Saturday, December 15, 2007

Asus Eee PC 701 Review

I will admit that I had not heard any of the hype associated with this device until I read an online article - a quick check of my preferred corporate vendor, a couple clicks, and ordered. I received two days later.

The Asus Eee PC 701 is very very cool - I am extremely thrilled with this new device and have yet to wet my appetite for tweaking it. Having purchased the Nokia N800 as well as the earlier Nokia 770 I only used these devices sparingly - usually on a business trip. The Eee PC is a full Linux computer with the Xandros distribution installed on a Intel chip. What this means is that I can easily change the software on this device to suite my needs (or desires) - more on this.

I took it out of the box at work but had no time except to plug it in and turn it on to answer the couple questions needed before I had to turn off. I got home that night and my wife immediately grabbed it, was playing most of the games that came with it for over an hour - telling me this could replace the Nokia 770 that she had been using at her work, for purchasing and surfing, etc. She obviously saw the immediate use of this computer as well. I only got my hands on it late that first night and immediately started to dig further than the Easy Mode would allow me.

The hardware for the Eee PC is extremely small - I had read the reviews, watched a clip or two online and I was still not prepared for just how light and tiny this thing is. Many of my hardcover books I port around are heavier than this computer. The next thing is the keyboard - with my fat fingers I can not comfortably type on it, so that is a negative (on my fat fingers, I won't sacrifice size for this laptop because of a larger keyboard). And the everything just works as expected for a laptop running Linux - standby power, wireless, sound, touchpad, etc.

Since this is Xandros Linux, a Debian based distribution as well, I quickly became hungry for more - knowing it could do more. I found this site which had a great wiki. A couple minutes later and my default desktop environment is running KDE with the Full Desktop (Advanced) Mode. I installed VLC, copied a couple full mp4 movies to a 4GB memory stick and off I go - full screen my video worked great!

I don't doubt that my Eee PC will be running Gentoo or Ubuntu in the next day or two, as I've only just begun playing with this fantastic device.

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