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Asus Eee PC 2G Surf

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      16.02.2009 19:34
      Very helpful



      Excellent device but worth investign in the 4g/8g/20g models

      I will be writing similar if not identical reviews for all eepc models, not in an attempt to make money from reviews (though after a break into my car i do need more money lol) but because all models function similarly and being an extensive linux user and proud owner of an eepc I think I can offer a lot of tips to viewers. If you want further advice feel free to contact me.

      Note*skip to unlock full mode subheading to find out how you can change the interface to look like windows.

      User interface:
      The user interface is childish yet simple, some people prefer to load windows xp instead (instructions are given for this), or some prefer to load other versions of linux. My argument would be DON'T unless you really know what you are doing or are really clueless about linux and too lazy to learn. First off windows is not designed for low power laptops like this, linux IS so you will lose a lot of processing power when running programs in windows rather than linux, secondly i'm sure you have all seen the amazing features that can be achieved with compiz fusion (if not check youtube) and may be disappointed to realize you have to change linux distribution to use it. If you do change linux distributions be warned that the hardware may not function as well, a good example is Ubuntu linux, a great operating system but hard to get a lot of usb memory devices to work. My advice would be stick with the stock xandros but unlock full mode.

      Unlocking full mode:
      Open up terminal (ctrl+alt+delete) then type:
      1) Sudo bash (and enter your password as prompted)
      2)apt-get update
      3) apt-get install kicker (press y when prompted)
      4) apt-get install ksmserver (press y when prompted)
      5) exit
      6) exit

      Now press your power button and a new mode called full desktop is available

      RAM Memory:
      I would recommend at least 1 gig ram, on most models this is easily upgradeable via an expansion slot on the underside of the device

      Hard drive size:
      The eepc's come in a range of hard drive sizes, this is the trickiest part to understand. Too small memory means you cant install many programs and the biggest version means a different type of harddrive. Make no mistake the solid state hardrives (ssd's) are quicker, and bearing in mind how cheap external hard drives are now I would reccomend either the 4gb, 8gb or 20gb versions. The 160gb (?) version is unnecessary and any smaller than 4g is not very practical long term. You can also expand the memory using the sd card slot up to 32gb. Currently I would recomend 16gb sd cards for their value for money.

      SD card slot:
      Great way to expand the memory, technically speaking it is slower than both a normal hard drive and a ssd. But in reality I have had not major effect, infact for photos I find the sd card very fast. See photos for more information.

      Viewing photos:
      DO NOT use the file manager to view photos if viewing lots at a time as it will take forever to load. Instead use the built in gwen view.

      Photo editing:
      A nifty feature for all you linux newbies. GIMP allready installed is the linux equivalent of photo shop and for SMALLER photos is actually superier to photo shop which costs hundreds of pounds ^_^

      Key board size:
      All I will say is I have fat fingers but got used to it quite quickly.

      Battery life:
      Three hours imo is an understatement, you can extend this significantly if just typing. Switch off wifi, dim your screen and don't play music or video.

      Other useful hints:
      When trying to get help for doing fancy stuff with linux you can also check out debian linux advice since xandros is based on debian a lot of the stuff still works.
      I have not looked into this yet but I would recommend seeing if synaptic package manager is available and installed in xandros as this will give you access to lots of free programs to install, literally thousands of them if you know the sources.


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      • More +
        09.12.2008 20:51
        Very helpful



        underneath that toy theres a cool gadget

        This review is of the relatively new asus EEE pc. Its been quite fun using and reviewing this one as its not like your usual laptops, and in many ways its a lot worse however at the end of testing it iv got to say I really like the asus EEE pc and however rubbish it might be I think I will end up buying one if some of the features just improve a little or if the higher spec editions become cheaper.
        I'm reviewing the cheapest version of the EEE pc as it's the one most people would choose to buy. It think if I was going to purchase any of them I would want the best one however as its only something I would use on journeys it simply wouldn't be worth all my money so id have to get this cheaper version of it.

        This one is currently the cheapest one and is still quite dear at £200. I do think they will get cheaper in the future though just like anything does so a lot of you might want to wait a little longer before getting your hands on one of these.
        The asus eee pc is really small and versatile, its just 225 by 35 by 165mm which really isn't big at all.
        Unlike many other pc tablets of this size this one does look exactly like a laptop which is something I really like about it.
        It can come in a whole range of different colours however the only one I have used is the white one and is probably the one id get if I was going to buy one.

        A downside from some peoples point of view is the small keyboard, now I'm not the fastest typer anyway and one this small keyboard I did tend to make even more mistakes than I usually do on a normal keyboard. This is something you do get used to though and after a couple of days using it I had noticeably got better and could type nearly as well as on a full scale keyboard.
        There are 2 USB ports on the right of the laptop and then a third on the left, there's also a D-Sub video output port for those who want to use an external display. There's also a card reader sunk nicely into the laptop.

        Alright for a big downside now, and it comes in the hard drive and also the amount of ram. This laptop just has 512mb of ram however I would say that its just as fast as my current laptop which only has 1gb or ram at opening programs, this could be down to the linux operating system it uses though.
        And the other downside is its hard drive, this edition of it only has 2gb, most of which is already taken up by the operating system however its possible it put at the maximum 32gb just into the card slot and if you have an external hard drive or just a usb stick you could really have as much hard drive space as you want so this isn't a huge problem.
        There is a webcam, speakers and even a microphone which is on the under side of the laptop, these are things I just wouldn't expect for a laptop of its size however it's a good surprise that it has these great features built into it.

        It is extremely portable, its tiny design and its quite small 7 inch screen makes it so easy to take wherever you want with you. If you are worried about the 7 inch screen being too small then just don't be, its easy to get used to. Granted I couldn't actually use this as a normal laptop at home however on the move its just a perfect size.
        Its battery life is a pretty good 3.5 hours. Which I think could have been better as some full sized laptops are now boasting an amazing 7 hours of battery life. However this does just have a 3 cell battery pack which is half the normal laptop battery pack.
        It is also really light barely weighing just 1kg its really portable and will barely make a dint in your pocket.

        I feel I better mention the Linux operating system, I'm really not sure why they have choose this over windows, perhaps it is easier to use and more child friendly than windows it. But that it what it feels like. You can however change it to windows if you want, apparently the programs you need to do this now comes in the box however it didn't with the one I tested so I am unsure about this. However I'm sure you could find help online or even et somebody to do it for you as I don't suppose it would be hard to do.


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      • More +
        15.06.2008 22:29
        Very helpful



        Brilliantly compact and portable.

        So, I was in PC world when I first saw this beauty, the tiniest laptop I've seen before and I immediately fell In love with it. I am going to review the points I think are most important.

        Firstly I will talk about it's size - as thats obvious what draws people to this tiny creature. It is so small and light, that taking it places - university for example is easy as it can even fit in a handbag. It about the size of a book. But with it's size come some obvious downfalls. The size of the keyboard can be a problem for some - though I've just found that I've got used to it, and use it constantly - to write essays etc. The screen is also small, but again thats just something to get use to. The only reason why the small screen is an issue, is when watching tv/films on it. Though even this factor wouldn't have stopped me buying it. I frequently use iplayer from the bbc and have no problems watching tv shows.
        The thing I deem next important is the software. The eeepc runs on Linux - an open software operating system. Now, when you buy the eeepc, all you have to do is charge it, and all software is pre-installed. This includes a word processor, spreadsheet, powerpoint, music player, video player, games, etc. Now with Linux you can download free software created by independent people. The version of Linux on the eeepc, however is such that it has been heavily customised, so is difficult to customise it (like even change the background to a picture). So the answer lies in changing the eeepc to "advanced mode", which isn't too difficult and can be done by following instructions online. This makes the eeepc have more of a windows feel and is less childish than the original way it come. Included with the laptop is a disc to upgrade the eeepc to windows, something I have not done, as you need a computer to do this. I may try this, but I don't really see any major benefits to doing this.

        The last thing I will mention is the very small hard drive (2gb). I also have a computer (which isn't with me atm) so the space space available isn't really a problem for me. I have a sd card for extra storage, and could always buy an 8gb storage card should I feel the need or even get an external hard drive.
        Overall I really love this device. It comes everywhere with me. The battery doesn't last long (2-3hrs I've found) but hey, I'm never often far from a power socket.


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