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The Eee PC Review
running
sunnywiz

Yay! I have a long running copy going at work, so I’m going to take some time to write about my Christmas 2008 present.. my Eee Pc.

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It came up because a) the old laptop we had weighed a TON, b) it died, and c) I didn’t have a computer. Well, I had a computer, but that’s now become the family computer with both Q and M using it, and.. I was frustrated at not being able to get access to it. So, we budgeted for, and bought, a netbook. This is my Christmas present from my family to me!

I was originally going to go for an Acer Aspire from Amazon, but I found this EeePc at Bestbuy (=instant gratification) for less (=yay). Purchased it, and its taken about a week to set up, but dang, I like it.

Good things

  • The processor is strong enough for me to run the following concurrently:
    • iTunes, syncing several gigs to an Ipod and downloading podcasts
    • Vuze, downloading some torrents
    • XVid (video player for Vuze) playing a TV show in full HD
  • The processor has 4 modes - PowerSavings, Auto, High and SuperHigh. In PowerSavings, iTunes is dog slow and chews up 90% CPU. In SuperHigh, its normal speed and uses less than 5% CPU.
  • The Screen display 1024x600 is good enough for most things; in an emergency, can hit a button and go to 1024x768, at which point things scroll. I’ve learned to use F11 to jump back/forth to fullscreen mode in Firefox and IE.
  • The battery pack gives it a very solid place to grab (see the in-my-hand picture above)
  • The wireless is very strong - picked up more than my desktop LinkSys'54v4 did

Annoying (minor):

  • The up arrow key is where my fingers thing the right shift key is.
  • Keyboard is fairly small, and I cannot find the home keys without looking yet (although I’m getting better)
  • Mouse buttons are a bit stiff. (I do not use the tappytap features, as I have a bad habit of resting my finger on the touchpad when stressed)
  • They had it partitioned into a C: and D: drive, 60G each, but nothing was using the D: drive. I moved my Documents there.
  • No ntbackup.exe - so when I went to restore my iTunes library from a backup, it barfed. Not a big deal, but had to copy ntbackup.exe over.

Screenshots:

I've had to set the windows bar thing to autohide to maximize screenspace. Heavy use of fullscreening in some apps.

ITunes
itunes
Gmail
gmail
Google Reader (fullscreen)
reader fullscreen
SEMagic
semagic
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facebook

What I’ve loaded and tweaked over the last few weeks:

  • All updates (this took a long time)
  • iTunes, Vuze (media media media!), and my iTunes collection (~=12G)
  • OpenOffice (aint used it yet, resisting MSOffice for now)
  • Firefox 3 + LittleFox
  • AVG 8.0 (antivirus)
  • SeMagic (for writing LJ posts)
  • Robocopy (from Win2003RTK) (for syncing to the big 'puter)
  • Irfanview, Paint.Net

Not having a CD:

This is not normally a problem, as I can mount CD’s over the network for installing software. However, it was annoying in that I couldn’t use a BartPE bootable CD which has my normal toolset for backing up a computer (in case of emergency restore).

I think I’ve overcome it, though - I now have a bootable USB key, with the right tools on it. Will do the backup when I get home late late today. (It involved booting in DOS and running Format /S on the USB key, it was kinda fun).

The question now is, will it run the old Neverwinter Nights? *grin*

The Future

The plan is to get a keyboard/mouse on a USB hub, and an external monitor, and mostly leave it plugged in/docked, unless I need to go mobile for some reason.

All in all, very pleased. Would wholeheartedly recommend these netbooks to patient people. :)

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