I bought an EEE PC the other day, and so far am very impressed.
These little machines are very small, and very handy and, most impressively, very cheap. They’ve been around for about 5/6 months now but, in the UK at least, are very hard to get hold of. Thankfully I found out about a shipment to a store in Tottenham Court Road – London, and ran off to get one almost straight away.
The machine itself is a 900Mhz Celeron with 512 Meg of RAM, running Linux (Xandros to be precise). Asus, the machines creators, designed a custom interface for the OS but being Linux it’s easy to get around and I was soon running a full blown version of KDE. I’m a bit green when it comes to Linux, I’m a lot happier with Windows, but I figured I’d give it a go as it could be a useful skill in the future.
The EEE pc is very easy to use, Connecting to the internet isn’t much different to a standard Windows setup and once you’re running on the default Firefox install (after a few plugins to shrink the screen real estate) you wouldn’t know it wasn’t Microsofts all powerful software.
I do much of my business work on Google Docs and Open Office and both of these work out of the box (Google Docs, obviously and Open Office is pre-installed). In fact all of the software on the EEE is open source/ GNU licensed, including the bundled games, which is part of the reason this pc is just so damned cheap. I actually paid a little over the odds to get my hands on one (£15 more than the rrp), but I think it was worth it.
I don’t think I would be able to do much real work but for checking email and the occasional blog post it is ideal. Yes, the keyboard is a bit on the small side, but it doesn’t take much to get used to it. I’m not quite there yet but my typing is still speedy enough for the little work I do on there.
Getting the EEE out in public draws all sorts of envious/ curious/ intrigued looks. Very cool, and always a talking point… amongst fellow computer geeks at least. That said my girlfriend fancies getting one as well now, although she wants to ditch the pre-installed Linux in favour of Windows XP. Maybe she will get her wish when the (very) recently announced EEE PC 900 gets released later this year. The biggest problems with the EEE are the small, low res, screen and the limited battery life – both issues that are to be addressed this year, with extra expense naturally.
Now all I need is a tiny mouse to match and I’ll be set 🙂