Customer Reviews: Sylvania GNET13001 7" Netbook PC (1.2 GHz Via C7-M Processor, 1 GB RAM, 30 GB Hard Drive, gOS Escape Pod 2.9M OS) Black
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on August 18, 2008
I bought this PC from J&R (great service!!!) as it had more of what I desire in a micr-notebook than any of the others out there. The fact that it is much less expensive was just an added plus.

I loved everything about this computer save one drawback which I'll address momentarily. It is fast, stable, adequate connectivity, superior portability, and a decent touchpad. The preloaded software is decent too. I have used Open Office (pre-loaded software) for years now on several other machines and have found it to be the equal to and superior to MS Office on several levels.

All in all, a great deal, a great machine, with great potential; save the drawback I mentioned: Poor WEP Wireless Network connectivity.

It will not connect to any WEP encrypted wireless network I have attempted to connect to, nor have I been successful in connecting to unsecured networks. I spent an entire day at home with tech support for my internet provider, from the router manufacturer (Buffalo Technology-Excellent wireless router!), and of course the Sylvania people.

Per Sylvania Tech Support, I was told:

"Oh yes, that is a widely known issue. Just reconfigure your security settings on your router using either No security encryption, or set it to WPA encryption."

I tried reconfiguring my home systems wireless security for over 5 hours, 2 of which was spent with the fine people of Buffalo Technology who very patiently walked me through every possible security configuration and still no connection!

Even were I able to get it to work on my system, I guess I'll persuade every business who provides wireless service to customers to change their security from WEP just for me too, eh?

Spectacular idea with great potential, perhaps a different Linux OS variant or replace the wireless technology within the notebook would remedy the issue, perhaps even a software fix???

No machine in this class currently on the market gives you 30GB HDD, 1 GB RAM for any where near $300. Fix the wireless issue and this pc will rock...For the moment, it is of no use to me; J&R provided immediate Return Authorization.

Thanks J&R!
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on August 22, 2008
Received the computer, and the hard drive failed, but it was replaced by J&R quickly. The replacement item had issues with the wireless, but tech support advised me to download and install the new OS, which I did, and all the problems disappeared.

This little netbook works great, opens MS docs and spreadsheets, has decent image quality and a 30G hard drive. The wireless operation is fine, and there is a dvi output. A cordless mouse makes it much easier.

I have read some reviews complaining about the screen size and processor speed. Good lord, this is an inexpensive little device much easier to use than a Blackberry or Iphone, extremely light and not the kind of thing to worry about leaving in your hotel room. The Linux OS mimics Mac Leopard quite well. The keyboard is plenty big. It does what it advertises, and one should expect some growing pains as the google OS is at its inception.
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on December 18, 2008
I bought this item to do web surfing and to do light emailing - while watching tv or doing other activities. I didn't want to be chained to my desk by a PC or chained to an outlet by a short battery life that is seen with your average laptop.

The size of this laptop is great - you can take this with you anywhere. I even took it to India with me. The battery life is also great. However, I was never fully happy with it. For some reason the computer would freeze on me and I would have to shut it off and restart. At one point they had a system upgrade that I installed. That system upgrade completely corrupted the hard drive of the machine and I had to send it back to Everex. When they sent it back to me the freeze ups stopped but the main issue that I had with it didnt. The wi-fi on this was very poor. Although I did take it on trips with me - it became pretty pointless because I couldn't connect to wi-fi anywhere I went. At home I didn't use it because even when I was 10 feet away from my wireless antennae it wouldn't connect. This sat and collected dust.

After reading many reviews and tips from people who were also having the same issue as me - I decided to just switch from Linux to Windows. After that - the wi-fi worked great! I could use it 2 floors away from my wi-fi antennae and it would connect with no problems. However, one day the machine just stopped working. The machine turns on but the screen does not. I have no idea what the problem is but this has now become a useless item - once again. In the one year that I've owned this item I was never fully happy with it.

I would recommend to either wait this version out or find another small laptop.
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on August 28, 2008
I ordered this little notebook about 3 weeks ago, and as soon as it arrived, had it connected to the internet in about 5 minutes. But after a short while, it started dropping the connection. I would reconnect, and it would drop the connection again. If I am within 10 feet of my router, it works fine, but having to be that close defeats the purpose of being wireless. (I might as well have a 10 foot cord.) Also, the shortcuts to youtube videos made me think this thing could play videos. However, the video was very choppy, and halting. First I tried rebooting. That did not help. Called tech support, who told me to upgrade to new version of gOS on their website. That still did not help. I also tried ndiswrapper with Windows driver. That did not help either. Finally, I installed Windows XP, and all problems went away. Everything works as it should. (I just didn't really want to run Windows, because of viruses.)

So the OS that comes with this unit is buggy. I hope these issues are fixed in the future, as gOS is a really nice looking OS, and I wanted to run an OS that does not need a virus scanner. If the OS problems were fixed, I would give this notebook a "5 out of 5" rating.
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on September 15, 2008
I got this computer two weeks ago. When I powered it up it asked me for a user name and password; the included quick setup guide mentioned that it would give me the opportunity to set these up, but this was not the case. So, I called customer support and they told me that if I wanted to change the user name that I would have to reinstall the OS and if I just wanted to change the password they could send me an email with steps. So, they sent me an email with the steps and I was able to change the password and log in. After logging in, there was the issue that I needed to modify the wireless lan configuration to include the passkey, however, I could not do that since I did not have the administrator's password. My only option then, if I wanted to use the wireless lan, was to reinstall the OS. When I tried to do this, the system would not boot up from the external CD drive, I rechecked the BIOS settings but no luck. So, I decided to replace the Lynux CD with a Windows CD and the system booted up immediately from the CD drive and started installing Windows. I downloaded the computer's drivers from Sylvania's website and everything worked except the webcam, which I do not really care about. In the end I think it is a very good computer for the money.
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on December 1, 2008
Fast startup, convenient icon dock with firefox, gmail, youtube, and open office applications. The great thing is that the Open office word is supported and can be read by Microsoft office. Internet browsing is very fast. Connectivity is strong and the windows can be put at full screen, so the 7 inches looks a little bigger. Everything is custimizable from the dock, desktop, and displayed icons. Popular websites like ebay,craigslist,yahoo, youtube,google are all set as easy access links. About 10 games like tetris and solitaire. The webcam is amazing! good quality. You can record videos and take pictures. You can make the vid negatice, black and wide, flip it, and add cool effects. Youtube videos are overall pretty good quality, depending on what your watching. Battery lasts forever. Extremely portable at less than 2 pounds and really tiny. All my friends and family love it. So do I. Best buy this year.
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on August 17, 2008
Wireless performance is low. Software can't really connect to my WEP network at home. Tech support informed that upgrade software will be introduced later. Already tried to install Win XP and found that antenna is not the best. I can pickup signal only within a short range. Overall, I don't like it much and end up return them.
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on May 20, 2009
BUYER BEWARE: If you send it back to Amazon, they're going to charge you $30 as a restocking fee. Ridiculous!

REVIEW: A coworker purchased an Acer netbook for $250 and let me borrow it for a couple of hours. Being an aspiring writer, I immediately got ideas of having a tiny laptop always handy in my purse and writing whenever the urge came upon me. The Acer barely fit in my bag, and I thought if I could just go a little smaller, it would be perfect. I found the Sylvania netbook.

The item overall is the perfect size; however, the keyboard is so miniscule that I was constantly making typing errors. This is aggravating--I can handle a couple of blips, but one paragraph of 75% errors is not acceptable. If the keyboard could have been a little bit bigger, then I might have kept it.

Recommended for those who need a ultra light and portable computer to surf the Internet or check email.

Not Recommended for those who constantly work with documents or spreadsheets. I'll stick with recording notes on my BlackBerry or jotting ideas down with pen and paper.

Purchase Review: I used the Super Saver shipping. I ordered it on 5/13/09 and got it on 5/19/09--of course I only live one state away from the warehouse. Amazon also sent me a UPS tracking number which I really appreciate! (Again, if you have to return it, be prepared for a $30 loss on your $199.99 purchase--I recommend re-selling it.)

H. Spotts
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on June 16, 2009
I actually have an earlier version of this machine, the first one that came out last year, but I really love it. Took it on safari in January, bouncing across the Serengeti - dusty, hot, and no gentle handling - or riding - in a Toyota Landcruiser with a broken spring. It worked perfectly, allowing me to download and even e-mail photos we had taken. No problems with connectivity. Connected to unsecured networks as we traveled, but also easily jumps on line at our office which has a very secure encrypted set-up. I do recommend an external mouse to use with it - the mouse pad is a bit small - but other than that, a tough well-designed little machine.
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on May 7, 2009
If you are a hardcore Linux guru that needs nothing more than terminal apps and web-surfing and is willing to turn this laptop into a hobby, it might suit you. If you don't care one bit for that sort of stuff, go get yourself an Asus EEE or a Dell Mini or something. This will be too much for the faint of heart.

I have had this laptop since Fall 08' and it has been a love-hate relationship. It's so small and light.. but there were wifi and accelerated display issues, the headphone jack didn't work, and there were occasional lockups. I had to move to Ubuntu from gOS to even get it in a usable state.

A lot of those problems are solved through the hard work of this community: (no thanks to everex et al)

* The wireless connectivity problems have been solved, thanks to the 2.6.29 kernel.
* The camera actually works, thanks also to the new kernel.
* There's even a built-in encryption chip to speed up secure web surfing and SSH sessions. (still have some problems, in works)

To make it brief, you'll need to remove gOS off the laptop and install Ubuntu Jaunty, and then look through the guides above to solve the pitfalls with lockups due to cpu frequency scaling and thermal sensors, as well as install the beta 2.6.30 kernel.

If that sounded like a mouthful, it's because it is.

Sure it's a bargain, but you get what you pay for.

-Amin Astaneh
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