During the recent test about Ubuntu 10.4 Netbook I noticed that also Kubuntu (the KDE based Ubuntu derived distribution) has made available a Netbook edition distribution. I couldn't so resist not to give it at least a quick look.
Image download and preparation
Preparing a bootable SD card is almost not worth mentioning considered how simple this operation has become. I downloaded, using Bittorrent, Kubuntu Netbook edition (beta) from here and then used Ubuntu boot-disk creation utility to prepare the bootable media.
I have to admit that Kubuntu (netbook) user interface left me a little disoriented at first since it is quite different from both Ubuntu NBR (or EEEBuntu) interface and even from Xandros “easy mode”. The interface is divided in two panels: the first, labelled page one, Is a sort of applets container while the second works as “big icons” program launcher.The applet area appears at first as an area filled of empty boxes but after connecting the network and some little configuration it start showing it's potential features. Unfortunately it's easy make the applet area bigger than the small EEEPC screen.
The program launcher develops horizontally, instead of vertically as in Ubuntu version.
It seems to me that Kubuntu netbook program launcher is as intuitive and easy to use as the Ubuntu version. The only defect is that, once you selected a programs “section” you have to press a “back” button in order to select a program from another section.
I will not switch to Kubuntu Netbook Edition, but do not take it as a negative impressions. I'm simply very used to working with Ubuntu NBR interface and I don't see in the Kubuntu version so much advantages to be worth the switching effort but there are undeniable positive points in Kubuntu Netbook unusual user interface and the strongest one is, in my opinion, its flexibility.