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Chris Cardell

Elonex ONE un-boxed, first look review

Elonex ONE BoxDoesWhat has just received a brand new Elonex ONE. We’ve been following the progress of this £100 sub-notebook a competitor to the Asus Eee PC among others since our purchase in late February 2008. This laptop has been highly anticipated, because of this, we have recorded a short un-boxing video that has been posted on YouTube and is viewable below.

There has been very little first hand coverage of the Elonex excluding its appearance at a tech show a few months ago. Below is to our knowledge the only un-boxing video of the Elonex ONE (as of August 1st 2008).

The build quality of the ONE is above average. The screen is detachable which means all the components are built in behind the screen, this makes the device extremely top heavy (as you may have gathered from Elonex’s promotional images). The laptop opens upside down (as shown in the video). The keyboard is made up of soft keys as is the mouse. This form of mouse is really unlike any other (and not in a good way), at first use it is almost impossible to use even as an experienced trackpad and ThinkPad nipple user. There is also a mouse on the back of the screen for use in tablet mode. The keyboard buttons are also difficult to use, requiring greater force than a usual keyboard requires. (As you can see, the screen attracts dust even after only a few minutes of use).

Elonex ONE Open

At first use this device is extremely underwhelming, it not only feels slow and loads slowly, but is difficult to use. The manual does a reasonable job of explaining the software and basic functions, but even vital information like the removal of the screen from the keyboard is not easy to find, in fact we haven’t found this information yet and are unwilling to remove the screen in case of damage. The screen is quite clear and is the same size as the first edition of the Asus Eee PC (the 701) as they are both make use of a 7 inch LCD. The software on the Elonex resembles that of the Eee.

After only using the Elonex ONE for a few minutes it fails to impress, the real test will be how it withstands long term use, discovering how it handles web browsing, carrying out simple tasks and finding out its battery consumption.

There has been no real surprises and it works exactly how you would presume it does, you cannot expect too much from a device that is just £100 (£110 including delivery). All signs point to this being an excellent first laptop but no more than that.

Elonex ONE next to Asus Eee PC 901

The Asus Eee PC 900 is pictured left of the Elonex ONE. The Eee costs between 2-3 times as much, but provides 2 inches more of screen real estate and higher specifications.

A full review will be posted within a couple of weeks detailing the Linux operating system, applications and hardware.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 1st, 2008 at 4:54 pm GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  • Ben

    Firstly it doesn’t have Java and I cant download it because the Elonex computer doesn’t come with any internet security so its susceptible to viruses. It doesn’t have a disc drive so I cannot down load any security software onto it. I do not want to go to the experience of buying an External disc drive so It looks like I’m stuck without Java Script.
    Please can you give me any tips on how to resolve this problem.

  • Kevin

    Thanks for letting us see it, am still waiting for mine!

    Am intending on giving it to a 5yr old, but with two younger sisters, but we’ll see :-)

    thanks for the unboxing video!



    It’s a Linux box, and isn’t susceptible to any known viruses…

    Does it have Firefox? If so, Javascript should run in Firefox.

    Are you confusing Javascript and Java?

  • S Trenaman

    Were you able to track the delivery after dispatch?

  • DoesWhat

    Because of the quick delivery there was no need to check its progress. Have you been experiencing tracking difficulties?

  • S Trenaman

    Do they deliver on Saturdays?

  • michael J

    Again I agree with Kevin, There are negligable security worries as it has the Linux operation system not windows, The only time you would need anti virus is if you were scanning files from a windows computer and wanted to pass them to another windows user.

    Very few details have been released about this particular linux OS but You may be able to
    Put something like Puppy Linux on it that has java .

    I am very interested to see if this thing can even play videos on Youtube etc

  • elonex1t

    Java does tend to be one of things that you need to install later on Linux (e.g. Ubuntu) as Sun’s restrictive licence means it cannot be supplied with the OS – the same goes for Flash (which you would need for YouTube videos) – so they are both things that I’m hoping the “ONEUnion” will be able to make available for download – otherwise it may be down to one of us (users) to get the files together to recompile the application for the One and the OneT (the suspicion being that as the processors are different we will need a separate version of software for each machine type)… In these early days it all sounds a bit complicated, but I’m sure it will gradually come together over the next few months

  • Kevin

    I’ve just had an update…

    “We have experienced a phenomenal take-up of accessories for the ONE. Sales of Cases and wristVAULTs have exceeded our expectations, with the majority of customers buying 2-3 wristVAULTs. As your order contains an accessory that is currently unavailable, this has resulted in a slight delay of around 2-3 days to your order. We hope this does not cause you any inconvenience.

    Nothing else has affected your order and you will be eMailed when your order has been dispatched. ”

    Given that I’ve never had a date, 2-3 days after no date in particular isn’t so bad, but I was hoping it’d be dispatched today :-(

  • peterg22

    Got a phone call today from Elonex to say they’d “run out of green but would black be ok? If so I could expect delivery within a week” which kinda fits in with their original estimate. So, yep, any colour except pink.

  • Avril Anson

    I am hoping to recieve shortly the ugraded Elonex if the memory has been decreased it will be marching back , because I ordered it that detail alone.

  • kerpob

    Yep – I have onet+ in pre-order after upgrading for, ahem, my daughter. It would be interesting to see if the browser can deal with youtube – early indications were that the default browser did not, but I don’t know if you can get gnash or whatever to work on it. If not, Puppy sounds like the way to go – ideally a version like breeezy (safepup) as in the eee.

  • DrDeo

    I had one on pre order, and should have received it today, but last night got an email from elonex saying deliveries postponed till the end of the month.

    glad I read your review. so I rang them and cancelled the order. I’ll spend the extra and get a higher spec Eee instead, and steer clear of “helloneggs”

  • Michael Sage

    Hi All!

    I got mine yesterday in Black I went for the One+ (I did think about going for the OneT+, but the lack of bluetooth and only 128Mb of RAM put me off). OK I have played with it and for reading PDFs and writing documents on my 10 min train journey its going to be ok! Much more than that and I aint sure! The battery life seems ok. Here are a list of features that I have emailed Elonex about, which I would say are pretty important to the core market:

    1. I appear to be unable to connect to any HTTPS websites (this is essential for our users to be able to get to our Citrix servers)

    2. Flash / Java / Javascript do not appear to work in the web browser (i.e getting to you tube, viewing flash videos)

    3. Is there any way to access a terminal prompt for using apps like ping, telnet and mounting shares?

    4. You cannot mount a share if it has any form from Windows 2003, not really acceptable for use in school or business or is there a setting I need to change on my server? (I think this is to do with Samba and Windows, but need to know!)

    5. The auto update does not appear to work and just sits there.

    It is quite sweet and works well, but it ain’t an EEE!


  • DoesWhat

    Thanks for all your comments, it is great to hear how others are getting on. Not wishing to depress those with outstanding orders, we would like to point out that this first look review is a little negative, please visit “Detaching the Elonex ONE” for something slightly more positive.

  • jimboh

    It’s a little unfair to compare the One to the version of the EEEPC you have pictured. Having waited too long for my One to arrive I took the opportunity to cancel my order and bought an EEEPC 4G instead for just £179.99 from toys’r’us. For just £40 more My EEEPC comes with a 7inch screen, 512Mb ram, 4gb of disk, touchpad and an Intel Processor. I’m really happy with it so far, web-browsing, boot-up, and general operations are more than quick enough and I think the extra £40 is more than justified for what I believe is a far better machine. Elonex have been too slow to bring their £99 laptop to market, it is a false economy to buy one when you can have something much better for a very small outlay.

  • BK

    got mine 2 days ago and its taken me 2 days to sort everything out, wifi is a pain , still cant get it to stay connected to my orange livebox ( 30 secs then fails) and thats from 2ft from the box ! but did have it going ok with ether cable ( my boys need wifi ) bluetooth can only find my mobile phone, but wont connect, managed to get some music working through the flash card drive, i think anyone with a small amount of computer skills are going to struggle with this little unit, gave it to my boys to play with ! will still to my toshiba !! cheers , bk

  • Avril Anson

    Looks like there is trouble ahead— for a long time— I cancelled my order on Friday and I am going for a high end Asus eee. I shall recieve it on Thursday.
    It would appear that Elonex is a boy trying to do a mans job.
    Best of luck to you all still on board Elonex.

  • BK

    update on above, managed to get wifi to see livebox and got a good signal ( 47%) downstairs, but now it wont connect to main page saying “no internet connection” also got the bluetooth to find wireless mouse ( and it works !) plus downloaded pics from my phone, so its turning out abit better than we thought, well apart from wifi ! even tried putting all settings on livebox to the lower settings and it still wont let me online, yet through the ethernet its fine ! strange..given up now, looks like i have waisted £238 (for 2) on 2 mass storage cards …cheers

  • peterg22

    My “One” worked for 5 minutes – I powered down, then back up again and the screen filled with vertical coloured streaks, but the boot sequence appears to complete, confirmed by the startup tune. I’ve placed a call with Elonex Tech Support and they’ve promised that a technician will call me back :-(

  • jimboh

    Hey, it appears Elonex refunded my cash but not the original £10 deposit I placed way back when. Surely if they offer a refund because they can’t deliver they have to give ALL the money back don’t they? Anyone else cancelled and got the same. Know it’s only a tenner but it’s the principle…

  • elonex1t

    On the wi-fi problems, I always suspect with Linux drivers that they can attempt a step too far (for example in the pre-broadband days I got a Linux preloaded PC with a software dialup modem, it would connect for 30 seconds or less then crash and disconnect – in the end I worked out that by telling it not to bother trying to support V90 – 56k – but just stick to V34 – 33.6k – it would work OK) – I take it that when you say you have reduced the livebox to its lowest settings, you have select 801.11b (as opposed to “g”)? Do the settings on the ONE also allow you to select “b” at its end? I see eBay already have a couple of second-hand Elonex ONEs on offer – I wonder if these also have hardware problems or if the users just found them too underpowered?

  • http://yahoo Avril Anson

    Sorry to hear about the money repayment problems, go to your bank IF you paid by debit card they will get it back for you, and refund you after 28 days.
    Got my PC EEE yesterday works fine picked up my neighbours wireless signal from about two hundred yards. I am pleased I cancelled when I did and got my money back no problem. I paid with Debit Card
    All you can expect from Elonex is the call “dont make waves” if you get the meaning.
    Cheers and God bless those who are still onboard the “Elonex Titanic”

  • Stuart

    i have been told my order (one t+) will be delivered within 28 days this morning. i was told that it would be delivered pre-school term. does that mean i could have to wait after school starts again?

    Is there any website where you can track the order from elonex. i lost the site address in email and tried googleing it and couldnt find anything.

  • Deirdre

    Has anyone figured out how to open a command line terminal on the One? Or find out the wireless MAC address?

    The hardware is as I expected but the software is horrible (not too happy that I didn’t get an install disk either). If I can install puppy linux or dsl I’ll be doing so…

  • phil

    Terminal doesn’t seem to be easy to get to at all… Even in the file browser, r-click and select ‘open xterm here’ results in exactly nada. so perhaps elonex in their wisdom stripped out the xterm app? your MAC address however is fairly easy to find – go to settings, then system status, and at the bottom you should see “NET MAC Address:”

  • Michael Sage

    Try here guys

    I got it too work on my one+


  • Kyle Rogers

    I ordered one of these for my girlfriend as I’d previously picked up a 701 EEEPC and she liked the idea. The hardware on the One+ is quite nice, although the decoupling mechanism is a bit worrying. The big complaint from both of us was the software, though – it’s bloody awful! Wifi won’t DHCP properly, and even with a static address it won’t actually communicate with my BT Homehub. The package manager won’t open properly. The PDF reader is ok, but falls over too easily. The background tabbed menu system seems to take up the system resources, and worst of all we can’t get any alternative OS to run on it – Damn Small Linux, Puppy, DeLi, none of them work. (You hold down the ONE key on start up and get an option to boot from recovery media but none of the above have worked). Looks like the CPU is non-x86 compatible, which will make life fun for anyone wanting an alternative OS.

    TBH given the way that Elonex have moved to offer “upgrades” from the One to the OneT, I reckon they’ve given up on the One due to the software not being up to scratch and are hoping to quietly ditch it….shame, really, since the hardware is a nice change from the standard that seems to have been adopted across the board for netbooks.

  • Matt

    I’ve had my One+ for a number of days now, and encountered only few issues, but they are quite altering to the device

    1. The built in wireless took a very long time to get operating. I have a Bt Home Hub, which it picked up and said was connecting and yet when I brought up the internet browswer, it could not find any sites. I adjusted things on it for days but still nothing, until one time. I reseted all the connection settings and profiles and suddenly it worked!

    It was exactly the same settings as I had used all the times before. I have no idea what happened.

    2. Another issue I had was with the detachable screen. The first thing I noticed from the box was the relatively thin 34 page instructions manual. There is very little information on it inside, and as others have said, I dont want to try anything incase I damage it

    3. The last thing I noticed was that the keyboard rattled when I first opened it. I dont know if this happened with anybody else’s but I assume it’s nothing too fatal!

    And back to the Java ect. We tried Youtube once on here, and it told me that Java was not active so I assume that

    We cant expect too much from something worth £100 but it is still good and easy for quick, light web-surfing, writing documents or listening to music.

  • Spiky

    Been waiting for my One since I first ordered it in April, received an email in July stating due to high demand they have to make more one laptops so I was offered an upgrade for free for the Onet which I took and paid for… payment was taken same day and I am still waiting for my Onet received email end of July beginning of August time confirming that due to high demand again the onet would not be delivered until end of August, given that there is only two working days left in August, I telephoned Elonex spoke to the same lady who emailed me confirming delivery would be this week, explained how unhappy I was that they have taken payment but I have not received my laptop… the lady confirmed that I would definetly receive my laptop this week.. I informed her that there is only two working days left and iIhave not received my confirmation email that the item has been despatched and it then takes a further 48 hours for delivery to reach my appointed address. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Sent a rather long complaint email to Elonex last night to receive a response stating they were sorry for the delay and that it will be dispatched end of next week to me and has been put as a priority. I emailed backing stating that I was dissappointed with the service I had received and that I was informed in good faith I would receive it this week given but that it now Thursday I am unhappy that I have to wait an extra week but given that I have waited 5 months already there is no harm in waiting some more i informed them that i was dissapointed with the way things had been dealt with but I look forward to receiving my laptop next week (hopefully)

  • kerpob

    Weird – I cancelled my order some time ago, got 2 refunds (one for the main payment & one for the £10 holding fee), but yesterday got an email comfirming that it had been shipped. Wonder if I will get a free onet!

  • Sigourney Beaver

    My Onet+ arrived yesterday. After the original date of last week in August expired I called the sales number and I was told it would be delivered on the 5th, and it was.

    It’s a mixed bag so far. The bare essentials that you need work perfectly. The laptop connects to my wireless router automatically about 20 seconds after the GUI loads. The screen is bright and clear. The touchpad is sensitive but perfectly usable when you get used to it. The mouse buttons have a heavy clunk to them, which is forcing me to double click the touchpad for opening things – they don’t feel great for double clicks, OK for single clicks though. I connected to some software updates in the software installer and they downloaded and installed perfectly well. USB pen drives are recognised OK. The overall look of the PC is nice – glossy lid : )

    That was the good stuff by the way! Now for the disappointments. Flash and Java. Youtube videos don’t work. There’s a “Flash is out of date” message. I tried downloading the Linux version of Flash but I can’t install it. Fortunately, lets you download the videos, so I did this. WMVs aren’t recognised but the ONEt+ will play MOV and MP4. Playback is slow and jerky. Sound cuts out frequently. MP3s play fine though. Some sites that use Java/Javascript don’t work despite there being options for it in the web browser. Generally, the laptop is sluggish, boot time is slow but not too slow. My microphone doesn’t appear to record and I can’t find the saved audio files in the file manager. Not a big issue though – I won’t be using it. Build quality is not amazing and speakers aren’t great. No option to create profiles for different family members.

    Overall, you get what you pay for. This is OK for basic web surfing, email, document editing, picture viewing and music playing. Video playing isn’t good and I suspect any .swf format flash games I try won’t be amazing.

    If updates to the web browser can be made available to get Youtube working, this will be a much better prospect.

  • Alan

    My One t plus arrived today.

    Boots in just over a minute. Screen is bright and clear. Connected easily to my Netgear wireless router. I use WEP encrypton for compatibility with older laptops. BT Homehub and Orange Liveboxes are a pain sorry suckers as above.

    I have downloaded the recovery file to unzip to the wrist vault.

    Shame no Java & Flash. Perhaps there will be some updates later but if it stays virus free without then nevermind that it can’t youtube. I found but no updates there yet.

    File Manager takes me back to Windows 3.1 days.

    Perhaps Elonex could improve memory with an upgrade similar to Vista’s USB Readyboost

    Disappointed there’s no command prompt to play with.

    This cute little baby will now go everywhere with me.

  • Spiky

    Well i still havent received mine, but there is a parcel at Royal Mail for me so fingers crossed it is that, havent received an email yet tho.

  • dave

    Recieved mine yesterday Elonex onet

    Anyone having problems with wifi connection
    please note (you HAVE to set your router to 802.11b) not mixed or 802.11g
    took me 3 hours to find this out by trial and error.
    Internet works fine now nice little gadget for £110

  • steven guest

    did anyone go for the”upgrade” to the one t+ i did and when it came-eventually what a big dissapointment. they never told me that the design would be a cross between a spectrum and a kids vtech.
    so afetr a few days going between their unhelpful shop and jamie at head office i finally got the thing swapped. i only live 1/2 hour from the despatch centre and said i would drive over and swap within the hour only to be told sorry i cannot allow that.
    i got my one+ and think its good for the price only problem im having is that the wi fi picks up but no pages from the web will show???
    any ideas anyone??

  • kerpob

    Well my cancelled onet+ arrived in the post. So I called them and they posted me out a bag to return it, which I did. They then refunded me AGAIN. So, I have no onet+, but I did double my money. Thankyou elonex/DSL

  • Spiky

    well i received my one t and i must say what a load of rubbish i had to phone them as the machine would not turn on once it was charged took 5 attempts to turn it on only to find out that it wouldnt connect to any usb that i put in so i phoned them told them i didnt wait 6 months for this to be crap, so i asked for a refund i am receiving a bag to send it back and money will be credited to my account in 7-10 days. What a waste of time waiting for one of these, am so dissapointed.

  • Ray and Tam

    we are thinking of getting one for my daughter can it still be used MSN Chat, Web Surfing, all that you do with a Lappy? And can you use Media Palyer for playing music ? and what about uploading pics? I have emailed one company that makes them and no reply

  • elonex1t

    Yes, you can do all that with either the Elonex ONE or the Elonex ONEt – Elonex’s website: indicates the next batch of ONEs are due for delivery in October.

  • Mr G

    Absolute rubbish ‘product’ ………..
    After waiting months with delay after delay I phoned a month or so back to ask what was happening and after much messing about was told that a green onet+ was available (I ordered black) so I accepted that one…………..
    Arrived at home, unboxed it and looked reasonable – until I tried to type something and found that the keyboard didn’t work properly and gave double key presses on half a dozen keys !!!!
    Now after maybe 6/7 phone calls to ‘support’ (useful – not) which seems to be based in S. Africa, I have been continuously fobbed off with ‘3rd line support will call you back in 72hrs (what – 3 weeks ago???).
    I want my money back and they can have this doorstop back…………

  • Pingback: Acer Aspire One £170.34... bargain |

  • Lippy

    Not bad, but until they get a version of Flash that will load on it it is pretty useless for Kids, as they mainly play Flash-based games – I just waster £220 on two for my boys xmas presents :-(

  • Lena


    I am interested in the battery life, internet connection does not bother me, only function that I have a real interest in word processing … What is the quoted (and actually) battery life?


  • lorie

    Great quality stuff.

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