Hands-On With the Workhorse PC Certeza MC10
Everyone and their mother is trying to grab a piece of the netbook pie by creating a me-too mini-notebook and Workhorse just seems to be beating the same dead horse. Busting through the corrals of our office was Workhorse’s Certeza MC10 netbook. Bluntly the Workhorse is just another 10-inch netbook but we are intrigued by its customization options which is intended for larger businesses or institutions. Check out our first impressions of the Workhorse Certeza MC10 and our hands-on video. Basic, Black Box Design The Certeza MC10 seems to be trying to look a little like an HP Mini 1000 or Dell Mini 10 but it needs to try a little harder. While the black glossy lid gives it somewhat of a higher class look, it is a fingerprint magnet. Even when we tried to wipe it down, a number of smudges remained. In the middle of the lid is a small indented, rectangular shaped slot which is blank at the moment, but Workhorse tells us it can be customized with the model number or name of a company or school. Under the hood the netbook just looks like it might not yet be completed (we should note that we do have a pre-production unit), while there is a Workhorse logo under the screen there is a blank plastic strip. This strip is flanked by two speakers that look a bit cheap. While the Workhorse only has 2 USB ports, it has an ExpressCard slot which makes it easy for adding a mobile broadband card. It also has an Ethernet, headphone, microphone and SD card reader. Good Keyboard, Touchpad To Workhorse’s credit, the keyboard is quite spacious for a 10-inch netbook. The keys have a nice feel to them and remind us of the keyboard on the MSI Wind U100. In addition, the key arrangement is solid with a decent sized Shift key located to the left of the up arrow and a full size Enter key. While the touchpad is a bit small, there are dedicated right and left mouse buttons. The pad itself has a decent amount of friction for navigating the desktop. Vista Outfitted The Workhorse Certeza does stands out from most of the other netbooks in the barn in its ability to be customized. Our unit came with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and Windows Vista Home Premium. According to the company’s site you will be able to upgrade to 2GB of RAM (though costs more than the 1GB) and downgrade to Windows XP or Linux. It will also be available with mobile broadband and WiMax options. Underneath the back panel there is even a dedicated slot for a SIM card. . Our unit took over a minute to boot Vista but once the operating system was up and running, we didn’t have a problem visiting our favorite sites and streaming video and music. Our full review will contain more performance impressions and benchmarks. Early Verdict It is hard to say why someone would want to purchase the Workhorse for $549 (the Windows XP version will be $449) when they could get an HP Mini 2140 or a Samsung NC20 for the same price. However, while customers can buy the Workhorse Certeza MC10 from RocketDepot.com, Workhorse PC focuses on larger orders that may be tempting to businesses and educational institutions who want customized solutions.