Product Type: Asus Netbook
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More powerful than you might think if you just READ THIS FIRST
Asus Eee PC 4G
Member Name: welshmikey
Asus Eee PC 4G
Advantages: Very small, great battery life
Disadvantages: small screen, would reccomend the 10" version
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.
Summary: Most users have no idea just how versatile this can be with a little knoweldge