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Old 31st July 2009, 13:26   #16
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^^^ I did, it actually looks exactly like it looks in the pictures on the 'net.

Could someone check what is the output voltage of the AC adapter? I forgot!

2 things one can look into if you are considering it seriously:
1. RAM: 1GB may be insufficient (some of it is shared with display). Is it conventional DDR2 card or is it a proprietary card? Aftermarket 2GB DDR2 card would be a good option
2. This unit has a 3-cell battery pack which powers it for roughly 2 hours (according to the Croma guys). While in the car it may not be an issue (powered all the time), if you use it for situations where there is no power, 2 hours is an embarrassingly short period. Is there a 6-cell battery pack available out there for this model? Apparently with a 6-cell battery one gets 6 hours (with some power management) - I couldn't figure out the maths.
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Old 31st July 2009, 13:40   #17
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Could someone check what is the output voltage of the AC adapter? I forgot!
Its a 19V DC standard laptop adapter. I was expecting a 9V DC adapter like 7" EEEPC and was surprised to see the standard bulky power brick.

19V makes it a little more difficult to generate for CarPC use. Car Laptop adapters are an easy solution, but it would have been much easier for DIY CarPC use if it was a 9V adapter like most other netbooks. Carnetix x1900 is an excellent but expensive choice for a 12V-19V Car DC-DC PSU.

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RAM: 1GB may be insufficient (some of it is shared with display). Is it conventional DDR2 card or is it a proprietary card? Aftermarket 2GB DDR2 card would be a good option
This is a bit confusing. Some reviews say RAM is not upgradeable since it does not have an expansion slot and the 1GB chips are soldered on. But some others say its the standard affair DDR2 533 SO-DIMM as in most laptops but only 1 slot total limited to 2GB max.

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 31st July 2009 at 13:43.
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Old 31st July 2009, 13:46   #18
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Its a 19V DC standard laptop adapter. I was expecting a 9V DC adapter like 7" EEEPC and was surprised to see the standard bulky power brick.

19V makes it a little more difficult to generate for CarPC use. Car Laptop adapters are an easy solution, but it would have been much easier for DIY CarPC use if it was a 9V adapter like most other netbooks. Carnetix x1900 is an excellent but expensive choice for a 12V-19V Car DC-DC converter.



This is a bit confusing. Some reviews say RAM is not upgradeable since it does not have an expansion slot and the 1GB chips are soldered on. But some others say its the standard affair DDR2 533 SO-DIMM as in most laptops but only 1 slot total limited to 2GB max.
It has only one slot but the ram is the normal DDR2 533. I have changed to 2 GB at the time of purchase itself. Then also I feel with vista it takes about 3min to boot. I asked them whether I can use XP but they said many of the tablet functions dont work with XP..
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Old 31st July 2009, 13:47   #19
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but still its just a 900 Mhz processor.
damn thing will crawl.

i suggest go in for one of the newer ones with the intel & nvidia Ion platform. [Thats what i think its called]

Its an intel atom processor mated with a 9300 GPU.

decent speed, good graphics
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Old 31st July 2009, 14:05   #20
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but still its just a 900 Mhz processor.
damn thing will crawl.
The HCL Mileap MH214 is powered by A110 processor running at 800 Mhz. That said, it did not feel like a slouch during basic checks but certainly not as fast as ATOM based netbooks either. For basic CarPC use (MP3, GPS, OBD, MPEG playback), I think the A110 @ 800 Mhz should be just enough.

I found that boot times were slow (~100 seconds) on the demo machine, but we could get around it by using an nLite'd bare-basics XP load. I'd guess sub-60 seconds boot times should be achievable.

The HDD is a slow 5200RPM device, which could be changed to 7200RPM HDD to aid the boot time. SSD's are getting cheaper as well!!!
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Old 31st July 2009, 14:55   #21
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If we make it carPC then most of us will opt for carPC frontend so in that case XP and Vista will not matter much. And carPC front end will manage all touch screen usability so I think XP inbuilt tablet support limitation will not come into picture.
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Old 31st July 2009, 14:58   #22
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??? The one that I demoed at Croma was running XP, and the tablet was working?! And yes, the Croma guys said standard DDR2.
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Old 1st August 2009, 12:30   #23
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I thought the 14,990 one comes with Win XP Tablet while another more expensive version runs Vista.

This offer seems to have generated a lot of interest :-)
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Old 1st August 2009, 13:26   #24
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I thought the 14,990 one comes with Win XP Tablet while another more expensive version runs Vista.

This offer seems to have generated a lot of interest :-)
Yes Chroma is offering one with WinXP Home edition. I procured the same. The problem is now that I suspect it is a 3 cell battery which has come along with it givnig about 2 hrs backup while the specs at many places mention 6 cell with 4 hours or so.
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Old 2nd August 2009, 19:40   #25
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I visited Chroma today and found their offer has become more attractive. They are offering 10 extra items free now for 14990. That includes Tata Indicom stick, 2 gb pendrive, a base for the netbook for comfortable use on the lap, cleaning solution, headphones, an external mouse and some more which i forget. They will reduce 1000 bucks if we forgo all the additional freebies.
I had gone to get the extended warranty (a Chroma offer and not HCL) which I had refused earlier. But it seems I have lost out because of the expiry of the 15 day period after purchase. If anyone goes in for the Mileap please ensure they take the extended warranty for additional 2 years at Rs. 2000 which is beneficial as it covers all spares.
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Old 5th August 2009, 19:45   #26
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I visited Chroma today and found their offer has become more attractive. They are offering 10 extra items free now for 14990. That includes Tata Indicom stick, 2 gb pendrive, a base for the netbook for comfortable use on the lap, cleaning solution, headphones, an external mouse and some more which i forget.
OK, I've finally purchased the Mileap MH214 from Croma. They didnt have the accessory pack in stock so I will have to wait for a week or so to get the freebies.

@ emkay456: Are you sure whether the Tata Indicom Modem Stick & 2GB USB Mem stick are included in the gift pack? According to the floor manager, those 2 items are not there in the gift pack though the total number of items is confirmed as 10.

I haven't got enough time to play with the MH214, but the boot times looks quite faster than I've tested earlier. It is definitely in the 40-45 seconds region without any tweaking on the "New" XP Home install. There is too much junk installed and on startup by default and the boot times should only improve with minimal startup items and services settings. I'm targeting a 25-30 seconds boot time with a custom nLite'd WinXP Professional install.

Also I wanted to upgrade the RAM to 2GB to install Windows 7 in it, but there are too many QC stickers at the bottom of this unit (one at each screw and the RAM window) and I'm not sure whether the warranty would be void if I upgrade the RAM. It'd be pretty lame of HCL if it is so.

BTW, I've found the original version of this laptop. It is a rebranded Kohjinsha SH8KP12A. Kohjinsha is a pretty famous Japanese company. SH8KP12A/MH214 was originally retailing for more than $1200 when launched. This is a phased out product as expected from the price it sells now. The reviews are great and @14,999 I'd consider it to be a very good buy considering it has a very good touchscreen. I haven't checked daylight viewability of the screen but it looks like it is an optically bonded touchscreen.

I haven't decided what to do with this MH214. I may put it in the car directly or disassemble and integrate it into a 2DIN case or may use just the touchscreen panel with my Kontron board, but I'm just too lazy or not in one place for too long. I started my CarPC build in 2005 and in spite of purchasing ALL parts to complete 2 CarPC's (initial enthusiasm) from around the world, the project is still on my test bench. My new excuse is to install it in the yet to be launched Toyota Fortuner to complement the investment I've made into this addictive hobby. Eagerly waiting to see if Toyota prices it sensibly.

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 5th August 2009 at 19:49.
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Old 6th August 2009, 04:22   #27
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congrats,

do post some pics, and if you are able to integrate it into In-Dash, It would be worth watching for everyone here.
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Old 6th August 2009, 08:55   #28
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Great news! I am also deperate to buy one but have to prioritise between Karlsson PU leather seats, alloy wheels and the MiLeap :-(

Seriously, it is a superb price for a relatively fast and tried/tested product. I am a newbie to this stuff so do you need to install Centrafuse type software or is the Tablet PC edition good enough for carputer use?
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Old 6th August 2009, 10:48   #29
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congrats, do post some pics
Sure, will do that in a few days time.

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and if you are able to integrate it into In-Dash, It would be worth watching for everyone here.
Considering my track record in completing my CarPC projects, it would be a long wait before I even attempt that. For the time being I'm resisting the temptation to open up the unit since I know it will remain in the dismantled state for long if I do that now. In the current stage, I can at least use it as a Tablet.

My wife has an eye on this lil cutie tablet and I may get another MH214 for my projects after some tests. I simply cant resist the price . Think of it this way. @ 14,999, the MH214 is only negligibly more costlier than a 7" Touchscreen sold by many Indian vendors. Also the touchscreen in MH214 is much much better.

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Great news! I am also deperate to buy one but have to prioritise between Karlsson PU leather seats, alloy wheels and the MiLeap :-( Seriously, it is a superb price for a relatively fast and tried/tested product.
I suggest you get the Mileap MH214 first.
Reason: Mileap MH214 is a limited availability product and the stocks will soon exhaust for good. Leathers and alloys would still be there for many more months to come.

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I am a newbie to this stuff so do you need to install Centrafuse type software or is the Tablet PC edition good enough for carputer use?
XP Tablet PC edition is not even remotely suitable for use while driving. A frontend like Centrafuse or Riderunner is a must and highly recommended if you prefer to operate it while driving.

BTW. Centrafuse 3.0 pricing is already announced.

UPDATE: I've installed Windows7 (Dual Boot) on this little tablet and the performance is much better than I thought. Even with 1GB RAM, it doesn't show any sign of sluggishness during average use.

Boot Times with Win7: ~45 seconds!!!
In comparison, my Panasonic Toughbook with 4GB RAM and 2 Ghz Core2Duo takes nearly as long (~35 seconds but hides a 10s long POST within it).

Now I don't even feel like going to the default WinXP Home install. Windows 7 on MH214 is a keeper.

Minor Irritant: MH214 generates much more heat than an average laptop. It really gets HOT after a few hours of use. Considering the underpinnings of the A110 processor which is based on old Pentium M and the fact that so much of stuff is crammed into a smaller area, I wouldn't find that a surprise but is worth being aware of. The positioning of air vents could have been better.

Last edited by Digital Vampire : 6th August 2009 at 11:01.
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Old 6th August 2009, 11:49   #30
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UPDATE: I've installed Windows7 (Dual Boot) on this little tablet and the performance is much better than I thought. Even with 1GB RAM, it doesn't show any sign of sluggishness during average use.

Now I don't even feel like going to the default WinXP Home install. Windows 7 on MH214 is a keeper.

Minor Irritant: MH214 generates much more heat than an average laptop. It really gets HOT after a few hours of use. Considering the underpinnings of the A110 processor which is based on old Pentium M and the fact that so much of stuff is crammed into a smaller area, I wouldn't find that a surprise but is worth being aware of. The positioning of air vents could have been better.
Could you explain the process of dual booting it.

+1 regarding the air vents.

Btw Chroma Belapur showed me the Tata Indicom stick and also a 2 gb pen drive. Wonder how else they would make it 10 items ??

Did you go in for the extended warranty ??
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