Is the Eee PC for you?

If you read as many reviews of the Eee PC as I’ve read, you’ll know that many of the negative reviews come from people who mistake the Eee for a notebook or laptop. Granted, it looks like a laptop (albeit one hit by a shrink-ray) and does a lot of things a laptop does, but it is not a laptop. People are calling it a subnotebook, a netbook, or UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) replacement. Who knows what name will stick? But this isn’t a total computer replacement any more than your cell phone is (think iPhone and not Macbook).

I was able to replace my desktop computer with an Eee, because I also happen to share a household with my wife, who has a regular laptop (a Macbook Pro), so when I wanted to give a CD mix to a friend, I burned it on my wife’s Macbook Pro (the Eee has no optical drive). The screen on the Eee is tiny—you won’t be doing any heavy graphics editing on it.

The Eee is an internet appliance that also happens to do a few non-internet-related things as well (it has a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a sound recording program, and a music organizer). Mainly, though, it’s great for browsing the internet, emailing friends, and Skyping (I just yesterday tried out video Skype on it, and the webcam and microphone work quite well). There is the occasional website I have to do some side-scrolling with (using the Right arrow key), and if you want to watch YouTube videos, you may want to use Firefox in fullscreen mode (press F11 to toggle back and forth), but it’s a nifty little appliance I’ll think nothing of toting around.

It’s actually made doing laundry bearable (I love reading books in the bathroom or on the bus, but for some reason not while doing the wash), and I’m looking forward to taking it on the plane with me when I visit my parents for Christmas—I won’t have to worry about it weighing down my backpack or being too much trouble to take out for the security check at the airport.

If you find yourself in coffee shops using wireless to blog or check out the latest news feeds and are tired of hauling your 15″ or 17″ laptop around, you may want to check out Asus’ Eee PC (or its upcoming rivals from HP, Dell, and Acer in the upcoming months).

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5 Comments

  1. The Eee PC looks interesting.

    I did some research on it as I was looking for a small and cheap computer to take when I travel and to carry while teaching. My current “expendable” laptop is a 1998 IBM Thinkpad ($40, plus some minor repairs I did on my own). It is a bit too heavy to be truly convenient. But, it does pass my critical drop test: dropping it and breaking it wouldn’t give me a heart attack.

    The cheapest Eee PC is just about at the price level that passes the drop test. Perhaps when the competition in the field heats up and drives down the prices, I’ll buy one. Hopefully I won’t drop it. :)

  2. Well, I wouldn’t go out of my way to drop it, but the SSD (solid state drive) is supposed to not have moving parts and be pretty resistant to jostling.

    If you can wait, definitely wait. The competition in the field is just starting to heat up now (HP just released their Mini-Note, and Dell and Acer are supposed to have Eee competition up their sleeves, too).

  3. Hi,

    Sorry if this in the wrong place!

    Read your Ubuntu Minimal installation guide and tried it on my new eeepc 1000HD. Ran into a problem when the wired lan was not recognised – the install procedure indicated that additional drivers/modules could be loaded – but I can not see how?

    Any idea how to load extra drivers when using the minimal install.

    Should say that I have successfully installed U8.04.01 (with the various eeepc modifications) and it works fine on my 1000HD – just wanted a slimmer installation.

    Thanks,
    Geoff

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