The Kogan agora netbook is very impressive on the hardware side, but open the lid and gOS is not as ‘good’ as the name suggests.
With an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 160GB hard disk drive and 10.1 inch matte finish LCD, the agora is well equiped. Coming in two versions, the agora and the agora pro, they differ by the amount of memory (1GB vs. 2GB) and the battery size (3 cell vs. 6 cell). The agora is priced at $499 and you will pay $539 for the agora pro.
The 10.1 inch LCD meets the ‘sweet-spot’ size that most speak of in netbook land. After a consultative process on the Kogan blog, it was agreed that a matte finish was best, and I have to agree.
The agora’s LCD is very usable outside, where a gloss screen would often reflect the sun into your eyes. The native resolution is 1024×600.
The keyboard is easy enough to use – and didn’t take too long to adapt to. The only issue I had at first was the location of shift key in relation to the double quote key – it sits centered above the right shift key, whereas you would normally find it to the left of the shift. Not a deal breaker in the least, but programming on the agora at first resulted in some colons appearing where a double quote should have!
It is also worth noting that the blue function keys are well laid out. Page up and down, along with home and end are function keys placed on the arrow keys, and there are plenty of other function keys along most of the top row of the board, allowing you to sleep, turn on and off the wireless adapter and control the volume and brightness – just to name a few.
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