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I bought my Asus EEE PC just over a year ago. At the time there were not as many netbooks on the market as there are today. Despite the lack of choice of other options, I have not been disappointed with this machine, even after seeing other people with their more modern netbooks.
Whilst the screen is smaller than it is on many netbooks these days, I do not see this as a problem as it keeps the size of the unit small. There are some websites that I can imagine would not be as easily viewed on a screen this size (for example on some you have to scroll across the horizontal to see parts) but this has not been a huge problem for any of the websites that I regularly visit.
It comes with built in WiFi, and amongst other things a built in SD card reader. Having an SD card is pretty much a most of the memory built into the machine is used up with various software, so if you want to store or download things such as photos, the SD card is the best way of doing this.
Mine came with Linux pre-installed. It is extremely fast to load up, which for me is probably the best feature (I mainly wanted something that I could check my e-mail on or do quick web searches without having to wait ages for my PC to power up). It comes with Skype too, which has been great for me - the machine is small enough to put in a suitcase so I have taken it on holiday with me and used it as a phone in hotels with WiFi to save on expensive overseas mobile calls.
I haven't found using Linux rather than windows a problem, there are a number of tabs along the top of the screen, each acting like folders containing various shortcuts. Whilst you can't really install things on it as easily as you can a computer running Windows, I have never found the need to as it comes with everything I need.
Amongst other things, a word processor and spreadsheet application come installed - these are nothing special, but are fine for basic functions. The keyboard is quite small, which I have not found a problem, but I can imagine would not be particularly comfortable for typing long documents, especially if you were switching between this and a regular sized keyboard as it does take a bit of getting used to when you come back to it.
Overall, if you are looking for something cheap offering basic functions this is a great little machine. Mine comes with me everywhere I travel as it is so small and light.
I own and regularly use the Eee PC 4G netbook. I think this netbook is brilliant to use when commuting and for light tasks. It is light enough to carry regularly to and from work. I like to use it to watch tv programmes and films from the memory card. I've got it running on an 8GB HDSD card. Although it comes installed with a word processing package, it is not great for word processing for long periods of time because both the keys and the screen are so small.
I have it running on Linux and I am not really a techie so if you are in the same boat I would be cautious in recommending it. Using the machine out of the box is fine, but if you want to install, fix or update something it is more than a little scary!
Ultimately this netbook is perfectly priced and is excellent for internet surfing, watching video files and light 'MS Office' tasks. The battery lasts about 3 hours which is about right for my round trip commute.
Well here go then. The original and arguably the best of the 1st generation of netbooks. Netbooks offer truly portable computing on a compact all in one package. This innovator from Asus is definitely very small and crucially, highly capable. The keyboard is certainly small but is easy to get used to and I personally use several full size machines. Nice inclusions are Wifi, a webcam in the front bezel and some lower mounted speakers.
The Asus boots quickly into a custom build of the Linux distribution Xandros and displays a clear and easy to uses tabbed desktop. The OS is fully loaded with lots of useful applications including the MS compatible Open Office and Skype. Storage come in the form of 4GB of solid state memory which may seem severely limited but remember this is not Windows. Linux makes very efficient use of storage and memory and the Asus is certainly not sluggish. Its worth noting that extra space can be added via SD slot and personally I have put a 8GB card in there.
Asus has made a big deal of this net book being very easy to use and it is, to a point. Anyone with a little more experience may want to delve into the OS a bit but if you have never used Linux before you may find yourself in world of frustration and confusion. You'll find a lot of information on the net to help with installing plug-ins etc and some of you may prefer to install a light version of XP.
The wi-fi is reliable but I would have welcomed bluetooth also. I have read that there is hardware onboard for for bluetooth and there are also plans on how to hardwire it if you are adventurous. Battery life is good but does take a beating with wi-fi enabled. It can be turned off by hotkey when you don't require it. The screen is good but due to size limitations you may find it hard to display some web pages. The touchpad is ok but a tad unresponsive though I have purchased an optical mouse which is the preferred partner.
It is worth noting that underneath there is an easy open access panel which allows you to upgrade the RAM. I went for 1GB DDR2 667 as it only accepts a single module. Beware that this will invalidate your warranty! I have heard conflicting reports as to whether it accepts 2GB modules.
To summarise this is a stylish and small netbook which is truly portable. Linux may not be for everyone but it's a good alternative to windows. Wi-fi is the cream on the cake but watch its affect on battery life. Also I went for the white option. Very nice indeed.
Well I have been using this product for well over a year now and thought it was time to reflect on how useful I have found it to be.
The netbook is reliable and still operates as it did when I first purchased. I have not experienced any glitches or bugs with both the hardware and the software. The one concession would be that the key cover below the touchpad has become loose but this doesn't affect functionality. Others may find the 7" screen a little too small though I like it fine.
The interface is very easy to use and all the difficult decisions are removed by the use of a tab system comprising of Internet, Work, Learn, Play, settings and Favourites. Each tab has a simple icon based system for one click access to the internet or internet radio for example.
The tab and icon based system is simple to use and navigate but I imagine some may feel a bit let down at the 'V-Tech Toys' element it has. Thankfully you can install a traditional style desktop if you so wish.
Performance wise it is a fairly speedy machine thanks to it's solid state memory and basic operating system. This is really going to be a web browsers netbook and as such it is not geared towards power users. Even so it does feature a full office suite, PDF reader, mail and file manager, games and a webcam. In addition there are seperate programs for music, photos and video.
For users who want to get a bit more involved in their user experience there are utilities and diagnostic tools plus the obligatory anti-virus and personalization settings.
As stated initially I upgraded the RAM from 512mb to 1gb DDR2 667. There is a bit of a difference but it's performance increase is negligible. I would however still consider installing 2gb as memory is so cheap and your needs may change also. It is apparently a bit hit and miss as to whether a 2gb module would be recognised as 2gb and not 1gb but there should be no hardware conflict. Apparently upgrading the kernel will allow support for up to 4gb for those planning to take over the world.
You might think then that the only downside to this value netbook is the limited upgrade potential. This would however be a mistake. Ok, yes you need to be adventurous and a little bit mad even but there are many feasible upgrades to the hardware. This is dependent on your exact configuration internally but you can hardwire bluetooth and additional storage. Some models allow the SSD to be removed physically without the need for solder work and it is also possible to install a touchscreen tft. The limit is only really your imagination and a willingness to take the odd chance. There is a massive online community providing forums and detailed instruction pages of how to perform upgrades.
The most popular ones would be:
To summarise then I can safely say that this is still an excellent product which can be bought cheaply and for even less as a used example. It has a comprehensive and functional OS that delivers the goods on all fronts for all but the most power hungry of users. As a student workhorse or basic web browser it is hard to beat and the standard single core CPU and 512mb are more than sufficient. The screen is good quality if small and the keyboard is responsive. I would recommend the use of a mouse to enhance use. I went for a mini wired USB version in a complimentary white but upon reflection I found it a little small. Go for the regular size and you have a winning combination.
The Bottom Line:
As good a netbook as it ever was. Superior hardware is available now but the difference will be minimal unless you have huge storage needs. Excellent.
The Asus Eee 701 was the original netbook, and has spawned a huge wave of copycats, almost all of which have been larger, questioning the miniature dimensions of this model.
The small size is a double-edged sword : the Eee is light and portable - smaller than many paperback books. The tiny keyboard takes a few days of pratice to get used to, but does infact offer a good typing motion and can be used accurately. The screen is rather small in resolution, and many a badly designed website requires the use of vertical scrolling. In this respect the 900 series is much better, as it fits a considerably larger screen into only a marginally larger casing. The 0.3 megapixel webcam is perfectly functional, but does not stand out.
The version of Xandros Linux installed has a fine selection of applications, rendering the Eee perfectly capable of internet browsing and office work. Power users will however wish to enable the 'Full Desktop' mode for a more classic Linux environment. Installing additional software is a pain, as the idiosyncratic versions of packages on the Eee causes dependency issues.
For such a small machine the Eee is surprisingly upgradable - there is an action hatch to access the RAM, which I was able to upgrade to 1GB for £6. Extra storage can be added by SDHC card, and it is even possible to overclock the processor.
So I thought I would write a little review on this laptop for which I have had now for a little just over a year.
As you can see from the specs it is tiny, I bought it for work mainly for its size and weight. I haven't had any problems with it and it has done its job well. It came with Linux but I install XP on it after a while.
Linux was OK but was a little too simple for what I needed it for. The Skype/Office package that it comes with is pretty useful and it can connect to WiFi connections without a problem.
The battery life was good and lasted me a good while. I upgraded the memory on it through the underneath side upgrading it to 2GB. It made it a lot faster and XP ran like a dream.
It really is a cheap way of having a laptop with you on the move, you don't even notice that you have it to be honest. It loads up quickly and shuts down fast too.
The screen was great if not a little small. I think the only downside is the built in speakers which aren't very powerful.
Be sure to use the memory reader on the side, I used a 16GB SD card in it and then installed programs to that leaving the SSD clean and junk free.
It also comes with a mini laptop cover and tiny charger that goes into the wall.
I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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.
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)
3) apt-get install kicker (press y when prompted)
4) apt-get install ksmserver (press y when prompted)
Now press your power button and a new mode called full desktop is available
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.
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.
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.
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.
1) Who is going to buy this:
a. You already have an regular laptop (by regular I mean it is an 13" to 15" screen laptop.
b. You need to travel a lot, half of the whole year, you are on travel.
c. You just need to surf the web and do some email everyday.
d. You got some extra money for an Windows system.
2) Overall: It is ultra portable,but in sacrifice many features, like speed, memory space and some external devices.
a. Weight, it will stay safely in your hand bag, please don't forget where you put it, it is hard to find :)
b. Power Saving, low capability means it is super power saved. If you just want to surf the web, it is enough.
c. Embodied camera and wireless net card.
a. Price is too high for this small laptop.
b. Lack of external devices such as DVD burned
c. Linux operational system,which means that you need to buy an windows system if you want to use office or msn.
5) My advices: So, if you are strong enough to carry an regular laptop :) (or you have a strong boyfriend),don't buy this one. But if you need it to be ultraportable, it is one of your best choice.
The most obvious distinguishing feature of the ASUS eee pc is its astonishingly small size - whilst this comes at a cost (no internal dvd/cd drive, limited memory capacity) these are obstacles which can easily be overcome (by attaching an external disk drive and upgrading the hard drive), and the benefits are significant. The size and weight of the eee pc mean that it is marvellously portable, allowing for transportation and use in practically every environment, from a crowded train carriage to the comfort of your own bed. The miniature keyboard is unexpectedly easy to adapt to, but the 7 inch screen is admittedly something of a drawback, meaning that sometimes not all of a webpage can be viewed at one time. I have also found that after long periods of time spent typing (such as writing an essay or talking on messenger), concentrating on the small screen can induce a headache.
Its price is also notably diminutive, although this does not mean that the eee pc is in any way inferior to larger, higher-priced laptops. It runs on Linux software, but this is surprisingly easy to use - the tabbed desktop layout is simple to navigate and contains a pleasingly adequate range of features allowing the user to Work, Learn, Play, or surf the interent. The openoffice programs provide you with word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, and are fully compatible with their Windows equivalents as well as being very similar in layout and use. For entertainment purposes there is a media player and a wide selection of games, as well as 2 types of paint and various educational activities. If, however, you decide that the Linux version is not for you, it is possible to install Windows onto the eee pc instead.
Start-up time is commendably fast (much quicker than larger laptops with Windows software), but battery life is an average of 2 hours, which can be bettered. Also, it should be noted that using Windows Messenger (msn) on Linux software is a slightly different experience to using it on a Windows computer - it does not allow you to save unknown emoticons for your own future use, so you are restricted to the emoticon gallery supplied with the messenger service, and as yet I have not found a way of enabling webcam use (although presumably this must be possible, or else why bother including a webcam in the laptop's design?).
These, however, are minor quibbles with an otherwise brilliant and serviceable machine. The eee pc provides immense quality and value for money, packing all the basic wants and needs of the average laptop user into a highly portable frame. ASUS have developed a deservedly popular product with the eee pc, which is ideal for both first-time laptop owners and more tech-savvy users. Unless you have particularly high technological demands of your laptop, the ASUS eee pc has pretty much all you could need for everyday computing.
Now I'll admit, the first thing that attracted me to this product was that it was so damn cute looking! I'm a sucker for anything that looks like a "mini" version of another product and the Asus EEE series basically look like scaled down versions of regular sized laptops. I quickly convinced myself that getting a small and light weight machine would be a great side order for my regular laptop.
First things first - yes, it runs on linux. No, this isn't really a problem. I know a little bit about linux and am fairly computer literate but even if I wasn't I'm fairly sure most people could pick up the eee and figure out what they were doing.
The tabbed desktop is somewhat reminiscent of the new fad of tabbed web browsers and easy enough to use. It does have a bit of a child's "my first laptop" feel about it, but with the size of the screen I don't think this is a bad thing.
The keyboard is a little fiddly - especially if you regularly use a normal sized laptop or keyboard, however it isn't unusable. The touchpad is also adequate for most needs.
I had a problem with the sound levels on my machine, but managed to fix this within a few minutes after finding the solution on one of the Eee forums online.
Speaking of community, there seems to be a number of forums/communities for Eee users that offer information on fixing problems, upgrading or otherwise tweaking your Eee. I've found these to be a great resource - especially if you want to see how far you can push this machine.
I travel about a lot and have found the Eee great while out and about - it is very lightweight, and comes with a slip case that protects it. I've used it to watch avi files in full screen mode on the train before (with headphones) and its worked very well.
One niggle I have found is that when using a SD card or other removable storage with this item - when you delete something off off of this, it puts it in the rubbish bin on the computer - this can be a bit of a problem when there are big files and you haven't got enough storage space on your Eee. I have had to juggle files around a few times like this when trying to free up space.
In summary - you get what you pay for so don't expect everything to be top quality (like the camera and microphone) It isn't a machine for heavy duty use but it isn't pretending to be. If you want something for web browsing, online chatting and a bit of typing - I would recommend this. At home I use it more than my main laptop.
I may just be unlucky and got a friday afternoon unit, but the 4g went wrong on the display with an annoying shuddering, it went back for repair three times only to come back with the fault still present. The customer support were as useful as a chocolate tea pot and refused to help even when the retailer saw the problem for themselves.
After getting the Credit card company involved, Asus finally backed down and replaced it with a 900 series.
To be honest, I wish I had bought an ordinary laptop.
The battery life is rubbish, no optical drive and the installed Linux version requires a lot of updates and will not operate a gprs internet dongle.
Installing programs takes hours of searching on the web forums for instructions. Memory is soon used up unless you have a memory card or external drive to keep you data on. Good for wi fi areas and viewing photographs, but you are better off leaving the 4g on the shelf.
I bought my Asus eee PC when they were introduced into the UK market at the end of 2007. They were difficult to get hold of at the time, which kind of shows the hype surrounding this product. Since this launch they have seen competitors introduce highly portable laptops of a similar nature, which shows how this product is going to become more and more popular.
This particular model (which has now been superseded by a higher spec one) came with Linux installed. I gave it a good try but could not get used to it and decided to install Windows XP which pleasingly did not slow down the speed of the laptop much and it still starts up in about 1 minute - which I think is excellent. Incidentally, installing XP was pretty painless as Asus provide all the drivers on a disc.
The most positive and number one buying factor for this item is the portability of it. It weighs under 1kg and fits into a small bag. The power adaptor is also very tiny compared to other laptop ones and does not have the voltage adaptor 'brick' which saves on weight and space.
Unbelievable the battery life is also far greater than other laptops I have owned and I am able to get over 3 hours usage if I just do a bit of surfing the internet. Obviously watching a DVD or something similar will use the battery charge faster but if your near a power source then it's great for doing this too.
In the last 6 months I have owned my eee pc it has been a very reliable machine. I have upgraded the RAM which was also very easy and speeds the machine up even more.
The only major negative is that small 7 inch screen and maximum resolution of 800 x 480, which means that any webpages designed at a higher resolution will require you to scroll left to right slightly to view them. It isn't perfect in this respect but from a personal perspective it is something that does not have a major impact upon me using the product.
In conclusion then, this is not the fastest laptop or the one with the highest specification on the market. But, it is great if you want a good value and highly portable laptop that will do all the basic tasks (such as document editing, internet surfing, syncing your mp3 player and watching movies) on the move then it's great. My only point to note would be that it has now been replaced by a model that has a larger screen and higher resolution which is in honesty much better, I guess it now comes down to what you can afford.
Tinkerers and technophobes. Somehow and almost seemingly unknowingly, Asus have created a product that appeals to two very opposite ends of the PC user spectrum. The eeepc offers a plethora of options for the more advanced user but for the less technologicaly savvy of us it works straight out of the box with an easy to navigate tab based interface. It needs no setting up.
Despite its size, the 7" screen is bright and crisp. The keyboard, although small is easy to use and after an hour or so of practise you will be wondering why you ever needed that huge hulking piece of plastic cluttering up your desk.
Price: at only £220 asus have redefined the sub notebook catagory of pcs. the nearest equivalent of the eeepc is a sony model costing nearly £1000 more. Where the eeepc may be missing windows the nooptlinux distribution is nearly as compatible with all the regular hardware such as usb pen drives, external optical drives and sd cards. The set up is considerbly easier than anything windows has to offer. simply enter your name and password and noopt linux will take you straight to its easy tabbed desktop mode where you are offered "internet, work, learn and play" Work contains a number of openoffice applications which, yes, incase your wondering, are completly backwardly compatible with the MS Office equivalents, word, excel and powerpoint. Win!
I am now the happy owner of an Asus laptop after a friend of mine wanted to upgrade to the new model that will run Windows XP, the 900 series. Still I was more than happy to take this model off of his hands for a reasonable fee. I believe if you wanted to purchase this laptop new it would cost you about £200 now which isn't a lot of money for what you are actually getting. The Asus Eee PC is based on the Linux operating system which seems to be much improved for this size of machine compared to the more expensive and more technology hungry Windows XP. I have heard a number of people criticise the general build quality of the Eee PC explaining that they thought it was plasticky, in my opinion the build quality is reasonable enough what do you expect for £200? This model has a 7in screen , WI FI internet access , a webcam and office style suite of applications. The only draw backs are that the keyboard is to small to use for any series typing and it doesn't have a DVD player which I would imagine would make it more useful when traveling. I have found battery life to be about two hours which could be improved on. For my uses I am impressed with this machine and if you wish to be out and about and you don't want to carry a bulky laptop with you this is perfect for uploading photos etc.
The Eee pc from Asus is revolutionary for two reasons that buy themselves would not mean very much. The first: It's cheap. And the second: It's small. These two factors have made the Eee a world wide best selling computer, so popular in fact that many companies have tried to replicate it with their own versions, but none have come close to being as successful. In this review I will tell you if I think Asus has deserved to sell that many Eees.
The way Asus managed to make the Eee so phenominally cheap is quite simply and surprising actually. Instead of using the expensive standard windows operating system that almost all computers use, Asus opted to use linux, a cheap and easy operating system. Linux has not been popular in the past, mainly because its advanced UI made it hard for many people to use, but Asus have made their own version of it that works very well, and in my opinion is very easy to use.
I will come on to the specs now as you may be worried that with such a low price comes low performance. You would be wrong here as the Eee has some specs that even with similar UMPS. The processor is an intel celeron 1GHZ, the ram is 512mb (though it can easily be upgraded to £20, there are many videos on youtube to show you how), the screen is 7 inches wide, I am not sure what video and graphics cards are here and unfortunately there is no optical drive because of the small size. There is only a 4GB memory, but than easily and cheaply be upgrade by putting a 32GB SDHC card into the slot on the side for £50 from amazon.
The Eee is extremely light, so much in fact that it does not even come up to a kilogram in weight. The design is quite nice and modern, but the black lining around the edge of the screen and speakers make it fell like a bit of a child's toy. The size means you can easily keep it in your rucksack with other stuff and not feel too much extra weight.
There are some disadvantages though. Having linux means that you can't run all the same programs you could before, .exe files do not work. The main problem for programmes is music software, which is very limited here, Itunes and Windows media player do not work.
All in all at £200 I still think that the Eee is an excellent bargain. It has so many great things about it and the price is incredibly cheap. If you don't like the idea of the screen being a bit too small and the linux operating system then wait for the second gen 9 inch Eee pc, which is just being released. It has windows, but is still very cheap, I am not sure how though. Great product.