Personal @

On the eeePC:

2/28/08 - 6pm

The eeePC is a 7″ Asus notebook. After reading a couple hours on I ordered one through Newegg. I purchased the 4G model, which has a 4GB Flash Drive (no hard drive at all.) I also picked up 2GB of RAM and an 8GB SDHC card for a total of 12gb of storage.

The eeePC compared to my regular 14.1″ laptop:

The eeePC comes with the Linux distribution Xandros which has two modes: Easy & Advanced. I really enjoyed the Easy setup (even though it looks more like a PDA than a computer interface), however, in the end I opted to go back to the only thing I truly know and love: XP.

The installation of XP on a computer like the eeePC is no walk in the park so Jonathan took care of it- and as such I’m eternally indebted to him. There is no cd-drive so we gutted the insides of an external hard drive and raided another computer for a cd-drive, creating an external-usb-cd-drive for the ‘E’. Jonathan then used Nlite to install Xp without all of the unnecessary bloat.

The install itself was quite a setup:

The eeePC is certainly unlike any other computing device I have ever used. The technology crammed into it is absolutely amazing- it even feels like it should cost ~$2k (but actually costs <$500). Its also the most attention getting gadget I’ve seen in a while. I was stopped 3 times on the first day I had it at lunch with people asking about it. (take that MBA!)

Unfortunately, the reality is the size does hinder its usefulness. The keyboard is simply unbelievably small- My fingers take up about two keys. It would be better to imagine this as a really large blackberry keyboard than a miniature laptop one. It is there for mild convenience and functionality, but you’d never find me actually typing on it. I believe I’m faster ‘pecking’ at the keys than attempting proper F/J-placement typing. The screen is also rather inhibiting, but I’ve found that with proper tweaking it isn’t too much of an inconvenience. Other high points: Battery life is good and the wifi is the best I’ve ever seen – literally better than any other wireless device I’ve come in contact with.

For me, this makes a perfect grab & go computer. I’ve already put together a station of sorts for it at home. This consists of a base (a textbook will work fine), a usb keyboard, usb mouse, and my headphones. I know: its a hardly portable setup and it actually looks ridiculous. Honestly, though after I set it down and plug in the 3 accessories, it is everything to me that my full-size laptop is.


In the end, its simply a fun mobile gadget that is too constrained for any serious work. Not bad for a few hundred bucks…