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First Full Review of New Asus Eee PC 900

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the several-hundred-more-than-before dept.

Portables 266

An anonymous reader writes "After months of rumors, the new 8.9in screen Eee PC is out in the open and the first review is online. As well as the larger screen you get 1GB RAM, 20GB Storage and a multi-touch touchpad. It costs more than the old Eee PC, but it definitely sounds like it's worth the extra cash." I always thought the appeal of the original was the ridiculously low price, coupled with the ease of hacking. Not sure if the sequel will meet that challenge.

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266 comments

xp? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#23089124)

They say if you want the 20gig model with XP - your best bet is to buy the linux version and install xp yourself. But I heard somewhere that xp has problems [slashdot.org] on the eee pc. Though maybe that is just the 7 inch version and this newer machine will do better.

Re:xp? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#23089178)

I was wondering about drivers too. Is Asus going to make XP drivers public, for those who want to do their own install?

Re:xp? (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#23089632)

all the XP drivers are included on the DVD you get which is also the restore disk for the base linux install.

my boss has one of the orginal ones.. and putting xp on it was no issue driver wise.. now cramming XP and office 03 on it for him .. that was a fun chalange.. ended up sticking in an 8gb sd card and maping it to the program files folder

but drivers where no issue at all

Re:xp? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 6 years ago | (#23090164)

And let me guess: he did not care to disable the swap file. If he did, he's in a small minority.

If he didn't he'll be soon hitting the upper limit of the rewrite cycle endurance of the SSD.

Re:xp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090392)

As I understand it, not all SSD suffer from this rewrite cycle endurance problem. Are you certain the SSD of the Eee PC has this problem? Or are you simply playing it safe and disabling the swap file?

Re:xp? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090934)

The eeePC's "SSD" is some flash memory, not a smart SSD that balances writes between sectors so far as I know

Re:xp? (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#23090962)

they all do suffer that problem.. just some suffer less than others.. also most modern flash has a built in ablility to move logical blocks around physiclay to cause even ware accross the whole flash media

Re:xp? (5, Funny)

Scubaraf (1146565) | about 6 years ago | (#23089194)

If you add a bigger screen, upgrade the processor, double the RAM and quadruple the drive space it cost a bit more. But definitely worth the extra money!

Re:xp? (-1, Redundant)

malinha (1273344) | about 6 years ago | (#23089230)

But then you have a regular laptop... what's the point ?!

Re:xp? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089398)

It's that thing sailing clear over your head

Wrong (4, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | about 6 years ago | (#23089690)

No, you don't have a regular laptop. At 2lbs, the Eee 700 or 900 is about 2/3 the weight of a Thinkpad X61, about 1/2 the bulk, and about 1/2 the price as well. An X61 is a very small notebook by most peoples standards to begin with. It's already half the weight of the "average" ~5lb notebook, and much smaller than 6-8lb desktop replacement monstrosities. The Eee wins, even at the ~$500 I expect the US release to be priced at, by being a notebook you can literally carry in your (man)purse. Like a lightweight messenger bag.

Re:Wrong (-1, Flamebait)

plague3106 (71849) | about 6 years ago | (#23089942)

Has America gotten so fat and lazy that 6 to 8 lbs is considered a huge burden? I have a 15" notebook from 2001 and it's carrying case is no bigger than a standard messenger bag as well..

Re:Wrong (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#23090596)

In their defence (god I never thought id defend America), taking a laptop to work/uni etc isnt that bad, but if you start going about a normal day, shopping, going to a mates houses, etc.
And the size is a real winner, I for one have to carry a whole load of other crap about with me, and I have to carry it on the tube at rush-hour.

That said, I've not got one and Im not going to die from caring the standard laptop either. This model is capable of being a good replacement to a laptop, but with such a small screen i think ill keep my crappy laptop.

Re:Wrong (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 6 years ago | (#23091472)

Not sure why you'd bring your laptop with you while shopping... what use would you have for it while shopping? As far as your subway woes, it doesn't sound like the laptop is the problem, it sounds like you have a lot of stuff you need to bring onto the subway. Take the laptop out but add more of whatever it is you're lugging around.. it's still a pain, is it not?

Re:Wrong (1)

hassanchop (1261914) | about 6 years ago | (#23090616)

Has America gotten so fat and lazy that 6 to 8 lbs is considered a huge burden?


It is when your primary mode of transportation is a motorcycle like mine is. Or if it's a bicycle like many students I know. Or walking/public transportation.

But actually understanding the subject would have prevented your jingoist rant, so you didn't bother I guess.

Re:Wrong (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 6 years ago | (#23091414)

Hmm, my dad rode a motorcycle to work and had to bring a laptop back and forth. Never seemed a problem for him. Also, in NYC they have people on bikes deliverying pizzas, which I imagine are more difficult because you can't let them tip. Yet they seem to manage.

Oh ya, and I would ride my bike with a backpack full of books to and from my bus stop.

Oh, and while you might feel smart using a word like "jingoist" in your post, you come off looking really dumb when the poster to which you responded is an American..

Re:Wrong (2, Informative)

AskChopper (1077519) | about 6 years ago | (#23091534)

One thing that most never seem to mention, but for me was one of the biggest bonuses of the Eee, is that the charger is like a mobile phone charger.. The transformer part of it is in the plug itself, not another box with a load of heavy wires. It's a nice thin cable. The main prob with laptops for me in the past was the bulk of the charger once you wrapped the cable up around the transformer. It was hard to keep everything nice and compact. Not an issue with the tiny Eee PC and its small and LIGHT charger.

Re:xp? (4, Informative)

edremy (36408) | about 6 years ago | (#23089406)

I have XP on my eee since I couldn't get it to talk to my school's 802.1x network. I honestly don't see many problems with it that the Linux version also doesn't have. It's all of 5 seconds slower to boot, it hasn't crashed and the screen size issues appear with any program that assumes a normal screen- there are dialog windows that run off the screen in Linux apps too.

I do miss the nice tabbed interface, but most of the bundled apps were pretty worthless and those that were actually useful are free downloads anyway.

The one thing I really want is a 2nd battery pack and external charger- the battery life on an eee is pretty maarginal.

Re:xp? (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | about 6 years ago | (#23090078)

The one thing I really want is a 2nd battery pack and external charger- the battery life on an eee is pretty maarginal.

What do you mean by external charger?

Re:xp? (3, Interesting)

edremy (36408) | about 6 years ago | (#23090356)

Something like I have with my digital camera- you plug the battery directly into the charger. Right now the eee charges rather slowly from wall current so when the battery is dead I'm stuck for a while. It would be far easier just to pull a fresh battery from the charger and swap with the dead one.

Re:xp? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#23090532)

What do you mean by external charger?
A device that sits between the battery and the wall and does not contain a PC. This way, you can charge a battery even when it's not in the computer.

Re:xp? (3, Funny)

randallman (605329) | about 6 years ago | (#23090570)

So you bought an eeepc for $300 then spent another $200 for Windows XP?

Re:xp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090724)

Some of us already have a copy of XP we can install, so it's free. I work at a large University. They give out a copy of XP or Vista to all faculty/staff/students.

Just because you would have to pay extra to install a legal copy of XP, it doesn't mean the other poster did.

Re:xp? (2, Interesting)

pherthyl (445706) | about 6 years ago | (#23090824)

>> there are dialog windows that run off the screen in Linux apps too.

Of course on Linux you can easily hold the ALT key and drag the window to make the buttons visible. Not possible on windows without third party hacks.

Battery life is a major downside (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#23089142)

A less-than-2-hour battery life is a huge problem for a machine touting itself as an ultra-portable. Everything else on these new models are pretty much spot-on. But a short battery life sort of defeats the purpose, methinks, unless their slogan is "Take it anywhere, just not too far from an outlet."

Re:Battery life is a major downside (4, Informative)

lixee (863589) | about 6 years ago | (#23089336)

AFAIK, there are already 7800mAh and 10400mAh batteries on the market.

Re:Battery life is a major downside (2, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | about 6 years ago | (#23090906)

Sure, but that's ridiculous to have to resort to giant batteries just to get a decent amount of battery life. The real problem is Linux's lack of decent power management, as well as the hardware manufacturers' reluctance to support Linux in any way. In this case, though, you'd think ASUS would have some incentive to work with Linux kernel developers to improve the situation. Sadly, though, Linux on laptops of any king is pretty abysmal when it comes to basic features like power management, suspend-and-resume, etc. windows Vista, sadly, is quite far ahead when it comes to this now. Quite usable on a laptop. Of course my 5 year-old PowerBook still beats it in terms of these things.

Re:Battery life is a major downside (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#23090102)

I agree, theoretically the appeal of a device like this is that you can flip it open any time you need it, and riggity-jig-and-away-you-go.

On the other hand, how many people are buying this as a full time alternative to a full sized laptop?

I think we're still in the early adopter stage -- where most of the people who are buying it are just curious. Therefore it may be more important to meet certain psychological pricing benchmarks (e.g. it's closer to 300 Euros than 400) than it is to put a bigger battery in it. Then the people who find it seriously useful will buy a second battery, or a larger aftermarket battery.

Admit it; you've bought things on impulse for X dollars, then on impulse bought a Y dollar ugprade for those things, even though you probably wouldn't consider paying X + Y for the entire rig and it was just wishful thinking you didn't need the upgrade. That normal economic behavior for early adopters.

When the thing gets to the point where pragmatists are buying them, you can bet they'll sport much longer battery lives. Just the volumes they'll be buying parts in will bring the price down to stay "cheap".

Re:Battery life is a major downside (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090492)

Keep in mind this thing is less than 1kg. Just buy another battery.

Also consider this is with sound / wireless and full brightness on.

I don't always need sound / wireless on.

I've already put my eeepc up for sale I'm getting one of these e900's pronto

Re:Battery life is a major downside (3, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | about 6 years ago | (#23090506)

In addition to the fairly poor battery life the power consumption on standby is huge (for the 70x anyway, I doubt they've fixed it for this as it has essentially identical internals). If you go to bed and leave your half-charged Eee on standby don't count on being able to boot it in the morning before plugging it in.

As an Eee 701 owner my advice is wait for the Atom version and the price drop when the competition hits the market. And hope they spend more than $0.12 on the keyboard next time (it's not the size, it's the quality). This market seems to be developing incredibly rapidly, even by computer hardware standards. Things will be different in two or three months time.

Re:Battery life is a major downside (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about 6 years ago | (#23090760)

Another major downside is the keyboard. I own an Eee, and while I used to carry it around with me for occasional typing, I hardly ever use it since I got a thinkpad x61---the bit of extra space between keys makes a _HUGE_ usability difference. I was -really- hoping Eee would become 1" wider along with a bigger screen (and ram/memory, etc.), to make typing a joy instead of a major pain in the..err..hands.

Re:Battery life is a major downside (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#23090902)

Dont know if its the same in the US, but in the UK were swamped with outlets (Trains, offices, coffee shops, pubs ), unless you understand ultra portable to mean take it with you as you climb a mountain your pretty safe. I think the main appeal is that you can take it about you on a normal day, and I doubt on a normal day your going to spend more than 2 hours in an unchargeable place.

Asus Competitors Competitors (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 6 years ago | (#23089162)

I'm amazed at the competition [news.com] that has sprung up in this once niche market of tiny notebooks. I'm sure you're familiar with the classbook, Everex's Cloudbook and the OLPC [slashdot.org] but I just found out that HP [pcworld.com] and Elitegroup Computer Systems of Taiwan [htlounge.net] have direct competition for the eee.

They all seem to have pretty close pricing, for example the HP's 2133:

... anywhere from a $499 system running Linux to a $749 model using Microsoft's Windows Vista Business operating system. The low-end Linux version, which sports a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM--is probably the closest matchup for the Eee. The Vista machine we review here today sits at the top-end with a 1.6GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM.
I'm glad to see healthy competition in this market. I know some people are going to hate the non-standard stuff going on with these laptops and there's going to be some dirty tactics to 'lock-in' countries to purchase only a certain brand for schools (*cough* Intel/Microsoft *cough*) but these prices are going to continue to be driven down. Which from $400-$500 is a great price!

While it may not be the year of Linux on the desktop, it's certainly the year of Linux on the super freaking tiny notebook that is difficult to type on (yes, I know what a USB keyboard is).

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (1, Redundant)

ceroklis (1083863) | about 6 years ago | (#23089410)

Haven't you heard of USB keyboards ?

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (1)

ldierk (1270930) | about 6 years ago | (#23089726)

Don't you think its rather uncomfortable to sit in park / train and use an external keyboard? It's kinda hard to type if you have to hold the keyboard with one of your hands.

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (2, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | about 6 years ago | (#23089732)

(yes, I know what a USB keyboard is)
Haven't you heard of USB keyboards ?

Like, huh? Seriously, huh?

(aside: The keyboard on the Eee I'm typing this on missed six keypresses during the typing of this post. Make that seven, no, nine.)

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (1)

wytcld (179112) | about 6 years ago | (#23089932)

I don't get the keyboard size complaint. I'm 6'6", with hands sized to match. I can type on the Eee as easily as on the normal-sized Happy Hacking keyboard on my workstation. And that's touch typing, fast.

It's only when I go to my Zaurus clamshell that my typing slows to the two-fingered kind. Getting used to typing on the Eee is like getting used to a neck on an unfamiliar guitar. For the first ten minutes the new geometry interferes with coordination. After that, the fingers adjust so that the difference is transparent.

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about 6 years ago | (#23090682)

You must have pretty thin fingers.

Mr Burns? Is that you?

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23091036)

I'm not the original poster and I'm not 6'6", but I have pretty fat fingers and my only problem is that dang uparrow key.

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (2, Interesting)

dbcad7 (771464) | about 6 years ago | (#23089964)

The HP looks pretty good.. Don't care for Suse though.. Am sure it would run Xubuntu (pretty sure anyway), but I wonder about getting it to do the compiz thing like the EEE with the Via graphics chip they have on the HP.

Re:Asus Competitors Competitors (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 6 years ago | (#23090878)

I've been thinking for a while about purchasing one of the subnotes. Not as a primary computer or even a primary notebook, but as an alternative to the giant and totally impractical company-issue 19" notebook.

The EeePC 900 seems like it may be the leader right now; I was intrigued by the original EeePC but having that tiny screen surrounded by a giant bezel smacked of wasted space. I don't mind using a 7 or 8" screen, but if I am, I want the whole device to be that size. If it's big enough for a 9" screen, I want the screen to actually take up the available space.

The Cloudbook (aka PacBell EasyNote) sounded neat at first, and apparently it's got more metal in it than the Eee and feels more rugged, but the reviews of it have been pretty terrible. The one thing that really turned me off from it, oddly enough, was that its SD Card slot doesn't let the card fit flush. That just smacks of poor design; when a product has something that obviously dumb on it, it makes me wonder what more fundamental flaws it has under the hood. I hope they'll do another revision and try harder. (Ditching their thumbstick for a IBM-style keyboard stick would probably be enough to send me reaching for my wallet.)

The other feature that I haven't seen mentioned much so far, is support for connecting to wide-area data (cell data) networks, rather than just Wifi. Apparently Linux support for most WAN cards is pretty dismal, but Bluetooth (so you could go computer->cellphone->WAN) would be a nice plus. The smaller and lighter a computer gets, the more I think you want persistent connectivity.

But overall it's pretty exciting to be seeing machines for under $500 in a form factor that you recently had to pay upwards of $1k to even get into (even if all you wanted was the small size, and not any of the other stuff that comes on the very high-end subnotes).

The other nice bonus of computers getting cheaper is that it's becoming more and more apparent how much Windows actually costs. Sure, the Windows and Linux versions of the Eee 900 are the same, but if you want Windows, you only get 12GB of storage instead of 20. Even if I hadn't already decided on Linux, that would give me significant pause. (Although I suspect there will be a lot of Linux versions sold that just get wiped and replaced with pirated Windows installs; but hey, at least they're counted as Linux preinstalls.)

Multi Touch (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 6 years ago | (#23089238)

OK, so maybe I was premature when I said that the similarities with Apple would end with the colours, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise! Just like on the MacBook Air, you can zoom in and out of images by pinching your fingers together, or pulling them apart.
How are the Apple lawyers going to like this? Second, can it do all the other things the MultiTouch can do? The killer feature on my MacBook Pro is 2 finger scrolling, 2 finger right click, etc.

Re:Multi Touch (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#23089300)

From TFA:

Asus has come up with a far better method. Instead of having to place your finger right at the edge of the touchpad to scroll, the Eee PC 900 will let you scroll from anywhere in the touchpad, as long as you use two fingers
Apparently ASUS came up with this feature, and I've just been imagining using it on Mac laptops for the last few years.

Re:Multi Touch (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 6 years ago | (#23089462)

I was under the impression that this was "invented" (yes MultiTouch has been around for a long time according to the Wiki [wikipedia.org]Fingerworks.

In 1998, Fingerworks, a Newark-based company run by University of Delaware academics John Elias and Wayne Westerman, produced a line of multi-touch products including the iGesture Pad.
Then Apple bought Fingerworks (according to [engadget.com] many rumors [macrumors.com]) and got all their IP and technology. I haven't run across any info on ASUS having this technology first. Unless they're the ones that bought Fingerworks and then licensed the technology to Apple.

Re:Multi Touch (2, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#23089490)

It would be nice if the apple lawyers got all riled up about it, and it got enough attention that everyone new any company claiming sole rights to something so obvious should be slapped upside the head. Even better would be if this slapping actually took place in court so no one else would have to worry about apple bothering them over something so idiotic.

Re:Multi Touch (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23091162)

The original EEE could do this as well, if you enabled it in xorg.conf. Most linux distros have supported this for some time.

Foleo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089242)

With the full screen and large(r) price, this is almost moving into 'Foleo' territory.

I do think Palm was right to cancel the Foleo. If it weren't for the Eee, the Foleo could have been a huge success. But with the Eee, it really suffered in the price comparison.

the photos (-1, Troll)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 years ago | (#23089254)

the photos of someone holding it in their hands sure reveals how small this new eeepc really is, for that kind of money i think i would throw in a couple of more hundred and buy a real laptop, at least then i would get a full size keyboard and screen...

Re:the photos (3, Insightful)

alexhard (778254) | about 6 years ago | (#23089368)

The whole point is that it's so small, hence "ultraportable".

Re:the photos (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#23089740)

i was looking at getting a new laptop to use between work and home.. i wanted soemthing extremaly light and usable.. i was in a toss up .. buy a cheap eeepc and give it a try or dump a good sum of money on a purpos built ultra light..

by boss got an EeePC to play with .. so i used it for a day.. while i have to say it is a wonderful thing.. it is not something i would want to do any real amount of work on.

instead i got in on the dell latitude clearence they did in Feb.. picked up a D420.. with media base.. it weights in at 2.8lbs with extended battery.. i get 6 1/2 hours on a full charge.. a nice 1280x800 screen size.. Intel Core Duo at 1G. 1.5g of ram and 80gb drive .. tack on a media base with dvd burner and DVI out.. that acts as a docking station.. paid 1100$ all said and done.. sure it is 2-3x the price of an EeePC.. but it beats the living crap out of it..

the EeePC falls into a gray area of the market.. if i had a kid.. yea an EeePC all the way.. but if i was going to use this thing on a dail basis.. i would have to some how shrink my fingers

Re:the photos (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 years ago | (#23090800)

Dell D420s are excellent machines. I've used them for testing and they are actually an excellent form factor. Small enough to chuck into a backpack but big enough that you don't notice the keyboard being cramped.

With a 9 cell battery you can get 6 hours of use

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/92149/dell-latitude-d420.html [pcpro.co.uk]

And it comes with a built in cellular modem so you don't need to hunt for wifi hotspots. In Sweden you can get flat rate 7.2Mbit HSDPA for about 30 US$ per month. That plus a D420 and a 9 cell battery is a very useful thing indeed.

Re:the photos (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#23091030)

yeap yeap.. i didn't get the built in HSDPA beacuse i have teathering with my cell phone - so i jsut got the blue tooth.. and set that up..

so yea if i need net access i just open the con manager on the phone and say wireless modem and i am online.. very damn useful.. while the built in one would be nice.. at the time of ordering it was an extra 300$ and service for it around here is 60$ a month.. so i figured sence i already had it with the phone for 40$ a month and i would have to keep that anywyas.. i would just deal with that single extra step..

Re:the photos (0)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#23089370)

At 329 pounds, that's about $650.00 bucks. You can get a full-sized laptop with twice the ram, more than 10x the storage, a bigger screen, etc., for under $500.00

Re:the photos (2, Informative)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 6 years ago | (#23089544)

At 329 pounds, that's about $650.00 bucks. You can get a full-sized laptop with twice the ram, more than 10x the storage, a bigger screen, etc., for under $500.00

Smaller electronics have traditionally cost more even as they offered fewer features (think what you could get in a desktop for $500 these days). Perhaps people balk in this case because this machine has so many features that they simply don't think it is worth more? Wait. . .

Re:the photos (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#23091088)

After a certain point, small isn't better - it interferes with useability. Look at cell phone keypads - some of them are now too small for anyone with even average-sized hands.

I'd rather lug my 17" around, and have a full-sized keyboard, lots of screen real estate and all the other goodies, than something that is just too darned small to use properly.

Re:the photos (4, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 6 years ago | (#23089664)

You can get a full-sized laptop with twice the ram, more than 10x the storage, a bigger screen, etc., for under $500.00

I dare say you have completely missed the point of this device. The whole point is that it's not "full-sized".

Re:the photos (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 6 years ago | (#23090472)

No. The whole point of the eee pc was that it was a tiny 300 euro laptop that was announced in an era where the cheapest laptops you could buy cost around twice as much. Moreover, it was announced in an era where the hardware industry was still shoving the idea that systems like the eee pc were ultra-specialized hardware that could only be bought for a huge premium.

Re:the photos (2, Informative)

tgd (2822) | about 6 years ago | (#23091070)

I bought a $350 laptop (Dell B150) almost three years ago.

Cheap laptops are nothing new, and anyone who bought an eeePC because it was cheap and not because it was small was probably unhappy with it, because even years ago you could get a full-size laptop for that price.

Re:the photos (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#23091228)

My former laptop is an older IBM stinkpad - great machine, but the keyboard is too small. I prefer - no, make that I DEMAND a full-sized keyboard. Maybe the smaller keyboards are ok for people who do hunt-and-peck, but nothing can replace full-sized keyboard. That's why I opted for a 17" laptop when the time came.

I have a friend who is going through a bout of RSI which was probably caused by excess use of the smaller keyboard on his laptop. They're awkward as all hell, and not worth the pain (literally).

One of the guys at the office spent several times what I spent, so he could buy a really small laptop. People went "Oh, wow! That is SMALL", but the one that everyone *wants* is mine - the one with the big screen, full-sized keyboard, remote control, tons of disk space, etc.

When it comes to actual use, size * does * count. Sure, it weighs more - but in terms of useability, pound-for-pound, kilo for kilo, dollar for dollar, it's the better value.

Re:the photos (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#23090128)

Electronics always cost more in the UK though. I don't think you can get anything for less than that over here, apart from some ultra-budget machines such as the basic Eee.

Re:the photos (1)

bestinshow (985111) | about 6 years ago | (#23090366)

That £329 includes VAT. Take that off, and it's £280, which is $560 before adjusting for UK markup, so probably $499 US.

And the point is that it is small but nippy. The SSD provides the latter. I could throw this into my bag and use it on the train without needing to carry a dedicated laptop case, and a massive overall weight and volume difference.

If you don't need a small system, then it isn't for you.

Re:the photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089418)

Good Luck carrying it around. :]

Re:the photos (4, Informative)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 6 years ago | (#23089432)

I'm 6'5" tall and have big hands. As I type this on my Asus 701 4G I can say I've had no problems with keyboard size. For what I do with the laptop it just works.

Screen isn't too big of an issue either. For sitting in meetings and taking notes it wins hands down compared to other laptops. I wish I had this when I was taking college courses and lugging around that old Dell Inspiron 8000. This thing would have blown that out of the water back then.

Re:the photos (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090876)

I'm 6'5" tall and have big hands. As I type this on my Asus 701 4G I can say I've had no problems with keyboard size. For what I do with the laptop it just works.

Screen isn't too big of an issue either. For sitting in meetings and taking notes it wins hands down compared to other laptops. I wish I had this when I was taking college courses and lugging around that old Dell Inspiron 8000. This thing would have blown that out of the water back then.
Mum, is that you?

Isn't multi-touch (zoom, scroll) patented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089276)

Isn't multi-touch, zooming and scrolling using two fingers, patented by Apple? Should I be unloading my Apple stock? (Blatant economic self interest).

Phone/computer hybrid (5, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | about 6 years ago | (#23089434)

What people like about the Eee is that it does 90% of what a computer does for the price and portability of a cell phone.

Toying with that formula is unwise. Instead, further pare down the bloated Xandros and XP installs so that people can use a 4-8 GB machine.

I thought they were going to install Intel's Atom in the next revision?

Regardless, the Eee is an important step for open source and Linux. See Asus Micro Laptop Brings Linux to the Desktop [chrisblanc.org].

Re:Phone/computer hybrid (1)

mollymoo (202721) | about 6 years ago | (#23090168)

The Atom isn't out yet, it'll be used in the next revision of the Eee apparently, perhaps as soon as next month. Asus wanted to rush this model out to gouge the market for maximum profits as quickly as possible (and £110 more than the 4G for an extra 2" of screen and 16GB of flash is some serious gouging). Asus's CEO basically admits this in this very informative interview [laptopmag.com]. The quote I'm referring to is "I think this is the initial price. I believe in June the market will decide the price and it can drop down."

As to the "portability of a cellphone", well... Perhaps you have been misinformed about the size of the Eee. Or perhaps you have a 5-foot-wide ass and thus huge pockets in your trousers. Or maybe you're just completely fucking insane.

I have a cellphone. I have an Eee. The phone goes with me everywhere and I barely notice it in my trouser pocket. The Eee comes with me some of the time and I sure a hell know it's there, because it's big enough that carrying it on my person is not viable, so I need a bag, or least to carry it in my hand. It is not pocketable, even if you wear combats.

Who wrote this? (5, Funny)

sltd (1182933) | about 6 years ago | (#23089502)

From TFA:

Yes the price is higher than the previous model, but I personally believe that the Eee PC 900 still represents staggering value for money.

Thank you, Miss Teen South Carolina.

Why Linux isn't popular (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089576)

I personally believe that American kids in such as in Europe and South Africa don't have Linux because they don't have ISOs.

Re:Who wrote this? (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 6 years ago | (#23090278)

Mmmm, yeah, ike the opposite is possible - "I IMPERSONALLY believe"...

RS

Why do you post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090764)

You add nothing to the conversation and run of at the mouth ranting about your stupid observations that are both childish in their naivety and wrong.

Why post when all it does it preserve for posterity the evidence of your stupidity?

will Eee PC 900 support HSDPA connection ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089798)

on the article I see non mention of HSDPA, even if this connection type was mentioned in the past for Eee 900.

I hope this is included, because this was the only reason I planned to buy a 900.

Evangelize (4, Interesting)

PinkyDead (862370) | about 6 years ago | (#23089808)

I saw a post the other day pointing out that Asus were not evangelizing Linux - it just happened to be the best O/S for their needs.

Well you could've fooled me. They're doing a better job than those that are doing it deliberately. 20G vs 12G, sweet.

yeah... just install XP (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#23089860)

"Assuming you have a spare copy"

And assuming you have a spare USB CD-ROM drive. Or does XP come on an SD-card?

Re:yeah... just install XP (1)

Xest (935314) | about 6 years ago | (#23090654)

You can copy the contents of an XP CD to a USB memory stick, an SD card, anything like that and install it from there although you may have to make it bootable, but that's no big deal.

A quick search on Google will give you any details you need!

Price difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23089962)

"There's no difference in price between these two versions because the 12GB model comes preloaded with Windows XP, while the 20GB version is running Linux."

That sounds like and good incentive to encourage people to try out linux, but does that truly reflect the cost of XP? Is XP even worth 8GB of solid state memory?

Convergence: Need cellular capability w/ Blckberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090004)

I would like to see more convergence between small form factor PCs and cell phones.


Last week I played around with a Nokia E90 [gsmarena.com]. I found it to be a nice system, if pricey for a cell phone. It does everything, though. I would have actually preferred a larger format for the device, especially to make touch typing possible, and the 9" screen would be sweet. The form factor of the ASUS eee 9" appears to be perfect; that is, if only it were a cell phone, too. The problem I discovered is that the software necessary software may not be available. For example, I was able to choose the Nokia only because there was a version of the "Blackberry Connect" software available for Series 60 phones; the user spec's absolutely mandated blackberry capability for their new phone. It would be nice to see one of these new small form factor UMPCs have built in cell phone capabilty.


Nokia may be shy to release anything in a larger form factor than E90. It is noticably smaller than earlier generations, and with added features. But even with a somewhat smaller form factor, some users have returned/resold the E90 because they find it is still too big. It looks like an impasse, which can only be cured by a change in mindset. It may happen because big is the new small. You should see Cammy Diaz' phone. It's huge.

They Didn't get the Weighting Right (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090050)

I had the previous version of the eee and returned it after a few weeks. I bought it to use while traveling and it was functionally fine. But when I tried to use it in my lap (at conferences and on the bus, train, etc.), it had an annoying habit of flopping over onto its back. With the battery in the back undre the the hinge, there is not enough weight under the keyboard. When used at the slightest incline, it flops onto its back (to view the screen well you have to tilt any laptop down a bit when it is resting on your thighs). Hopefully they fixed this problem with the new version. Where did the speakers move to? if they put them up front that might help.

Silly Wabbit. Anime is for kids !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23090144)









Definition:

Anime

Two-seconds-per-frame "animation" out of chinese sweatshops, geared for children under eight, easily identified from stills by the grossly-exagerated eyes

Originally geared for children, with titles such as Speed Racer and Gigantor, each from the early 1960s, children of the 80s and 90s are still known to watch these things for reasons no one really knows







HPC Pro does the trick better. (1, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | about 6 years ago | (#23090260)

Unless there is absolutely some major reason you need Doom and the heavyweight versions of office applications with you at all times, you can do better with an HPC Pro machine.

I picked up a couple of NEC MobilePro machines for $50 on eBay. Windows CE 3, with Pocket Office, Pocket Internet Explorer, etc. I also picked up a Cabletron Roamabout PCMCIA wireless card for $10 with free shipping.

I get:

- Touch-type-able keyboard same as Eee PC
- Less weight
- Less bulk
- Instant on, instant off
- MS Pocket Office and a reasonable range of CE apps
- Many hours of battery life (at least 6)
- If you really need "FULL" Office, you can get SoftMaker office for $100

Just for fun, I tried installing NetBSD on one of these with X using a 4GB CF card and it worked fine, just like any X desktop. But I decided that I just wanted the original functionality so it's back to Windows CE for me, with 4GB of storage and a touch-type-able keyboard and all for $60 cash, and it's small enough to sit on your lap, open, on the subway even in rush hour crowds, which can't be said for the Eee PC.

Re:HPC Pro does the trick better. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#23091240)

Unless there is absolutely some major reason you need Doom and the heavyweight versions of office applications with you at all times, you can do better with an HPC Pro machine.
I don't know if you've noticed, but hardware has come a long way since Doom was released. There's even a port for my (three-year-old) mobile phone.

Re:HPC Pro does the trick better. (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 6 years ago | (#23091500)

Sorry, but I've USED Windows CE before.

I know just how terribly unresponsively it performs.
I know how terribly limited the selection of available software is
I know how crippled all the "pocket" apps are.
I know just how completely lacking external hardware drivers (eg. printers) are.

If you need more than something that just barely lets you type basic documents and sync them with your desktop, WinCE is a lame duck.

The HPC form-factor is quite nice, but the realities of using one for any length of time is not so pleasant.
 

Change two things (1)

Froze (398171) | about 6 years ago | (#23090336)

and this would make the perfect device for my sensibilities.

First make a dockable bluetooth headset so that it will recharge and be available when I want it, not sitting on my desk where I forgot it.

Second, add a cell phone with a sim chip slot so I can transfer my cell service onto the laptop.

I think that this is where they are heading, especially seeing as the Intel atom cpu they are scheduled to switch to has cell network capability built in.

Re:Change two things (1)

bestinshow (985111) | about 6 years ago | (#23090630)

I think that this is where they are heading, especially seeing as the Intel atom cpu they are scheduled to switch to has cell network capability built in.
No it doesn't. Where did you read this?

I'm hoping that the next EeePC 9xx with Atom will have an ExpressCard/54 slot (even if it sticks out a bit when populated) for things like 3.5G modems and so on.

2 finger scroll! (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | about 6 years ago | (#23090896)

From The Article:
because Asus has come up with a far better method. Instead of having to place your finger right at the edge of the touchpad to scroll, the Eee PC 900 will let you scroll from anywhere in the touchpad, as long as you use two fingers.

I am surprised that nobody else has thought of this feature:-P Great going Asus for being a real innovator.

Their choice of Linux (4, Informative)

British (51765) | about 6 years ago | (#23091010)

I bought an EEE PC a month ago. Just last week I enabled the expert desktop mode after some fiddling around with a stubborn synaptic(ugh just purge the finicky entries, won't you?). I find it a lot easier to use than my Ubuntu server sitting downstairs(on a 700Mhz Athlon). Is it the speed? No. Ask me where I can set the mouse wheel scroll speed on the Ubunutu machine, and I won't know. Easily found it via the large-size Control Panel equivalent on the EEE.

Initially, I balked at the idea of having Linux run on such a nice piece of hardware, thinking I would switch to Xp instantly. Nope, I will keep it, even after years of frustration trying to use Linux as a workstation before. I'm not running it out of Linux advocacy, I'm running it since it actually freakin' works this time. Actively using google's apps already(gmail, etc), it was a nice little touch to have them linked already on the little frontent.

Sure, I can't quite get gcc running yet to compile downloaded apps, but I'm doing just great everywhere else. Hooking it up to a keyboard, mouse & monitor makes it a nice little workstation.

Re:Their choice of Linux (2, Informative)

domatic (1128127) | about 6 years ago | (#23091238)

ASUS has recently released an SDK for these. It may be better and easier to install that on a larger machine and just transfer over compiled packages and install them. Also, I don't recommend this procedure for everyone but I got away with chucking in a source line for Debian Etch and did an "apt-get upgrade" NOT "dist-upgrade". This works well because the Xandros loaded on the unit is based on Etch. So anything I want now can be built on one of my Etch machines and installed easily. Basically as long as the KDE, QT libs, and any package that has "xandros" in the name is untouched, you can install anything built for Etch that you want.

With a little fiddling, I also got OpenOffice 2.4, Acrobat Reader 8.1.2, and replaced Thunderbird with a FirstClass groupware client. And I'm still able to use all of that with the "Easy" interface.

Re:Their choice of Linux (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#23091304)

Hooking it up to a keyboard, mouse & monitor makes it a nice little workstation.
The monitor is the bit that really bugs me about this machine. It's 2008, and it comes with a VGA connector. Monitors without analogue inputs are becoming increasingly common, and even those that support them typically now are digital devices with an analogue to digital convertor for legacy support. Looking at the pictures, there's enough space on the case for a DVI port, so why isn't it there?

FREEEEE (4, Informative)

Yeb (7194) | about 6 years ago | (#23091156)

I am working on a project to "liberate" the EeePC so it runs only Free Software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.

Already, most of the bits are there, but need to be patched in to the kernel (e.g. ACPI, "eee.ko", ATL2 ethernet). There is no free wifi driver working yet, but it is actively being worked on as a part of ath5k.

The other main non-free part is the BIOS. Hopefully someday we'll be able to get coreboot running.

My notes, docs, code, etc:
http://www.blagblagblag.org/pub/BLAG/developers/jebba/eee/ [blagblagblag.org]

git repository of patched kernel:
git://blaggit.blagblagblag.org/linux-freeeee

-Jeff

We know this guy.... (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | about 6 years ago | (#23091158)

From the article:

There's also a Sound Recorder and a Games icon, which gives you access to a handful of pre-loaded games, including the obligatory Solitaire.

I have a feeling this guy frequents Slashdot...typical reviewers would say "standard Solitaire."

Can we please ban (0, Troll)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | about 6 years ago | (#23091498)

any and all people who post variations upon a theme of "I could buy a full size laptop for that $100 dollars more"?
The point is it's small you retards. Small is a selling point. Saying you could buy something bigger is worse that useless as a comment.
Actually, to be fair it's a not a totally useless because, the phrase marks you out as a fucking moron who doesn't fucking understand the first thing about fucking anything and I can now safely fucking ignore you in the future.
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