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General Chat Thread, The Asus eeePc in General; Is it worth getting? (I'm talking about personal use here, nothing to do with school, though I might use it ...
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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    The Asus eeePc

    Is it worth getting? (I'm talking about personal use here, nothing to do with school, though I might use it at work for some things)

    I had placed an order for the 2GB Surf version (the non-webcam cheaper one) from Play.com but then they screwed up the order so I had to cancel it
    Now I see the new 8.9" screen version is coming soon, though at over £300 it seems a little expensive considering you can get a laptop at almost 3x the spec at very little more cost

    So I'm toying with wether I'll either stick with the idea of ordering the cheaper 2Gb one:
    Asus Eee PC 700-2G / 512Mb Ram Linux Mini Laptop

    or maybe upping the spec and going for the 4Gb one with camera....

    But mostly I'm wondering if it's actually worth it?

    So, has anyone got one of these?
    Either for work or for themselves?

    If so, which version did you get?
    What do you use it for?
    How does the battery fare?
    I've heard the touchpad has issues too?

    Any other general review-type things to say about it?



    Thanks in advance guys!

    Pete

  2. #2

    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'd get one of the 4G ones, and an external battery pack (we had a flyer for some come and they were £75 for a battery that would last 5 hours) - so total 7 hours or so.

    Perfect for travelling!

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    Pete10141748 (28th April 2008)

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Why don't you check out SYSMAN_MK's link to a website summarising
    the various ultraportables currently on the market aswell as future anticipated products. Might give you an idea of you're options for buying
    an ultraportable other than the eee.

    It's in a thread form yesterday.

    Price is an issue, and while i prefer the specs of the new 8.9inch model,
    some of the MSRP's being floated are too high.

    Is there any confirmation on pricing of the linux model here in the uk.

    In answer to you're questoins;

    1.) 4gb model
    2.)Internet browsing mainly.
    3.) battery life could do better - runs down rather too quick for an ultraportable.
    4.) The trackpad is tiny.....but the real problem with the eee is the build quality in certain areas. Overall the build quality is good, but the quality of the keyboard isn't great while it's fine for typing on i've already had a couple of keys that are now sticking that's after only a few months. Plus the keys look like they've been glued on with prittstick. less than unofrminally aligned shall we say.

    The trackpad button is hideous, again poor design. The trackpad and button are bigger in the new model, which is already an imprvement. But if they've gone with the cheapo rubbish button on the new model i'm going to be pretty mad.
    Last edited by torledo; 27th April 2008 at 08:59 AM.

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    m25man's Avatar
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    I bought one just to evaluate it before any of my clients rushed out to buy them.

    We have had it in use for a couple of weeks and it seems to be our techy gurus favourite toy.
    He has even stopped using his Macbook!

    But as the bill payer, I can't say that I am that impressed.
    I have yet to see what it can do that I can't already do with my HTC TyTNII phone!

    Apart from the initial cost of £300

    He has claimed on his expenses a new UK charger (it shipped with a US one and a UK adapter)
    A Car charger.
    A larger battery pack.
    A large capacity SD Card
    More RAM
    An External DVD
    Dumped Linux and put XP on it.

    I could have bought a really good Lenovo R61 for the price of that lot!

    I am really finding it hard to endorse the eepc as anything more than a fashion accessory at the moment!
    The only thing I will say is that it starts up really quickly...

    He's of to Tokyo for a week with it to put it through it's paces in a real portable test.
    Maybe I will have more of an idea as to just how practical it is then!

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    Pete10141748 (28th April 2008)

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    I bought one just to evaluate it before any of my clients rushed out to buy them.

    We have had it in use for a couple of weeks and it seems to be our techy gurus favourite toy.
    He has even stopped using his Macbook!

    But as the bill payer, I can't say that I am that impressed.
    I have yet to see what it can do that I can't already do with my HTC TyTNII phone!

    Apart from the initial cost of £300

    He has claimed on his expenses a new UK charger (it shipped with a US one and a UK adapter)
    A Car charger.
    A larger battery pack.
    A large capacity SD Card
    More RAM
    An External DVD
    Dumped Linux and put XP on it.

    I could have bought a really good Lenovo R61 for the price of that lot!

    I am really finding it hard to endorse the eepc as anything more than a fashion accessory at the moment!
    The only thing I will say is that it starts up really quickly...

    He's of to Tokyo for a week with it to put it through it's paces in a real portable test.
    Maybe I will have more of an idea as to just how practical it is then!
    I have both a T61 and an eee.....and the 4-cell battery on the T61/R61 is absolutely shocking. You'd have to buy one of the extended life batteries with the thinkpad. That's going to tip the weight of the R61 very close to 3kg plus add to the price. There's no comparison in terms of mobility.....once upon a time you'd pay a small fortune for ultra-mobility in a notebook, you still do if you buy one of the magnesium allow business toughbooks from panasonic or a vaio.....the eee has changed all that and it's v1 is mightily impressive for the price. v2 is making all the right noises for me....but the price is going to be an issue for some. It's still a darn sight cheaper than a toughbook W5.

    Ours came with the uk charger, but the other stuff yes you would need in order to get the best out of it in particular the memory upgrade to 1gb, but i don't see how any of that lot comes close to matching the price of an R61 unless he bought a designed by F.A porsche lacie external DVD-drive or you're the type of thinkpad user who wouldn't buy any accessories or upgrades for they're R61. The dock for a R61 alone is going to cost close to a hundred quid.

    Also i'm not quite sure where you're getting 300 quid initial cost from, the minibook 4g sells for at most 199.99+vat in the uk.

    Oh yeah, and i've also stopped using my T61 for internet access. The eee is just far too convenient and usable. would you be able to type what i've just written on you're tytn in the same time it would take on a thinkpad or any other notebook ? No

    But I did just that....on the eee. 'Cos it's got a proper keyboard and a proper browser, and that's why it's brilliant as a netbook. So the tytn probably can do everything the eee can, it's just the eee does the important stuff soooo much better, it's not as potable, but internet browsing sucks on smartphones, i don't why anyone would give themselves that headache.

    The smartphones and the netbooks can co-exist there is very little overlap both are part of an IT pro or mobile professionals toolkit. And the netbooks are here to stay....unlike the umpc's or the tablets.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    The trouble is the device lends itself to doing things that you might not have done before e.g - just plugging some phones in and watching a video in the living room while someone else watches the main tv - its so light and quick to switch on it becomes more usable than a full laptop.

    My wife sometimes just picks it up and uses it to add items to Tesco order - there's enough computers around the house but she just picks that one up and uses it while watching TV and chatting on phone to mates at same time!

    My daughter uses it for MSNning (uses pidgin instead of messenger but seems to prefer it to a laptop (she has smaller hands than me so doesn't mind the kdb).

    I don't really use it for myself (its not good for pudgy fingers - I VNC into it when I'm configuring it for work ) but if I hadn't already got a 7in LCD TV on the bedside cabinet wired up to house TV distribution system, I'd just have one of these just for that purpose to watch pre-recorded programmes ( I wonder if you can get Freeview dongles to work on it?)

    regards

    Simon

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    Pete10141748 (28th April 2008)

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Ok, I got the base price wrong it cost £246 inc VAT not £300.
    But he has spent well over another £150 on the accessories and that doesn't include the XP Pro licence! Now he wants a Triband wifi card as well!

    I think the HP looks better but it will be a couple of weeks before I can get my hands on one to try and don't forget that Dell have one to release so thats going to be snapping at the heels of the Asus soon.

    If I had to choose for myself I think I might be tempted to wait for the Eeepc 900 before having to bite the bullet but that HP looks dead sexy..

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Ok, I got the base price wrong it cost £246 inc VAT not £300.
    But he has spent well over another £150 on the accessories and that doesn't include the XP Pro licence! Now he wants a Triband wifi card as well!

    I think the HP looks better but it will be a couple of weeks before I can get my hands on one to try and don't forget that Dell have one to release so thats going to be snapping at the heels of the Asus soon.

    If I had to choose for myself I think I might be tempted to wait for the Eeepc 900 before having to bite the bullet but that HP looks dead sexy..
    Specwise the hp looks impressive, but design and build wises i'm willing to bet it has some major issues - the trackpad and button posiitoning on the photos looks abysmal, i wouldn't surprised also if it gets extremely hot ruling out it's use on the lap (which the eee doesn't suffer from suprisingly)...plus like most of these netbooks and the new atom based netbooks theres the issue of choice of OS and xp rearing it's ugly head.

    The things that are so great with an optimized linux OS such as the superfast boot times and overall zippy performance are totally lost when the manufacturer offers an XP only version. not to mention licensing costs pushing the price of some of these machines closer to the mainstream laptops.

    I'm also not sure of the impact of SSD vs hdd when it comes to storage on a netbook. The extra space, low cost of a hdd is a welcome addition
    but i would assume it adds greater cooling demands than flash storage.
    Plus a slight performance hit.

    Dell i'm hoping with they're offering will be able to give the option of a 16 or 32gb SSD option along with ubuntu and sell also sell it thru the educational channel at a competitive price.

    I agree spec-wise the eee 900 is a much better proposition....although people are kind of expecting the price to always be below 250 pounds for these types of machines, considering the infancy of the market and with asus and other manufacturers continuing to sell first generation products i think that's an unreasonable expectation atm. Particularly as they appear to also be clamouring for xp aswell. Oh dear.

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    Cheers for all the responses guys

    I went ahead and ordered the 4Gb White 701 edition of the Asus eeePc.
    Will just have to see how it fares once I get my hands on it tomorrow


    I agree that the HP looks nice, but I bet that it overheats especially when placed on your lap, not to mention that the touchpad looks nasty with the buttons at the side.

    There are a few other UMPC's around, but after reading lots (and I mean LOTS ) of reviews, it seems that the low price tag and the ease of use of the eePc 700/701 means it's still the most popular and well-rated UMPC around

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    Disease's Avatar
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    I bought 2 to test here of the 4gig versions for £186 ish each.

    We took off the Linux install and put XP on it we also have it running sims and Office, total disk space used was around 1.2 gig.

    It seems to perform really well and with the wireless connection I was very impressed with it.

    Will continue to 'Play' around with it for a while longer.

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    ...problems so far

    we have 36 miniBooks out around the school ...in the hands of yr8's! its early days but already there have been some puzzling problems and one breakage.

    problem: after connecting usb pen/sd card the initial Removable Device screen appears, click "OK" to open in File Manager, you receive a permissions error, click "OK" to this and the device appears with a broken link icon next to it in the File Manager window

    fix: from File Manager press CTRL + T to enter terminal window. Type sudo -i <enter> type mkdir /media <enter> close console window.

    This worked for us ... one other thing ...the protective rubberised sleeve that protects the miniBook also acts as a good insulator so make sure they are turned off before putting them away they get fiercely hot!

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