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The Eee PC Review

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.


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.


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

Google Reader (fullscreen)
reader fullscreen
 Anything you'd like to see?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. :)