opens up to 180° on two stiff and sturdy hinges, and inside is a 7-inch screen with a native resolution of 800x480 pixels. The condensed Qwerty keyboard measures just 8 inches across, but, while adults will have a hard time with anything more than two-fingered typing, kids should have no problem tapping out text at speed.

Foolproof operation
In fact, children are really the target audience for the ONEt+. The price is low enough for parents to take a punt and the netbook is kitted out to be as foolproof to use as possible. The only control is a power button  -- there's no way to adjust screen brightness or volume -- and the fixed battery means there isn't anything that can drop off and get lost. The various exposed ports may offer a tempting orifice for children of a certain age to poke something into, though.

It looks cheap, but the ONEt+ is surprisingly responsive

The ONEt+ runs a version of Debian Linux developed specifically for its low-power processor. As with similarly equipped netbooks, a good selection of productivity applications is installed as standard. This is just as well, as sourcing additional software is a challenge, although the unofficial Elonex One blog has a few useful pointers. The 2GB flash drive will limit how much software can be installed, but there's an SD card slot for memory expansion.

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