CTL 1L1PC WinXP Eee-Rival: Is It Worth $50 More?

Although ASUS' Eee may not be the very best budget ultraportable out there, it's already become the benchmark against which all others are compared.  Latest to step up is CTL's 1L1PC, which the folks at Laptop Mag have been putting through its compact paces.  Running Windows XP, rather than Linux, and with a 60GB hard-drive and 1GB of RAM, those well-versed in these machines might spot that it's seemingly a rebadging of the Airis Kira 740, albeit with a few hardware tweaks.

For a start, the Kira 740 only has a 40GB drive, out of which 3.3GB was taken up by the OS.  The 1L1PC also seems to boot significantly faster: 53 seconds, compared to around 90 seconds for the Airis.  Both share the same, thick bezel around the screen, separate left and right mouse buttons and webcam.

Priced at a suggested $449, that falls just about in line with the cost of the 740 in Europe.  It also makes it $50 more than the equivalent Eee, and right now Laptop Mag aren't sure it's worth it.  Glitchy streaming video performance and, more critical perhaps, poor video calling in Skype both dampen the CTL machine's allure.  It remains to be seen whether it shares the Airis' 5hr battery life.