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A Little Wonder: The RM Asus miniBook

The small device making big impressions


"This is a computer designed as an introductory machine for children or adults...a wonderful little friend who does all we need straight out of the box. And it is only the beginning..."   DORK TALK BY STEPHEN FRY

Perhaps you saw the RM Asus miniBook at BETT 08 - a small device making big impressions. Already widely acclaimed, the RM Asus miniBook is an instant hit with pretty much everyone who sets eyes on it...

A myriad of miniBooks at Matthew Boulton college in Birmingham

Matthew Boulton college logoMatthew Boulton college in Birmingham has just taken delivery of 300 miniBooks. Peter Tudor, Director of ICT and Technology at the college, plans to fully integrate the miniBook into MoLeNET - a project developing and delivering an m-learning centre of excellence for Birmingham and the West Midlands. According to Peter, the miniBook is perfect for the job, neatly slotting into the project's strategic objectives to enhance and enrich teaching and learning, to increase the quality of assessment and to help widen participation.

Peter is especially impressed with the miniBook's video streaming functionality. He has plans to build a clip bank for the college, filming practical skills such as dental work or electronics that students can watch whenever or wherever they want, on the miniBook, via their learning platform.

Glen Lambah, the ICT Systems and Communications Manager at the college enthuses: "It's an amazing little unit and great value for money. Plus, it streams video well and the graphics are great."

The college plans to embed the miniBook right across the curriculum. In fact, the Creative and Performing Arts students at the college are working on an exciting brief; 'Creating a New Landscape,' a new project encapsulating what Birmingham means to them. The miniBook will be used in this capacity to record sound and stream video on the move.

MiniBook success at BETT

Fairfax school logoHosted by students, presentations at the Learner Voice stand at BETT 08, were hugely popular. Crowds of visitors surrounded the stand to see ICT in use.

The students from Fairfax school in Sutton Coldfield worked the stand on the Saturday. They used a variety of devices throughout the day including PSPs, voting systems and a number of miniBooks to present to, and gather data from, passing BETT visitors. They used their miniBooks to connect to their learning environment to input data to their Learner Voice questionnaire. Ed Southall, Director of ICT at Fairfax school, praises the RM Asus miniBook. "The wireless capability is the best thing about it. It opens up so many options. For example, in history the students can do research without having to go to another room. They are very robust and have a good battery life. There is movie editing too, which I'd really like to explore. I think most schools would ideally like every student to have a laptop to use both in school and at home. Certainly with the miniBook it's much more feasible."

The students were eager to show their enthusiasm for the miniBook too. Explains Laura Matthews, year 11, "We are using the miniBook to show everyone how we can access our virtual learning environment. It's so nice to use and so compact. I like that it's small and you can carry it anywhere."

Westlands school in Kent goes miniBook mad

miniBookWestlands school in Kent is awash with miniBooks, having just received 400! The school, specialising in maths and computing, bought the miniBooks for all year ten pupils, contributing to the school's goal to raise attainment in all subjects, improve and reinforce ICT skills and prepare pupils for ICT demands in further and higher education and the workplace.

"We love the size of the miniBooks and are impressed with the many possibilities that it offers," says ICT development leader, Richard Kipling. "It lets teachers and pupils access the internet, traditionally only available in our ICT suites. Effectively it gives us access to another six roomfulls of PCs."

Using the miniBook, pupils at Westlands school will create coursework and multimedia resources on-the-fly in any environment. The school already has teachers gaining instant access to learners' responses through blogging and other miniBook capabilities, offering great potential for assessment.

"We feel that our students deserve the very best opportunities," explains Richard. "This is a heavy investment in technology, but if it means that students are motivated and have the best tools then it's clearly worthwhile. Students are more engaged and have really come to believe that the school is serious about their prospects and achievement. They enjoy the challenge of discovering features not so familiar to them and are delighted to be able to use them at home too. We're only just starting to explore all the possibilities and in time I can see the miniBooks becoming a key learning tool for years 10 and 11."

The verdict

miniBook"Pound for pound, the best value priced notebook on the planet. It's ten times simpler to use than any Windows® machine, starts up twice as fast, and is only about a fifth of the cost of other systems in its weight class. The RM Asus miniBook is a remarkably versatile machine for the price." Laptop Magazine Editors Choice

"A genuine step forward for the laptop. Unbelievable capabilities for the price and ultra-low weight too. In fact it's hard to name anything consumers will dislike. As much as the RM Asus miniBook has been headline news for its potential in the education market, we can only deliver a fullblooded recommendation for all." PC Pro Magazine Recommended

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