Well, shortly after selling my Powerbook, I discovered and acquired an Asus eeePC – pronounced ‘E-pc’ – the three e’s stand for “Easy to Learn, Easy to Work, Easy to Play”.
I’ve only had it a few days and can safely say that it has exceeded my expectations. It’s been fun taking this $399 wonder to work and showing coworkers the device. You’d swear I brought a puppy in by the way people have been reacting to it “Ah, it’s so cute and small!”… not to mention the procession of people coming by to check it out….I think Asus owes me a commission or two.
I’ll spare you the technical specs but so far it’s done everything I’ve wanted it to do considering the 512mb of ram and 4gb solid state drive. It ships with a custom version of Linux that has really impressed me with its speed and completeness.
They’ve really done a great job in making an accessible linux variant that my mom could easily navigate. It’s pretty easy to reconfigure it for a power user as well (aka Advanced Mode).
The dvd that comes with the unit also has Windows XP drivers so you can go that way (I’m happier with Linux) or you can track down on your favorite torrent site a special build of Tiger or Leopard OSX to install. As I previously posted, I wasn’t too successful but I’m sure it’s just a simple install config that I didn’t set correctly. I’ll try it again soon as it’s easy to restore back to Linux with the included restore dvd.
Here’s my initial impressions:
- it’s friggin small!
- build quality is much higher than expected
- onboard speakers sound pretty decent considering their size
- comes with a nice, long power cord without a giant brick, just a medium sized wall wart plug with collapsible prongs
- boot up and shut down are FAST
- the onboard webcam is decent with a fast refresh
- the Linux install is quite speedy and I haven’t encountered any performance issues really
- the keys are a little cramped (duh)
- limited theme/skin choices in Linux
- Skype didn’t support video chats out of the box (you had to download the beta)
- the mouse ‘rocker’ switch feels like it will be the first thing to break
There are other things to talk about in future posts so I’ll wrap up this one with a ‘mini’ video review from the Dallas Morning News: