Eat your heart out iPad

We don’t remember where we read it, but our favorite criticism of the iPad is that is does the same things a lot of other Apple devices do. So why wait until April to get your hands on that functionality? [Alexbates] built his own iPad clone using existing hardware and software. This started with an MSI wind that he used as a hackintosh. A touchscreen was added to the display, the keyboard removed, and the LCD flipped around. Boom, a tablet running OS X was born. This is different from others because [Alexbates] took the time to alter the UI to look like the iPad. Sure, it doesn’t automatically flip the display when rotated and there’s no pinch-zooming. But it does have more processing power and storage space.

We’re more likely to hack our own like this rather than purchase a device we’re not all that enthusiastic about.

[Thanks Jadon via Engadget]

Hackit: Are you running OSX on your netbook?


AppleDifferent decided to run some benchmarks on their MSI Wind hackintosh to see how it stacked up to real Apple hardware. It comes in under the MacBook Air in most cases and they conclude that it performs about as well as a four year old G4. Being so small and inexpensive, you can’t really expect much better. As a counterpoint, Obsessable posted a video demoing just how slow a first generation Eee PC can be (embedded below). Boing Boing Gadgets is maintaining an OSX netbook compatibility chart. It shows that the MSI Wind is probably the best case for OSX usability. If we were buying today, we’d probably pick up a Dell Mini 9 even though it requires an SSD upgrade before it will sleep properly.

Are any of you running OSX as the primary OS on your netbooks? What has your experience been?

[Read more...]

Home made Macintosh for under $240

[Steve] sent in this great step by step writeup on how to load Macintosh OSX onto an MSI wind. The MSI wind can be found pretty cheap, roughly $140. It has a 1.2Ghz Atom processor, SATA, and 6 USB ports. Its a pretty decent system for the price. Add a hard drive, DVD ROM and some RAM and you ‘ve got a complete system. You might have to update the bios to install the new operating system, there are more details about that on in the writeup. The only real drawback is that you have to run the USB in 12mbps mode instead of 480mbps.

There are lots of little tips to keep you from hitting roadblocks, so follow the steps closely or you’ll have to redo it. Since downloading the modified version of OSX is probably illegal, [steve] suggests that you go buy a copy of OSX just to try to balance it out.

Hackit: Netbook haters?


Gadget blogs have been a fluster the last day about TechCrunch stating that netbooks “just aren’t good enough“. Writing a response post hasn’t proven very hard given the number of factual errors in the original. Boing Boing Gadgets points out that the low-end of the spectrum that TC post seems to cover are almost impossible to purchase because they’re so outdated. Liliputing rightly states that comparing the browsing experience to the iPhone isn’t worthwhile since it’s entirely a software problem. Laptop goes so far as to recommend the HP Mini 1000 and Samsung NC10 specifically for their keyboard. TechCrunch isn’t alone in their opinion; this week Intel stated that using the ultra portable devices was “fine for an hour“. TechCrunch is designing a web tablet right now using the collective wisdom of blog commenters. Looks like they’re just reboxing a netbook for the prototype.

We cover the netbook market for different reasons than most: Their low low price makes people much more willing to hack on the device. For the price of a smartphone, you’re getting a fully capable laptop. The low performance doesn’t matter as much since we’re running different flavors of Linux that are much lighter than Windows. People running OSX86 are doing it to address a market that Apple doesn’t.

What’s your experience with netbooks? Do you have one that you adore or are you annoyed by their shortcomings? Models we’ve covered in the past include the Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee PC, Dell Mini 9, and MSI Wind.

[Photo: Onken Bio-pot]