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Hands-On With the Windows XP-Based Asus Eee PC 229

Posted by kdawson
from the not-bad-for-400-bucks dept.
MojoKid writes "Though the Asus Eee PC Windows XP variant isn't due out until sometime in April, HotHardware was able to get their hands on a full retail bundle before they hit store shelves in the US. The standard assortment of accoutrements is included in the bundle, along with a couple of notable upgrades. Asus took the initiative to provide an additional 4GB SD card from Adata, a healthy storage expansion for the system. In addition, an Asus-branded optical mouse was thrown in for good measure. Microsoft's Windows Live messenger, photo gallery and email suite are pre-installed on the the machine for collaborative and social networking capability, in addition to Microsoft Works for word processing, spreadsheets, and calendar functionality."
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Hands-On With the Windows XP-Based Asus Eee PC

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  • by Naughty Bob (1004174) * on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:39PM (#22916102)
    Aaaand the good link [hothardware.com].

    I can't wait to get my hands on one of these, and put Linux on it.
    • by _merlin (160982) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:46PM (#22916150) Homepage Journal

      I can't wait to get my hands on one of these, and put Linux on it.

      You can't wait to pay for an XP license that you won't use, when you can buy an eeePC with Linux pre-installed? Talk about Microsoft lover!

    • by shellbeach (610559) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:21PM (#22916398)

      I can't wait to get my hands on one of these, and put Linux on it.
      As I understand it, the next gen Eee (with larger screen and larger touchpad -- see, for example, this article [dailytech.com]) will come in linux and Windows flavours, but the big difference is that the linux one comes with a larger flash drive (12Gb vs 8Gb) for the same price (since Asus doesn't need to pay Microsoft).

      Microsoft is never going to win this one, and I think they know it ...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by davmoo (63521)
        Microsoft has already made a great stride in this market...they convinced Asus to release a Windows version in the first place. They may not win, but they're certainly in the game.
        • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:22AM (#22919592) Homepage Journal
          They have to compete, since obviously Asus has no problems releasing Linux only.

          I am sure other PC manufacturers are watching, and may try to market properly speced and functioning Linux offering even if only to get out of idiotic exclusivity agreements with MS (which they should not have signed in the first place).

          Ladies and gents, maybe this time the year for Linux in the desktop has really arrived, thanks to a company that saw the bleeding obvious: the differential in price between Linux and Windows. This year of economic downturn will concentrate the minds of a lot of people that will wonder why they should keep paying for more expensive, buggier, standards shy software.
      • by eebra82 (907996) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @09:33PM (#22916840) Homepage

        As I understand it, the next gen Eee (with larger screen and larger touchpad -- see, for example, this article [dailytech.com]) will come in linux and Windows flavours, but the big difference is that the linux one comes with a larger flash drive (12Gb vs 8Gb) for the same price (since Asus doesn't need to pay Microsoft). Microsoft is never going to win this one, and I think they know it ..
        And you say this because you are the average PC buyer? You know, Linux geek, Slashdot reader.. Sounds like just about anyone, right?

        My friend runs an online store and 90% of his sales are laptops. It's not a small business since he's selling hundreds of lappies every month, so his facts are interesting. According to him, the Windows-equipped $499 laptops outsell the Linux-equipped $399 laptops 5 to 1.

        I don't think the average Eee buyer is going to care much for specifications as much as they care for the whole concept, which is why I think you are wrong.
        • by molarmass192 (608071) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @10:04PM (#22917004) Homepage Journal
          According to him, the Windows-equipped $499 laptops outsell the Linux-equipped $399 laptops 5 to 1.
          That's really amazing considering the XP equipped EEE doesn't go on sale until next month. Oh wait, that's right, you're off topic. Anyhow, I don't doubt you that the Win laptops outsell the Lin laptops. Fact is, most people have no idea what Lin is. On that note, if 20% of his sales are Lin, that's pretty amazing. Combine that with the fact that 20% of the laptop market are Macs, that means that the Win laptop market is in the 60-70% range. I've always said that I'd like to see a 3 way market, Win / Lin / Mac, with none having a share > 50%. The key to avoiding lock in is to have platform diversity. That way everybody wins, except MS that is.
        • by Talkischeap (306364) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @10:50PM (#22917286) Homepage

          According to your friend, "the Windows-equipped $499 laptops outsell the Linux-equipped $399 laptops 5 to 1."

          Your friend is coming from the Microsoft centric world, so of course he's going to say that.

          But look at whats really happening here.

          One out of five laptops that your friend sells now have LINUX on them instead of the Windows operating system.

          So it looks to me that Windows is losing market share in this sub group of portable computing.

          And for the life of me... I can not understand why anybody would need Windows on an Eee PC, it works just fine out of the box with LINUX.

          Five folks that I know have purchased an Eee PC since seeing mine, and all of them were diehard windows users who have adapted quite easily to the Eee PC's "easy" LINUX operating system.

          Of course... on mine I've already installed 2 gigs of ram, and enabled the advanced desktop, and BERYL.

          Loads of fun, and no Windows involved.

          • by Virtual_Raider (52165) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:16AM (#22917828) Homepage

            I would need XP because it's an ultraportable that out of the box could run all my work applications, connect to my work's outlook, and I'd be able to move around more easily to troubleshoot stuff using company-standardized software. I get to use most of my existing windows programs (as far as it's possible because the processor) some of them I've paid-for because I liked them enough. So it really depends on what does any individual user intending to do with it.

            Imagine a non-tech person wants to browse the web, use it as an ebook of sorts to read RSS feeds (which your average user can do with TOO much trouble), watch youtube and just haul it around the house more like an electronic magazine than a computer. S/he would probably pick something that already knows how to use so all they need to figure out is how to hook it to the net and get going. While not insurmountable, the Linux learning curve would be slightly higher for this type of users and they make up for a larger market than the computer-savvy.

            Heck, I might even get the XP version just because of what I said above and then dual boot or run DSL on it :D

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Talkischeap (306364)

              "Imagine a non-tech person wants to browse the web, use it as an ebook of sorts to read RSS feeds (which your average user can do with TOO much trouble), watch youtube and just haul it around the house more like an electronic magazine than a computer. S/he would probably pick something that already knows how to use so all they need to figure out is how to hook it to the net and get going."

              I don't need to imagine it, everyone that I know that has purchased an Eee PC, is using it just like you say, and none

              • I meant to disclaim that I'm indeed not an average user, but forgot about it :)

                Since we're backing up our POVs with anecdotes, I find it strange that your non-techie friends can do all of the above but you seem to think it's a hardship to read RSS? The non-techies I know do it. Why, you just have to go "subscribe to this page" and if you're signed up with Google as so many people these days, it asks you whether you want to use it as your default reader.

                We're not talking about IE-only crowd either, they w

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jhol13 (1087781)
            We all live in Microsoft centric world.

            You only need to browse a little http://forum.eeeuser.com/index.php [eeeuser.com] to notice there really is need for Windows version for the EeePC, there are a lot of people who rather run XP.

            Oh, I have EeePC and the Xandros is definitely worse than XP would be. Maybe Ubuntu 8.04 will fix all the problems, maybe, the beta apparently does not. I have EeeXubuntu and it needs a lot of tuning and still the wireless is unreliable. Something average Jane/Joe certainly is not happy about.

            A
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hjf (703092)
          This is going to cost me some karma but... this just proves what every reader here refuses to believe: people just WON'T use Linux. It doesn't matter if it's free, if it has "everything you need" (no games or yahoo/windows live messenger -- gaim/pidgin don't count because it's NOT THE SAME god damn it), or the supposed deal-breaker: preinstallation. Slashdotters here seem to think that if you preinstall Linux, people WILL use it, and I very well know that it doesn't happen. People here in my country buy PCs
          • by shellbeach (610559) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:03AM (#22918312)

            This is going to cost me some karma but... this just proves what every reader here refuses to believe: people just WON'T use Linux. It doesn't matter if it's free, if it has "everything you need" (no games or yahoo/windows live messenger -- gaim/pidgin don't count because it's NOT THE SAME god damn it), or the supposed deal-breaker: preinstallation. Slashdotters here seem to think that if you preinstall Linux, people WILL use it, and I very well know that it doesn't happen. People here in my country buy PCs with Linux (most retailers don't sell Windows except in high end brand-name machines. value machines come with a completely useless "FreeDOS preinstalled") and the same day they call the techie neighbor to install a pirated copy of windows. Sorry, but that's the way it is. And it leads us to another point: of those "1 in 5 $399 laptops", probably 9 out of 10 will have a pirated windows installed more sooner than later.
            See, I believed the same thing before the Eee came along. No windows, couldn't run windows (without some tinkering), nobody cared. It's a different market, where people don't need Windows for the things they want to do on the Eee.

            I thought the Eee would be a flop too. But it hasn't been, and I think that represents a major shift in people's thinking. But then, if you think about it, people are becoming a lot more used to dealing with different OSes -- their phone probably runs Symbian, their mate's laptop might run MacOS, and they just keep hearing about this linux thing. And the other interesting thing is that something that's non-Windows is inherently cooler.

            The world isn't Windows-only anymore, and nobody minds one bit.

          • by couchslug (175151)
            "probably 9 out of 10 will have a pirated windows installed more sooner than later."

            No shit. Unless one is a zealot there is no reason not to pirate software. Most people are not Slashdot idealists.
            I use Linux because I prefer it, but for most people (whose reason for having a Windows machine is compatibility with other Windows machines) there is no reason to bother with the learning curve.

            XP Corporate is free on the web along with every other version. The custom install CDs are often easier to use than the
          • That is why in the UK you can't get one at all, unless you are willing to wait 3 or 4 months.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shellbeach (610559)

          My friend runs an online store and 90% of his sales are laptops. It's not a small business since he's selling hundreds of lappies every month, so his facts are interesting. According to him, the Windows-equipped $499 laptops outsell the Linux-equipped $399 laptops 5 to 1.

          I don't think the average Eee buyer is going to care much for specifications as much as they care for the whole concept, which is why I think you are wrong.

          Yeah, but the Eee is a bit different. People aren't buying them as replacement laptops, they're buying them as a second notebook to travel with. As such, they don't need all the bells and whistles -- provided it does what they need (surf the web, handle email and edit documents/spreadsheets/presentations) that's all they'll ever need.

          Let's think about how the sales conversation with Joe Average might go:

          ----

          Salesman: "So, you can get the Eee with Windows installed and 8Gb storage, or with linux and 12Gb

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          >> linux one comes with a larger flash drive (12Gb vs 8Gb)
          ...
          >Windows-equipped $499 laptops outsell the Linux-equipped $399

          So to get XP I have to pay $100 extra _and_ I get a smaller drive.
          An OEM version of XP costs over 100 dollars?
          That can't be right.
          Microsoft would never do something as moronic as that, they'd give XP away for a penny before they'd capitulate the ultra-low-end market to Linux!
    • by Zencyde (850968) <Zencyde@gmail.com> on Monday March 31, 2008 @05:04AM (#22919122)
      The unfortunate part of this review is that they don't seem to do actual tests on specs themselves. They reported that the Eee PC has a processor clocked at 900 Mhz. This is a lie. The Eee PC does have a 900 Mhz Process; but, the FSB has been clocked down to 70 Mhz. This puts the processor at 630 Mhz. The system has been specially configured to misreport the clock speed. This is well known on the forums at "www.eeeuser.com". Also, the wireless connectivity is poor. The system also misreports percentages. This is most easily tested using Linux. Often the Eee PC reports 100% while other distributions will report about 70% or so. It's rather unfortunate that Asus took this step. Personally, I love my Eee PC. Though, it could really sue some modding. Also, it's troublesome that Asus was so deceitful with their tactics. The original wasn't even completely open-source. A lot of the ACPI had to be implemented through trial and error and some reverse engineering. I think there are still one or two features left to implement on even the most well-developed distributions for it. Though, I'm too lazy to go double-check this. : ) Also the original kernel was compiled to not allow more than 1 gig of RAM to be seen. This is easily fixed with a recompile. Again, it's rather unfortunate that Asus prefers to view this as an appliance rather than a laptop.
  • Asus 8 GB Eee PC (Score:5, Informative)

    by backpackcomputing (1249130) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:47PM (#22916160)
    I'm not sure I'd run out and get the XP version with only a 4 GB SSD just yet (albeit with an additional 4 GB card). The 8 GB is available now (see http://backpackcomputing.com/ [backpackcomputing.com] for the link). Also, a version with an 8.9 inch screen, but the same overall form factor should be out in a few months.
    • by donaldm (919619)
      It is going to be interesting to see what the price difference between the Linux version and the MS XP version (with mouse and extra storage). Personally I don't think there will be any difference since Microsoft appears determined to kill off Linux on all fronts even if it means giving away MS XP (at least the cut down version) for fee. I wonder how much it cost to get this version of XP running on this PC, still Microsoft has deep pockets.

      Actually from the article it appears that the XP Windows menus a
      • Then what? there will be a point when Linux is up to scratch for more demanding tasks.

        It is not if but when.

        The reason Ballmer was blabbering about patents is because they know their normal modus operandi of embrace and extend is simply not going to work. Patent litigation is is plan B, and even that may not be a plan at all if US courts finally see the light and strike down software patents for what they really are: the cave of the Ali Babas of the IT industry.
  • Windows XP? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dice Fivefold (640696) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:47PM (#22916162)
    I thought that Microsoft was withdrawing Windows XP from the market in a couple of months. Are they still going to offer it on these low-end machines?
    • Re:Windows XP? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nimey (114278) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:01PM (#22916246) Homepage Journal
      OEMs won't sell it starting on 1 July; system builders can get it until the end of January, but they'll have to order XP copies in bundles of 50.

      That's assuming Microsoft doesn't change its mind or give Asus a sweetheart deal for the Eee.
      • Re:Windows XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dice Fivefold (640696) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:28PM (#22916446)
        Considering how popular these little machines seem to become, Microsoft surely has plans. I would think something like this:

        *Freshen up XP a bit with some new theme and some gadgets.
        *Give it a new flashy name.
        *Then practically give it away to the manufacturers of these machines.

        Rather that, then to let linux machines get a foothold in the consumer market.
        • Considering how popular these little machines seem to become, Microsoft surely has plans. I would think something like this:

          *Freshen up XP a bit with some new theme and some gadgets.
          *Give it a new flashy name.
          *Then practically give it away to the manufacturers of these machines.

          Rather that, then to let linux machines get a foothold in the consumer market.

          And the awesome thing is that 2008 really IS the year of Linux on the Desktop, and I have little reason to think that it's going to do anything but keep getting better.

          As for why I mean by "it's finally the year of Linux on the Desktop" is that, prior to this point, all of my system builds with the cheapest components available inevitably had hardware issues, getting everything to work, drivers installed, video working, etc. Except, this last system I just built, a $60 IP35-E motherboard with $80 e2180 (an

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Why not just put Vista on it?
      • by arkhan_jg (618674)
        Option C - asus pay for a vista licence, but use the downgrade option to put XP on it. Toshiba does XP machines this way now - they come with a vista oem business licence and sticker, vista and XP pro discs, but with the XP pre-installed.
    • Re:Windows XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by webmaster404 (1148909) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:14PM (#22916340)
      Well, seeing how both Windows Mobile and CE aren't as well known and would put the EEE as more of an "internet tablet" then a real computer, and how there is no way to get Vista on those things to run well without increasing the price by 100% or more, I don't see any other choice of how MS can get Windows on those things and there is no way MS is going to want to let Linux trample all over the low-end market.
    • by jmoriarty (179788) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @10:42PM (#22917242)

      I thought that Microsoft was withdrawing Windows XP from the market in a couple of months
      I was debating whether or not to blow a few karma points just to make a joke about this OS being released as Windows XPeee, but fortunately I'm too mature for that sort of nonsense.

      Nearly.
  • XP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Slimee (1246598) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:47PM (#22916164) Journal
    I love how XP computers are still making headlines in their releases...News like this has to be a real slap in the face to Microsoft with the tireless Vista promotion, when XP is still big news.
    • Re:XP (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:58PM (#22916234)
      News like this has to be a real slap in the face to Microsoft with the tireless Vista promotion, when XP is still big news.

      A slap in the face to the marketing and software development departments, perhaps ... but I guarantee you that Hell, Gates, Ballmer & Co. is still laughing all the way to the bank.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I guarantee you that Hell, Gates, Ballmer & Co. is still laughing all the way to the bank.

        Laughing? A market leader is (finally) offering consumers a choice between windows & linux & you think the leaderes of one of the most predatory & unethical businesses in the software word are laughing?

        Sure, they're making money on these things - but for the first time since the early 90s, they're not in the drivers seat - Asus has managed to wrangle a XP deal with its use of linux.

        OFFTOPIC: Your sig -
    • Huh? (Score:2, Informative)

      Yea, It's a real slap in the face when older OS versions are capable and reliable enough to build new products around.

      I've got a friend with an old iMac. It's got OS9 on it and works just fine. What a slap in the face for Apple.

  • disk space (Score:2, Informative)

    by nawcom (941663)
    Aren't people gonna want to install the office 07 suite on that thing? I mean, when i make vmware images for xp, the minimum is 8-10 gigs. isn't microsoft works... no... i'm gonna stay away from the microsoft bashing.. I just see people wanting more standard performance out of it than it can really do. We shall see who lasts the longest before their Eee complains about low disk space. I guess if they want to use it as a web browser and email reader, they would have to use a few gigs to get outlook on there.
    • Why bother when you could just use Google Docs? Opps, I mean uhhh, you just can't do "serious office work" with an ultraportable unless you use Open Office. No! That sounds even worse, I'm sorry. Just use the Xandros version. Oh, I give up this comment is such a Microsoft bash. I'm a hater, sob, a biggot who wants the baby Balmer to cry.

    • Yeah... and for the price they're selling it for you can get a really good used laptop that will run anything.
    • by ditoa (952847)
      You are doing something wrong if you XP + Office 2007 images are 8-10GB.

      My XP SP2 + updates + Office 2007 is only 2GB. You need to look into the shrink option in VMware Tools.
  • by SpudB0y (617458) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @07:54PM (#22916196)
    I'm going to wait for the bigger screen. http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/03/hands-on-with-the-9-inch-eee-pc/ [engadget.com]
    • by xSauronx (608805)
      i remember that article....wasnt there mention somewhere, though, of a US $499 price point and Intel's new Diamondville CPU being used? Id be very interested in it if such were the case. Id be willing to get rid of my T40 (which I use daily) and just get a 17" LCD or some such to go with it.
    • by Jezza (39441)
      Me too - still don't Windows XP on it though...

      Is it just me, or does putting Windows on this little box make no sense at all?

      I mean, what am I going to do with it with Windows? I can't run games. I'm not going to use Word/Excel to the extent where I will notice the difference from OpenOffice.org (not on the little keyboard). I just can't see the point, especially when I'll need to run an "Internet Security Suite" (which won't do the machine any favours).

      Personally the slightly bigger screen and Ubuntu soun
  • Hmm. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dzimas (547818) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:09PM (#22916310)
    The price has crept up to within $100 of a "standard" basic notebook. The only thing this little machine has going for it is size - 800 x 480 is utterly useless because you spend too much time dealing with cartoonishly huge windows. I run into this kind of trouble every time I visit my parent's house and attempt to use their machine set to 800 x 600 - it's bloody unproductive. I'd gladly reconsider the eee when they release the upcoming version with a 1024 x not-quite-enough screen, but I fear the price will be at least $399 for a semi-usable configuration.
    • Re:Hmm. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:22PM (#22916406) Journal
      I never quite understand the comments along the lines of "The only thing this little machine has going for it is size" - isn't that exactly what it needs to have going for it? I'm waiting for the 8.9 screen myself, but as long as the price is not too much more than $600 it's a fair deal in my opinion. The fact that the first iteration was unbelievably cheap (I seem to recall hearing that it was designed for kids, although I may be mistaken) might've done them a disservice; I'm just happy that there now exists an ultraportable that doesn't cost thousands - the fact that it has the small size and is the same price as other laptops (rather than floating around in the clouds with the Vaios and Lifebooks) is perfect for me. I'm glad that there is finally an option to trade off some speed and get an tiny, lightweight machine for "standard basic notebook" money.
      • by Dzimas (547818)
        It doesn't matter how small a PC is if it doesn't fit the needs of the users. It does indeed look like they were targeting this machine at kids, but that doesn't avoid the fact that this thing would be hard to use for them, too. Crank your monitor resolution down to 800x480 and try working for an hour and you'll get the idea. The general thinking about this machine seems to have been "OMG, it runs Linux and only costs $300 and its small and cute." But I would argue that 90% of the people who bought this mac
        • Crank your monitor resolution down to 800x480 and try working for an hour and you'll get the idea.

          [CronoCloud@midgar CronoCloud]$ cat /etc/redhat-release
          PS2 Linux release 1.0

          [CronoCloud@midgar CronoCloud]$ xwininfo -root

          xwininfo: Window id: 0x25 (the root window) (has no name)

          Absolute upper-left X: 0
          Absolute upper-left Y: 0
          Relative upper-left X: 0
          Relative upper-left Y: 0
          Width: 640
          Height: 448
          Depth: 2

        • Re:Hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Talkischeap (306364) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @11:20PM (#22917496) Homepage

          "But I would argue that 90% of the people who bought this machine would have been better served by buying a $399 Acer 14" notebook during a sale at Best Buy.

          Argue away, but everyone that I know with an Eee PC already had a laptop, and wanted a small computer instead of a 5 to 7 pound brick to haul around.

          Everyone of us is over 50 and we have no problem with the so called "tiny" screen.

          Many young people today seem to think that bigger is better, when it's clearly not.

        • It's not often mentioned that the Eee pixel size is rather smaller than regular flat screens.

          On my 19 inch monitor, an Eee-sized 800x480 window actually corresponds to an 11" diagonal screen. And you use the Eee at much closer distances. At normal operating distance, the 7" Eee screen is almost exactly the same size as that 11" window.

          Certainly, I use it differently. On my Eee I put Firefox into full-screen mode, and hide my bookmarks panel. And less than 1 in 40 web sites have problems in display.
      • Re:Hmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mobby_6kl (668092) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:47PM (#22916556)
        I think the main issue here is that Asus shifted its target market with the more expensive EEE. With the 7" low-end models, the EEE was the cheapest laptop, so if you had only $250 to spend, it was the only (new) option. The small size was just a bonus*. However, once the price approaches $500 or so, it has to compete with all the cheapo 14" laptops*. Whether one choses smaller size over performance and features depends, of course, on individual needs.

        *- at least for some people who are looking for just a laptop, not specifically an ultraportable.
        • by sznupi (719324)
          I'd be *really* glad if cheapo laptops were 14", as you write, unfortunatelly all of them are 15,4"...when 14" would be almost-portable-enough for me (worse than 13", but those are also expensive).

          And 15,4" is a desktop replacement, nothing more :/
      • I never quite understand the comments along the lines of "The only thing this little machine has going for it is size" - isn't that exactly what it needs to have going for it?
        That and flash disk.
      • The Eee couldn't have been designed just for kids:
        One of their marketing photos has a blond woman with large breasts using it at the beach.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Famanoran (568910)
      I just bought the Linux 4GB eeePC for my partner, for our anniversary - she loves it!

      Primarily because it's small enough to fit in her purse, big enough to touch type on, and due to the SSD, can take the knocks that inevitably happen when the rest of creation is inside her purse with the laptop.

      Even better, she likes that it doesn't run Windows!
    • by tknd (979052) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @11:48PM (#22917626)

      The price has crept up to within $100 of a "standard" basic notebook.

      I'm tired of hearing this. The price is on target because it is not a basic notebook. It is an ultra portable device at an affordable price point compared to other ultra portable devices (read ultra portable does not necessarily mean laptop). People buying the eee don't care that the resolution is low, that the device can't play crysis, or that they can get a bigger brick at the same price. All they care about is: is it portable and does it allow me to do email, internet (yes people think browsing web pages == 'internet'), read documents, and run my little apps (IM, youtube, and mp3s).

      Until the eee pc came out, every computer manufacturer failed at getting the requirements right for a laptop. It just so happened that asus got it right and that the tech needed (SSDs, CPU speed increases, ram capacity increases) was cheap enough.

      However, I still give the OLPC/XO most of the credit for helping to create the market. If all of the news and media coverage of the OLPC never came to be, Asus and others may never have attempted such a device.

    • by vlm (69642)
      - Solid state disk instead of rotating disk, much more shock proof.

      - Doesn't run windows, so no viruses, no worms, no maintenance, already comes with 99% of the apps you'll ever need, etc. If you get windows you are treated to a couple hours of installing Firefox, oo.org, etc, then the eternal process of security patching begins. This "just works, right out of the box"

      - Size and weight of a medium format paperback book instead of a concrete brick

      - Silent

      - Last but not least, it's $100 less. You and me we
  • $399? ya.. ok.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by deathguppie (768263) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:32PM (#22916466)
    I just bought one of the linux base ones from newegg, and I looked around a bit. The midrange 4 gig model sells for about $350, and the 4 gig model with the webcam and a better battery goes for $399, with linux.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=eee+pc&x=0&y=0 [newegg.com]

    Now they are trying to say that they are going to sell a windows based version bundled with a bunch of other stuff for only $399?

    The only way I see that happening is if Microsoft pays them to do it. If they are selling a smaller bundle with a free operating system for the same price. I call shenanigans.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kenja (541830)
      I know its not a popular subject around here, but putting Linux on a notebook costs money as well. There has to be someone to call when it doesn't work.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by weffey (702758)
      I'm also curious about the price.

      I just bought a 4G (with free carrying case!) this past Thursday from a local small computer store (that I have been a regular at for over 10 years). I asked the owner what the mark up is on the system and he told me that ASUS sells them to him at 379$ and if he wants to sell them at a price other than 399$, he needs to get written permission from them 14 days in advance. He can't even have a sale for them at 389$ without telling them and getting permission 14 days before
  • by jschen (1249578) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:43PM (#22916534)

    At least according to the specs on newegg.com this thing has VGA out. If one can squeeze PowerPoint onto the thing, it would make the ultimate PowerPoint presentation machine. A mere two pounds, ultra-small, and more than capable of giving PowerPoint presentations that aren't overly loaded with multimedia.

    Can anyone verify the presence of a VGA port? eeepc.asus.com doesn't specify, though it may be because every other page on its website is down at the moment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm posting from my 2G Surf. It has a VGA out. I'm pretty sure all of them do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Trelane (16124)
      I am the owner of an EEE 4GB galaxy black (701) (I put Ubuntu on it). I can vouch for the presence of a VGA port, as I used it (with OpenOffice and evince) to give a presentation a few months back. It certainly turns some heads when you go up to plug it in for your talk. :) Also, you can fit a surprising amount of junk on a 4GB Linux main drive. I have, however, offloaded most of my documents and project source trees to the SD card.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Talkischeap (306364)

      "Can anyone verify the presence of a VGA port?"

      Why yes, it does, and it drives my 19 inch wide screen LCD monitor at it's native resolution just fine.

    • by couchslug (175151)
      Powerpoint viewer is a small solution for someone just wanting display capability.
    • by westyvw (653833)
      I would imagine so as my older 701 Black Eeepc has a vga out. Great thing too, I can give presentations at conferences then watch a movie or TV show on the TV in the room (as they all are going flat panel and have VGA). I kept Xandros on it though, I like the way its set up, although I did add more repositories and toggle between easy and advanced desktops as needed. I cant imagine using XP on anything, but much less on this device. The ICE wm and Icon system is set up nicely, if anything I am annoyed that
    • by Medgur (172679)
      Using it right now connected to an external LCD at 1280x1024. It's snappy.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Web browsers can go full screen and be used for presentations. Just let powerpoint die like it should have in 1992. Any decent presentation has it's final resting place on a web of some form anyway so plan for the long term instead of the ten minutes when the audience is still awake. With BLINK tags or flash you can be just as annoying as a powerpoint animation if that is what you wish for.
  • by feranick (858651) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @08:55PM (#22916610)
    The WinXP version will retail for 399USD. This includes the SD card and an extra mouse. As far as I know the retail price for the 4G linux version is 399USD. So I am struggling to understand the economy here, provided that the Linux is (supposedly) free. Is actually MS paying to get XP in these things? Or is Xandros license actually more expensive than WinXP license? Please, help me to understand...
    • by louarnkoz (805588)
      Price does not just reflect the cost of the components. It also includes the expected cost of supporting the users and teh channel, e.g. answering support calls, writing manuals, or putting up better versions of various drivers. Linux may be free, but XP is not very expensive when companies like ASUS buy it in large volumes. If it cost ASUS less to support XP than to support Linux, then the XP laptop could end up retailing for less than te Linux version.

      -- Louarnkoz

  • Works? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lunartik (94926) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @09:03PM (#22916652) Homepage Journal
    Why not put Open Office on it? I work at a college, and papers submitted in MS Works are compatible with nothing, not even Word. You can get a translation file for Word, but it loses all the document formatting.
    • Why not put Open Office on it? I work at a college, and papers submitted in MS Works are compatible with nothing, not even Word. You can get a translation file for Word, but it loses all the document formatting.

      I think the whole thing with this one is to placate (1) Microsoft, and (2) people who get itchy using anything not corporate. Of course it'd be better off with OpenOffice, and you know IE should probably be disabled and replaced with Firefox, and you know MSN can only really talk with MSN so it'd b

  • Norton (Score:5, Funny)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @09:30PM (#22916814)
    They should have added Norton security and then compared its speed against the Linux version...
  • Thanks! (Score:3, Funny)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @09:38PM (#22916862)

    Microsoft's Windows Live messenger, photo gallery and email suite are pre-installed on the the machine
    Thanks Slashdot! You just gave me a list of shit that needs uninstalled should I ever decide to get one of these machines!
  • by kylehase (982334) on Sunday March 30, 2008 @10:49PM (#22917274)
    FYI, In Japan, XP is the only flavor of Eee PC. [kylehasegawa.com] Not sure about other countries.
  • I don't see how this makes the device more useful.

  • and soon to be unsupported OS and software. Wow, how uninteresting.

    LoB
  • by Repton (60818)

    Huh? A local retailer, Dick Smith's --- they're a big chain with stores throughout Australasia --- is selling EeePCs with XP preinstalled already. Are they rolling their own?

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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