2008.11.29

It’s been a full year since I got an Asus Eee PC, so I thought I would review…

We can start with my first impressions of the Eee PC.

Throughout the year the little computer has served me well. It’s almost always in my backpack and ready to use. Being just 2 pounds is a definite plus for something you always carry around. Lightweight is definitely a top feature. As for battery life, well… I really expected better. With wifi on, I typically see under 3 hours, which isn’t great, but again, small computer = small battery, so I can live with that. The power adapter isn’t too big, so I always carry that around as well. The battery does seem to drain more than it should in sleep mode, so I typically turn if off when not in use.

Asus Eee PC

Connecting via wifi was only an issue at my own house where I had a weird setup (which I’ve since fixed) and anywhere else it worked fine. One annoying issue is disconnecting an external monitor/projector. The Eee PC thinks it’s still there and you can’t see the parts of the screen you want to because it assumes some higher rez display is there, it’s annoying, and worse case, requires a reboot to fix. (I’m used to the way the Mac dynamically deals with monitors being connected/disconnected and does the right thing.)

As I wanted a unit that “just worked” (as much as a Linux computer can) I stuck with the default Xandros OS on it. I contemplated trying Ubuntu a few times, but things like “recompile the kernel for wifi to work” or other such warnings turned me off. Besides, for the way I use the thing, I didn’t think I’d see much benefit from a different OS.

So after one year how am I liking the Eee PC? There have been a few small issues, but none I couldn’t deal with. For the price, it was worth if. Of course today you can get a much better little PC for even less money. It served me well through Web414 meetings, and BarCamps, and anywhere else I needed a computer on the go. (Unless I needed Mac-specific applications, in which case, it was totally useless.) The screen is small. I’m glad to see that 1024 pixels wide is what the newer machines are using, as 800 pixels just doesn’t cut it. All in all, I’ve been pleased with the Asus Eee PC. (I’ll be following up with another post specifically about how I hosed it all up.)

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