It used to be that no-name clone notebook computers were low end and unreliable. This no longer true. I recently got a Wintec KN1 notebook, and it’s state of the art – 15.4 inch wide screen, every port imaginable, Pentium M 2GHz, and lots more goodies – all for a retail price $600-700 hundred dollars less than a comparable Dell or HP.
It was manufactured by Quanta Computer, the #1 maker of laptops -they made over 13 million notebooks last year – and distributed in the US by Sabio Digital. Wintec is one of the primary retail vendors for the KN1.
One nice thing about this notebook is all the parts were bought on the open market. Name brand notebooks often contain proprietary hardware. If something breaks, you must buy their replacement part. Not so with the KN1, all parts are freely available. Plus, to install or change hardware, you simply flip it over, unscrew a couple of screws, and all the parts are easily and quickly accessible. Nice!
This notebook was built in a class sponsored by Intel, which was aimed at small resellers, and assembled by a friend and colleague, Ken Buckner, who sells computers and who I do software consulting for. Everything was perfect except that there was an audio glitch. The sound didn’t work. After a few calls to tech support, a Sabio Digital VP drove to my house from about 45 minutes away and fixed it no charge. Can’t ask for better service than that.
Why is Intel sponsoring classes like this? Because the notebook market is flattening out and they want more sales. They want small stores that maybe sell ten a week to be selling notebooks too – branded with their own store name, of course.
This notebook is quite amazing. It’s fast, quiet, with a crisp wide screen and startlingly good audio. Plus, it has a/b/g wireless and LAN cards, 5-way memory card reader, and ports, ports, and more ports (One IEEE 1394, one microphone-in, one headphone-out, one VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor, four USB 2.0 ports, one S-Video out, one RJ11 modem connector, one RJ45 Ethernet connector, one infrared IrDA port, and one DC-in connector.) Wheee…
If you live in L.A. and want one, call Ken Buckner at 310 670 2803. He’ll have it built to your specs, deliver it to you personally, and do whatever setup and configuration is needed. I’ve bought my last several computers from him.