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CNet Compares Eee PC Against the Competition 203

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-it-fits-in-the-nape-of-your-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNet has recently done a comparison of the Asus Eee PC against six bargain laptops that all fall under $1000. Included in the list is the Elonex One, OLPC, EasyNote XS and MSI Wind. "Since the Eee's launch, many of its rivals have begun to create similar alternatives — each designed to pilfer a piece of the budget ultraportable pie. Some are trying to beat the Eee on price, some on specs, but they're all tiny and they're all camped out in the bargain basement." Let the 'race to the bottom' begin."
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CNet Compares Eee PC Against the Competition

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  • by bit trollent (824666) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:21AM (#22727778) Homepage
    It is obvious that there is room for a larger screen on the Eee PC that wouldn't make it any bigger. So if you want to beat the Eee PC, just make the exact same screen with a screen that is as big as it can be.

    I should really charge a consulting fee.
    • by Dude McDude (938516) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:26AM (#22727818)
      The new 900 model has an 8.9" screen. http://www.asus.com/news_show.aspx?id=10302 [asus.com]
      • From the press release that was linked to:

        "Although petite in size, this high performance miniature computer truly performs and comes with a durable, shock-proof solid-state design - making it easy for housewives, office ladies and student alike to carry and connect to the Internet."

        So what you're saying is that women are as weak, frail, clumsy and careless as children.

          Who comes up with this stuff?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          To be fair they say housewives and office ladies need a durable, shock-proof solid state design as much as students, not children. Thinking back to my college buddies I'm sure this implies that women are alcoholics, not weak or frail (definitely clumsy and careless though).
    • by calebt3 (1098475) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:27AM (#22727842)
      Maybe the screen is that small for battery conservation purposes?
    • by Kelbear (870538) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:31AM (#22727876)
      The trick isn't just getting a larger screen on the unit, it's doing it without putting additional drain on the battery and additional burden on the pricetag.

      Like many other incremental steps to today's technology, it's certainly possibly, even feasible, but nontrivial to implement. It'll take engineering, expense, and a new fab process and business relationships to mass-produce an appliance such as this.

      Per the summary "Some are trying to beat the Eee on price, some on specs," and this would be an example of beating it on specs while likely yielding on the price war.

      I believe there's plenty of room in the market for such competition since the EEE falls into a very small niche of quick-reference usage and ultra-portability. More an appliance than a personal computer, and as individual needs vary, people will buy the device best suited to the expected usage.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:32AM (#22727880) Homepage
      I dont think it's too small it NEEDS 1024X768 at a minimum for screen resolution.

      Physically small is ok. A substandard resolution is not ok.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dr_canak (593415)
        If you head over to the EEE user forums (google it), you'll find that someone has already worked up an application that allows the user to select from a wide variety of screen resolutions. The issue is the native size of the screen (which i believe is widescreen cause it's the same one used in portable DVD players). If you go with certain screen resolutions, the fonts become unreadable as they become squished or stretched. However, this application that was developed allows users to select a screen
        • by anss123 (985305)
          There is a Linux solution using VNC. Not perfect but it works.
        • If you head over to the EEE user forums (google it), you'll find that someone has already worked up an application that allows the user to select from a wide variety of screen resolutions.

          I'm sorry, but I lack the imagination to understand how that's supposed to improve the situation at all. Are your fonts too big? Use smaller fonts (and get to keep the subpixel antialiased goodness). Window decorations too big? Use smaller window decorations. I'm just not sure how telling an 800x480 LCD panel that it's actually a 1600x960 screen is going to do anything beyond making everything look awful.

          My personal opinion is that 800x480 is mainly a poor resolution in theory, but not in practice.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dr_canak (593415)
            Actually,

            I don't use that particular app or the new drivers. I use the native resolutions that are supported by the ASUS drivers and the ASUS resolution switching app. If i understand your comment, then I agree. Based on the posts I've read, there are certainly folks that, despite this app and the new drivers, found the screen really unusuable at higher resolutions and went back to the original drivers. But, there are also folks who are raving about it as if it's the next best thing to sliced bread. I
        • by LarsG (31008)
          The issue is the native size of the screen

          And changing to a non-native resolution fixes this how?
    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:40AM (#22727982)
      The assertion that Asus "flipped the laptop world on its head with a stupidly low price point" made in this article simply isn't true. Sub-$500 laptops have been around [walmart.com] for some time now. And, for the money, the Asus really isn't even a particularly good deal. For $100 more, you can buy a laptop [walmart.com] with an actual 60GB hard drive and much more muscular processor. The main advantage to the Eee isn't its price point, but the fact that it is very small (and the screen is perhaps too small as the parent points out), light, and durable (since it has a solid-state hard drive).
      • by Lussarn (105276) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:51AM (#22728094)
        Ultraportables was luxury before the EEE pc came along. Now everyone can own one. That is the main advantage. I've used computers for the last 25 years (and worked with them for 10 years) but I have never owned a laptop. To me they are just bulky, or very expensive if you want small. I'm very excited at these new computers and will buy me a EEE 900 when they are released. Small footprint, and very lightweight does it for me. CPU specs is of no importance for me on a laptop, as long as a webbrowser and the terminal is zippy I don't care.
        • by KillerBob (217953)

          Ultraportables was luxury before the EEE pc came along. Now everyone can own one. That is the main advantage. I've used computers for the last 25 years (and worked with them for 10 years) but I have never owned a laptop. To me they are just bulky, or very expensive if you want small. I'm very excited at these new computers and will buy me a EEE 900 when they are released. Small footprint, and very lightweight does it for me. CPU specs is of no importance for me on a laptop, as long as a webbrowser and the t

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Utraportables are *companions* to desktops or desktop-replacements (that's what you describe). Utraportables are "just enough to do something on the move", but that's it. I mean this from a usability perspective, not from power since you can get powerful (but expensive) ultraportables.

            You mention gaming, this means that the Dell is out of the question too by the way. (Integrated Graphics: forget it)

            You are simply not the target demographic for an ultraportable. Cheap or not. I am, but I'm not shellin

          • by Znork (31774)
            In the long run, I see laptops as the replacement for desktop computing,

            I dont. For the very same reasons you prefer the laptop to the EEE. Comparatively laptops have horrible price and performance. They mostly have quirky hardware, annoying keyboards and irritating mousepads. You cant cram enough memory into them, it's almost impossible to attach enough screens to them to obtain usable amounts of screen real-estate, and if you come up with something with decent specs they're barely movable anyway. And they
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by WuphonsReach (684551)
              Mmm... I do the majority of my work on a laptop (Toshiba Tecras with 1400x1050 screens in the past, a Thinkpad T61 widescreen 1680x1050 now.) Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, a pair of 160GB HDs and a 1680x1050 screen go a long ways towards making this doable. My old machine was a 1.7GHz P4 with only 1GB RAM.

              Is it portable? Yes. But it's not an ultralight. But at least I can pickup and go somewhere else to get work done without having to keep machines setup at each location.

              Do I own a desktop? You bet. I have
        • by ukemike (956477)
          I sometimes argue that the most powerful computer I ever had was my old HP200LX. It was a full blown dos computer that I could fit in a big pocket. It had lotus123 a nice, text editor, a really easy to use database program, a great rpn calculator, and any dos program that didn't require a color screen or fancy graphics. I used to play hack on the bus. It ran on AA batteries and I only had to change them about once per month. It had a meg of memory and I had a 2 meg pcmcia card. It was powerful because
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by asc99c (938635)
          Exactly my opinion also. We are just reaching the point when a properly useful ultra-portable can be had at a decent price. I looked longingly at the Sony TZ series but couldn't justify spending £2000. I've been seriously considering getting the old EEE, but in the end the screen resolution was a bit too low. The new one is just enough and I will also be buying one. I don't care if Walmart sell a similarly priced full size and full featured laptop - I've got one of those and that's not what I am
    • Am I the only one who had to do a double-take on this one? Then I £ sign.
    • I'd also go as far as making the keyboard 1" wider (making all buttons similarly slightly larger). The keyboard is bordering on being unusable.
  • by calebt3 (1098475) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:25AM (#22727806)
    All fall under a $1000? What kind of standard is that? MY laptop was under $1000 when new, and similar laptops are now in the ~$750 range. Why get an underpowered ultraportable when a normal laptop costs just as much?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stjobe (78285)
      Maybe if formfactor is more important than power?

      Personally I love ultraportables (or palmtops, or subnotebooks or whatever the nome du jour is). For me, it's more important that the device is very portable than that it is equipped with a multi-GHz CPU and a top-of-the-line GPU.
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:33AM (#22727902) Homepage Journal
      Why get an underpowered ultraportable when a normal laptop costs just as much?

      Maybe because "normal" notebooks are overpowered, overheating beasts? They aren't "laptops" because of that heat, they seem to feel like they burn through jeans when used for longer than 15 minutes on a lap, even on max power saving mode. I think that's a lot of why the marketing literature almost always calls them "notebooks".
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cbart387 (1192883)
        I own a 'overpowered, overheating beast' of a laptop because _it is_ my only computer. I primarily use it like a desktop, but since I'm currently in college (and a comp sci major) I need something I can lug around when necessary to do work. My point is, different people have different needs. Your parent sounds like he/she has similar needs to me whereas you sound like you need something on the go. That is, assuming you're not playing devil's advocate. ;)
      • Why get an underpowered ultraportable when a normal laptop costs just as much?

        Maybe because "normal" notebooks are overpowered, overheating beasts? They aren't "laptops" because of that heat, they seem to feel like they burn through jeans when used for longer than 15 minutes on a lap, even on max power saving mode. I think that's a lot of why the marketing literature almost always calls them "notebooks".

        No need to think about that any more. In the fine print: [ibm.com]

        IBM prefers the terms "notebook" or "portable computer" rather than "laptop." Users are reminded not leave your computer, AC adapter, or accessories in contact with your lap or any part of your body for an extended period when the products are functioning or when the battery is charging.

    • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <`ten.suomafni' `ta' `smt'> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @11:22AM (#22728458) Homepage

      Why get an underpowered ultraportable when a normal laptop costs just as much?

      Because it's ultraportable.

      My real ultraportable is a Zaurus SLC3000 [mobiletechreview.com]. It will fit in my back pocket. I use it for writing, it can also be used for emergency SSH sessions and cramped web broswing. It's usually in my backpack, ready for when poetic inspiration strikes. That's ultraportable. (The only thing more portable is my Centro [palm.com]. The neat thing is, my Centro becomes a modem, my Zaurus runs a terminal, and bam! SSH or browsing from anywhere I can get a cell signal, with gear that fits in my pockets.)

      My ultraportable-as-this-article-is-using-the-term is an old Sony Vaio SRX77 [pcworld.com] that I've fitted with a solid state harddrive, and installed Puppy Linux on. Good sized keyboard, adequate power, under three pounds and smaller than a standard looseleaf binder. I take it when I'm headed down to the cafe to sit and write or browse for a while. Not pocketsized, by easily portable.

      My full sized laptop is heavy, big, and sucks battery. It's a full-featured beast that goes with me on long trips, to replace my desktop.

  • Under $1000? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Evro (18923) <evandhoffman&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:30AM (#22727862) Homepage Journal
    That's not exactly "bargain" space, Apple's Macbook is almost in that range, and last week I configured a Dell Vostro 1500 with a Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2 GHz, 3 GB ram, XP Home, a 256 MB GeForce 8600GT, and a 15" SXGA screen for $833.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      Is it an ultraportable? No? Then why'd you even bring it up?
    • the article is about the 'ultraportable' notebook (whatever that means, I guess just "small notebook, bigger than a PDA") market. anything with a 15" screen need not apply, unless that screen folds in / rolls up into a smaller package.

      Once you go to a smaller form factor (not just the screen - but the entire device), costs tend to go up for almost all of the components of the machine, as well as designing things so that they'll fit in there, without overheating problems / too much RF interference, etc.
    • The dell price is lowered by a lot by the 60 pound delivery costs DELL charges. You do not see that amount until you continue in the ordering price. Something to keep in mind, because there is no option not to pay those costs. ever.
      • by KillerBob (217953)

        The dell price is lowered by a lot by the 60 pound delivery costs DELL charges. You do not see that amount until you continue in the ordering price. Something to keep in mind, because there is no option not to pay those costs. ever.

        So buy from the Inspiron line of product, instead of the Vostro. 2 weeks ago my mum took delivery on an Inspiron 1525 that, taxes included, cost about $700 CAD. About 325 pounds, if my math is right. Delivery was free, and it had 2GB of DDR2, 120GB HDD, DVD-RW, 1.6GHz Core2 Duo..

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by iainl (136759)
          Yes, $700 CAD when thrown through an exchange rate calculator works out at £325. But then you add on Magic UK Ripoff Taxes, and you'll find that a 1525 of that spec. is £428.99 on the Dell site. More expensive than anything in that lineup, and certainly a lot more than the £220 Eee.
  • I like my PDA with flip-open keyboard/Bluetooth for those rare occasions when a thumb drive and the ubiquity of freely-accessible PC's won't do.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:37AM (#22727950)
    The article is, basically, a few specs and pictures from press releases lifted out and spread over 7 ad-filled pages. The same information could've been provided in a small table with some pictures next to it. No insight, no investigation, nothing that isn't public knowledge. They didn't even (as an example) do a google search for the phrase "Elonex One" which would've told them that it's a variation on a rather old unit which has been on sale in other markets for a while, so there are lots of hands-on reports (that way they could've commented on the need for a kickstand on that machine, and other useful tidbits). Heck, they reckon that the "VIA Nanobook" and "Easynote XS" are rebrandings of the "Cloudbook", without the vaguest notion of the real relationship between the machines. Just another bit of "news" accomplished by rewriting the press releases with as little thought as possible.
    • by Sockatume (732728)
      It doesn't actually qualify as a comparison, come to think of it. They list the different devices without ever actually comparing any of them to eachother.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      ...Heck, they reckon that the "VIA Nanobook" and "Easynote XS" are rebrandings of the "Cloudbook", without the vaguest notion of the real relationship between the machines.
      Just FYI, both the Easynote and Cloudbook are based off the Via Nanobook design.
      • by Sockatume (732728)
        That's my point exactly! The Nanobook is a reference design, not a commercial product, and the Easynote XS and Cloudbook are just two of the more conservative of the variations upon it. The article implied that all three are rebrandings of the original Cloudbook machine. That there are Nanobook variants with removable screen-side modules, touchpads in different places, and whatnot didn't seem worthy of a mention.
        • by Sockatume (732728)
          I should say, it's more of a reference design than a commercial product. I appreciate that VIA seem to want to release their own some time, although it doesn't exist yet.
  • history repeats? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ch-chuck (9622)
    It reminds this old timer of the early 8-bit pc wars on the 1980's, when Atari/Commodore/Apple/TI/Sinclair and others were slugging it out. It was brutal - TI dumped their load and got out of the market - Atari was tanking big time - Timex/Sinclair eventually came out with a minimalist Z80/ROM BASIC box with a membrane keyboard for ultra cheap - then came the crash of 1983.

    • Re:history repeats? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @11:33AM (#22728620)
      Timex/Sinclair eventually came out with a minimalist Z80/ROM BASIC box with a membrane keyboard for ultra cheap - then came the crash of 1983.

      In America, maybe, but Sinclair made an absolute killing with those machines in the UK. The ZX80 and ZX81 pretty much established the home computer market, and then the Spectrum turned up with colour graphics and became the standard machine for a generation of gamers and hackers. It was a long time before Nintendo managed to break that market; even as late as the 16-bit era, the Amiga was serious competition for the SNES and Mega Drive.

      The interesting thing about that era was that these machines were largely incompatible with each other, but that didn't matter so much - they were cheap. Vastly cheaper than the contemporary IBM and Apple machines. Will the mass market accept compatibility troubles from a non-Microsoft machine, if it means they can have it for peanuts? Quite possibly.

  • it just works (Score:5, Informative)

    by pgfault (796282) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:51AM (#22728100)

    Cnet writes:
    "Okay, the hype overshadowed the fact that it's rather slow, sometimes unreliable and nearly impossible to type on if you had grown-up fingers, but these are minor details."

    Minor details, perhaps, but I disagree. 900MHz is adequate for web, and text processing. Unreliable? Hardly. Zero crashes on mine. The keyboard is quite usable, once you teach your right pinky not to hit the UpArrow when going for the '/' or Shift keys. The three drawbacks I see are:
    1) It's rootable out of the box (samba) http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2008/Feb/0117.html [seclists.org]
    2) Asus didn't provide an easy way to obtain updates for the masses.
    3) The fan runs continuously after about 10 minutes of use.

    I installed eeeXubuntu along with compiz-fusion and now it's a great little machine.

    For the money and it's size, it certainly gets the job done.

    • Can you tell me a little bit more about your experience with eeeXubuntu? Does everything work? How hard was it to install and configure? Did you blow away the existing OS or install it to another drive? How easy is it to upgrade/patch? I'm considering getting an Eee PC when the 8.9" version comes out but I'm not crazy about the built-in Xandros OS. I was considering FreeBSD or PCBSD but it looks like there aren't drivers yet for all of the hardware so eeeXubuntu looks like the best bet.
    • by Paul Carver (4555)
      Any idea how it compares to a Fujitsu P2120? I've had my P2120 for several years and have replaced both of its batteries so I still get about 8-10 hours of battery life on a charge but I am starting to get dissatisfied with the speed.

      I just tried using Thunderbird again for email, but will probably revert back to using mutt over an ssh session because Thunderbird is so damn slow on this machine. Firefox is also a pig. I've got my P2120 maxed out with a half a gig of RAM but I still have to restart Firefox e
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kirth (183)
      1) Like "an upgrade is available, please click to install"
      2) Like "an upgrade is available, please click to install"
      3) Fans? I'm missing those on my EeePC.

      I really don't know what kind of EeePC you got.
  • I have been hearing people saying how the Eee PC will bring Linux to the personal user, How it is really popular... But I havent seen any evidence of this is Real Life. I see more people eyeing MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and Lenovo ThinkPads.

    For my ultramoble computing I am happier with a Sub $500.00 iPhone (Even without Jail Break or the new custom software coming out) then with those other systems. It is small and Ultra-Ultra Portable it fits in my pocket. It is goog at web browsing, email, taking notes,
    • by IkeTo (27776)
      I've seen one during a ride on the train, the one just besides me pull out his Eee and start editing his homework during that 2 hour ride. I think there are quite a lot of things that those little PC-like devices do much better than a smartphone or even than a palm. This is especially true for those of us who are not addicted to listening to music or watching movies (even if they have to resort to tiny screens).
    • by IANAAC (692242)

      Smartphones in general do a better job as ultra portibles then ultraportibles do.

      For basic web browsing and email (not convinced of even note-taking) and entertainment purposes, yes I can agree with that statement.

      But try and do any real work involving full document processing or spreadsheets, etc. and a smartphone doesn't cut it. Neither does a Nokia N800/N810/whatever is in the pipes. And that's where these devices are attractive: they weigh 2 pounds or under and are easily thrown into any bag.

      • I guess you don't do the same type of spreadsheets I do. I usually Max Out an entire Core (Excel doesn't work multi-core) on some of my calculation. Those Ultra Portibles wouldn't be useful for me. Because by the time my train ride as ended... It may have finished processing my sheet.
        Even many word processing documents that I make often will get slugged on these ultraportible. When I give a document it is often filled with Highresolution Printing Press graphics.

        Now I am not disagreing with your statements
        • by IANAAC (692242)
          And you say smartphones do a better job (that WAS the point of your original post, correct?).

          I can tell you that I use OO.org (2.3.1- with some useful add-ons) professionally (haven't been a student in decades) on an Eee when I travel, which is often enough that that's the reason I bought it, and don't have the problems you describe. I'm not talking about train rides, but regular business travel.

          If you're using Word to process "Highresolution Printing Press" graphics, you're using the wrong tool. Serio

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332)
      I have been hearing people saying how the Eee PC will bring Linux to the personal user, How it is really popular... But I havent seen any evidence of this is Real Life.

      I'm not sure I understand your argument there. Are you comparing sales figures from e.g. Amazon and other companies (see e.g.: http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/07/12/29/1959244.shtml [slashdot.org] ) with anecdotal evidence observed amongst your acquaintances?

  • From a new owner (Score:5, Informative)

    by dr_canak (593415) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @11:23AM (#22728480)
    I purchased the ASUS EEE 4G from newegg about 6 weeks ago. There are several models to choose from, and some idiosyncracies from one model to the next. The 4G has an accessible door on the underside which allows the user to upgrade the RAM module (stock 512MB). In addition to the 4G, I purchased

    - an 8Gb SDHC card
    - 1 GB RAM module
    - XP Home (OEM)
    - DVD/CD burner
    - Small Laptop Bag
    - 4GB USB stick
    - 1 set of samsung portable speakers (from WOOT!)

    So i'm in for around $700.00 when all was said and done.

    What I like:
    - Ultra portable and lightweight.
    - Very good battery life (around 2.5-3 hours under heavy load). This can be increased by switching off the built in webcam, switching off the wireless internet (assuming you're not browsing), reducing screen brightness, and reducing fan speed
    - Ability to overclock. Someone hacked up an app that allows the user to control cpu and fan speed
    - Change screen resolutions. Someone hacked up an app allowing the user to select a number of non-native screen resolutions to improve readability and desktop realestate.
    - Boot up time. Mine boots XP in around 60 secs, which includes about 10 background apps (antispyware, antivirus, overclock app, screen res app, virtual desktop app, battery monitor etc...). Some people have reported an NLITE'd install of XP booting in under 30 secs.

    What I don't like:
    - the keyboard is small and awkward. Touchtyping is damn near impossible. Better to use some variant of 4 finger touch typing
    - the stock linux install. I've used linux extensively in the past, but just don't use it enough on the desktop to achieve a high degree of familiarity. I used it for the first week, then just decided to switch to XP.
    - I would imagine this thing is the opposite of "ruggedized." It feels perfectly fine, but I would hate to drop it from more than a foot. I would imagine it would be in pieces. It doesn't exactly feel sturdy.
    - The need to buy a bunch of extra stuff to really make it shine. Right out of the box it's useful, but with the added purchases above, it really becomes a very decent travel laptop replacement. But those added purchases essentially doubled the price of the stock ASUS. I did enough research to know that very few folks are really using a stock machine only.
    - The stock speakers are just too soft to overcome any ambient noise.
    - Getting XP installed without an external CDROM can be a real challenge.

    Going to this website (http://forum.eeeuser.com/) will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about what people are doing with these things, and how to do it.

    hth,
    jeff
    • Re:From a old owner (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xzvf (924443)
      I've had mine since December and it has stood up to the rigors of travel. I've added a usb mouse and a bluetooth dongle and upgraded the OS to Ubuntu (I don't see the fascination with putting XP on it). Tough keyboard for extended typing, but a good investment overall to compliment my main work laptop when traveling. I use it walking around data centers for console access.
    • - I would imagine this thing is the opposite of "ruggedized." It feels perfectly fine, but I would hate to drop it from more than a foot. I would imagine it would be in pieces. It doesn't exactly feel sturdy.

      Anecdotal evidence only but a friend of mine has an Eee and inadvertantly launched it across a classroom by tripping over the power cable, it survived without a scratch after flying off a high desk onto a hard floor.

      I can imagine that short of treading on it or getting it wet there isn't anything you

    • by legirons (809082)
      "What I like:
      - Boot up time. Mine boots XP in around 60 secs, which includes about 10 background apps (antispyware, antivirus, overclock app, screen res app, virtual desktop app, battery monitor etc...). Some people have reported an NLITE'd install of XP booting in under 30 secs."


      This thing boots-up in 20 seconds (being one of its main features), and you just paid hundreds of dollars extra [on XP] to triple the boot time?!?
  • I don't understand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@g m a i l . c om> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @11:51AM (#22728804) Homepage Journal
    Prices for these usable machines seem to start at ~150USD. I don't understand, then, why I /still/ can't find a sub-100USD thin client device with VGA out, understands X11, WiFi and has USB inputs for keyboard/mouse. These seem to start at $250, with $400-500 being more common -- especially among those that can connect to an X11 server. Given that they surely can't be cheaper to make than a fully functional mini-laptop with HDD, why the hell don't they exist?
    • Say it with me... preview. I wrote:

      Given that they surely can't be cheaper
      And meant to say:

      Given that they surely must be cheaper
    • by afidel (530433)
      Scales of economy, there are a hell of a lot more notebooks made then thin clients. Also when the alternative to running an X11 thin client is running a full blown Unix workstation the cost justification for even a relatively expensive thin term is easy.
      • True that. Still... I'm watching the company I work for pay for thousands and thousands of WYSE terminals at $300 a pop, and I have to assume that here isn't the only place doing this.
  • Just bought one (Score:5, Informative)

    by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:25PM (#22729236) Homepage Journal
    I went on a business trip to Taipei, and bought one on the last day. It's the 4g model with webcam(whichever one that is). After changing it from Chinese to English in 1 minute, I was up & away. The only downside is it can't see my wireless network, but it now sees wireless networks my mainstream laptop can't see around my house. While it can't do everything a laptop can, it is great for taking to the coffee shop for a quick web or email fix.

    Voice Command is hilarious. You can amuse your non computer-savy friends by saying "COMPUTER WEB" and it fires up Firefox. Love the crude computer voice it blares out. Just wish it had the "computer" sound from Star Trek:TNG for the added futurism.

    I am surprisingly LIKING the hacked-up Linux they used on this. It's even easier to use than Ubuntu. Their simple frontend GUI is actually pleasant to use. I was surprised to login to my linux samba server and have it work on the first try. Just wish I could find the place to change my EEE's computer name/workgroup.

    Their wireless connectivity thing is better than Windows, listing connectivity percentages and such, and a text window output of the progress of connecting to the AP. Wish Windows was more like that.

    While the keyboard takes getting used to, I like the Function key bindings to various functions(speaker, wireless, etc) to the top row. I have some typing experience on tiny keyboards on its spiritial successor, the Zeos Pocket PC, made 18 years prior. The zeos' keyboard is a bit more "keyboardish"(ie more travel to the keys), but the ASUS one is just fine.

    I wonder if some marketing guy had a Zeos pocket pc and thought "hey, let's make an updated version of this!".

    It cost me almost NT12000 and to me, is worth every penny. Just wish the bag was a bit bigger to hold the power supply.
  • I bought a Lenovo N100 3000 0768 with a bag with a 3 year depot repair and warranty with Lojack with XP with tax and shipping for $998.00.

    Not the smallest, cheapest, fastest or lightest machine out there but probably one of the lowest 3 year TCO's around.
  • Race to the bottom? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jimithing DMB (29796) <dfe AT tgwbd DOT org> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @01:45PM (#22730186) Homepage

    Sure, the Eee PC is an extremely cheap laptop but at the same time there are all kinds of other laptops on the market. For instance, as the article points out, Asus itself makes the MacBook Pro. In between those extremes there are all sorts of other laptops on the market.

    And so what? The Eee PC is specifically designed to be a cheap commodity item made of other cheap commodity items with no significant value add. And there's no real race to the bottom because the commoditization of one thing makes adding value easier up the chain. We are only just starting to see the beginning of what can be done with the Eee. Geeks will pick up 10 of them and do something with them in their garage.

    One thing that might come out of this though is that the laptops just above its price range will have to add significant functionality in order to sell. As I understand it, they do. A lot of people are pointing out that for $100 more you can get significantly higher specs although with the tradeoff of a heavier laptop. This is good though as it sets the bar higher for the higher-end equipment. For instance, no one is going to confuse a MacBook Air for an Eee PC even though they have the common theme of being small.

    • And so what? The Eee PC is specifically designed to be a cheap commodity item made of other cheap commodity items with no significant value add. And there's no real race to the bottom because the commoditization of one thing makes adding value easier up the chain. We are only just starting to see the beginning of what can be done with the Eee.

      Killing technologies like S-IPS(get one with it, you won't want to switch back to TN) doesn't help. Neither does it help when the options upward just add gloss and no quality(See Dell, Asus, HP, Toshiba, pre/post-merger Lenovo, Sony, Fujitsu). Service that has dropped dramatically for practically all but one brand, is strike three.

      One thing that might come out of this though is that the laptops just above its price range will have to add significant functionality in order to sell. As I understand it, they do.

      No thanks, but eroding the quality up top is what these are doing. They aren't adding anything at all, but subtracting it.

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