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Early Look At ASUS Eee PC 901 With Intel Atom CPU

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the chip-off-the-old-block dept.

Portables 235

Might E. Mouse writes "Reviews are hitting the net for the first Intel Atom-powered netbooks, and TrustedReviews has posted one for the ASUS Eee PC 901 20G Linux Edition. Has ASUS won the Atom(ic) war before it even started? With features like Wireless-N and a 6600mAh battery good for four to seven hours, that might well be the case. TR rated it highly, but I'm going to wait for their MSI Wind review before making a purchase — their first look at the Wind showed a better keyboard and larger storage." An anonymous reader notes that despite the increased capabilities, the 901 debuts at a lower cost than its predecessor.

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"Four to seven hours" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23800779)

Call me back when you have a machine that can last at least as long as the Model 100 (i.e., 20 hours). Anything less than that is not a portable computer, its a wasteful fucking toy.

Christ, when will people get the balance of power and efficiency?

Re:"A full school day" (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800977)

This works for me. If nothing better comes out in the next few weeks this or the MSI Wind is going back to school with my kids in the Fall.

It's small, cheap, light enough. It'll serve them all day. I don't have to freak out if they lose it or break it. It's got enough CPU power and memory to do real work.

I'll take one for me too. I'm tired of lugging around a full sized notebook when this is all I need. For real power and storage I can always remote to a real desktop under Citrix. For light spreadsheets and barcode scanning this will do the trick.

Re:"A full school day" (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801463)

How much money do you have, and how spoiled are your kids? From the first link I saw [gizmodo.com] , the MSI Wind is supposed to be priced between $458 to $1072 depending on options. Even at $458, that's quite an expensive device. Not expensive for a portable computer, but expensive none the less. If my kid lost or broke a $500 thing, I would be quite annoyed, and I would not be playing to replace it. Especially considering that a portable computer is nowhere near necessary for kids to have.

Re:"A full school day" (1, Offtopic)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801563)

The argument these days is that a cheap portable is not much pricier than a cheap desktop, might as well get the portable. I hate to say it, but I have to agree... most people would be perfectly satisfied with a cheap laptop.

Me, I'm the opposite: I have no use for a laptop whatsoever. Not unless they make a dual-processor, 8gb ram Raid-5 laptop with dual NICs and gaming-class graphics. Overclockable too, while we're at it.

Until then, the closest thing I'll have to a laptop is a 40lb ATX cube with an LCD panel velcroed to the side.

A ferrari to get to the store (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801681)

Impressive specifications there. Y'know, I never knew anybody that thought he needed that much computer that also knew what to do with it when he got it.

Re:A ferrari to get to the store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801935)

:)

Many simulations wanders through a whole suite of parameters, where any new parameter added multiplies the total time with two. Any doubling of CPU cores may almost half that time.

We may still be talking talking weeks or months for a full analysis even on that puppy machine "billcopc" mentioned. :)

Re:A ferrari to get to the store (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802035)

And you're doing this on a laptop because... why again? Because you can?

If you need this kind of processing you're not doing it on a laptop - but you can always open a window to your compute farm on your mini-notebook as long as you're somewhere your cellular broadband has coverage.

how spoiled are your kids? (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801565)

how spoiled are your kids?

Pretty close to ruined, I'd say. They get their first real PC at 2, by 13 they're expected to build their own. Cable broadband. This is pretty standard for our larger family - we're all in IT.

An Xbox with a couple games and controllers runs more than this and there's no way I'd buy them that.

I didn't say I'd be happy about it if their mini notebook was lost or trashed, but it wouldn't be a disaster. The first one that gets broken will just be another toy for me to play with the leftover bits. Motherboard? That looks like it would fit in an RC plane...

Re:how spoiled are your kids? (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802091)

If they have to pay for even part of their own car when the time comes, you'll more than make up for the toys and be well ahead of a whole lot of middle class families.

They'll also treat the car better.

Re:"A full school day" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23802409)

If you are saving or paying for college for your kids, I don't think $458 is a lot of money for a computer. In other news, poor people can't afford stuff because they spend $200 a month on cell phone service and cable tv, and wonder why they can't afford gas for their 3 year old car with 2 years left on the note. Ever heard of priorities? Maybe a portable computer isn't necessary, but it isn't expensive unless your idea of supporting children is counting food stamps. Or you have 8 kids, since 8*$458 is a significant amount of median household income. $458 won't even buy cigarettes for a year.

From whence the anon haters come? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801977)

The anonymous naysayers showed up quick in this thread.

Perhaps someone is trying to squish the MID market? Why? Is it because these things don't run Vista well?

Re:Quality. (1, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802311)

The problem is that they are cutting more than the physical corners of the laptop.

Amusing (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800815)

There's an ad for the MSI Wind adjacent to the text for the Asus review.

settling dust - I'll wait a year (4, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800825)

with MSI, eeePC, XO v2.0 and a host of other micronotebooks, I'm going to wait another year for it all to solidify. There's a lot of speculation right now, and I'd like to see a market tested, proven platform I can compare to all the others before I buy.

Re:settling dust - I'll wait a year (4, Insightful)

melonman (608440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800931)

I can understand that, but, if you followed that logic consistently, you'd never buy a computer at all. I bought a 701, which I liked apart from the screen. Then I bought a Windows 900, on which I've installed Kubuntu, and I'm quite happy with it. It's a bit irritating that the next model is out already, but I'll be using mine on a series of train trips next week. If I had done things your way, I'd be reading magazine reviews instead of doing any work...

Re:settling dust - I'll wait a year (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801033)

I bought an XO back in December and love it. I've found a way to type on it that allows me to still type fast enough to get work done. Also, I don't "follow the logic consistently". I usually wait until something's matured and dropped in price enough for it to behoove me to buy it. I bought a Core 2 Duo for ~200 bucks about two years ago, and have resisted and resisted getting a Core 2 Quad or Phenom. The prices and product have had long enough to mature, and 6 or 8 core processors are far enough away to warrent buying a 4 core now.

Re:settling dust - I'll wait a year (1)

TrekkieTechie (1265532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801561)

Why on Earth would you buy the Windows Eee if you're just going to install a Linux distro anyway?

Re:settling dust - I'll wait a year (1)

melonman (608440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801847)

Because it's available. I pre-ordered a 701, waited 4 months for it to appear (supply in Europe has been very poor), and by that point the 900 was almost with us. My previous laptop had a broken key, and I wanted to set up my new machine before I next needed to use the local keyboard, so I bought what was available rather than what the wholesaler thought might be in stock in a month's time.

Re:settling dust - I'll wait a year (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801849)

"I'm going to wait another year for it all to solidify."

I'll just wait until something interesting pops up used and cheap!
I'd wait if buying a truck or other high value asset, but there are so many computer choices making a quick, economic decision is easy. So is dumping it if I make a mistake.

Re:settling dust - I'll wait a year (2, Informative)

bgfay (5362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802173)

I thought the same thing last year and then, when my folks, brother, and wife couldn't think of anything else to get me for Christmas, I suggested the Eee 701 8G. I got it on a whim, thinking it would be a good toy. And it is. But I was surprised by how much work I can do on the thing. Most of the time, it's my primary computer.

The keyboard takes a lot of knocks in reviews, but listen to the people who have had one for a while. I have meaty fingers and I can type fast on the thing. The screen is too small, but I hook up to a monitor when I'm home or at work and at other times use Firefox's fullscreen mode. It works.

As for waiting for the market to settle down, I get too excited for such a logical, well-reasoned approach. Besides, for five-hundred, I was willing to give it a shot. I'll probably grab a 901 for my 40th birthday and pass the 701 down to my six-year -old. She's already using it whenever I'm not on the thing.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't wait. If that's what you want to to do, go for it. But if you can get someone to let you borrow one for a few days (a week would be great) I bet you'll find you're ready to go.

FOSS is working as intended (5, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800867)

If it had been up to Microsoft and Sony, we'd still be stuck with overpriced $2000 executive toys running Microsoft Vista like molasses.

FOSS has made it possible to create these machines and circumvent Microsoft's near monopoly, because if any of these companies had asked Microsoft to keep XP going for ultralights, Microsoft would have told them to go f*ck themselves. FOSS has also made it possible for these companies to design and sell $400 machines.

And the motivation for it all has not been that people begrudge Bill Gates his collection of 19th century gold plated toilet plungers, but the fact that people want choices and free markets in software and hardware. All Microsoft has to offer is a gigantic marketing budget and Stalinist central planning.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23800975)

This is not thanks to FOSS, but thanks to Negroponte who thought that cheap PCs could be produced.
We know how much Microsoft and Intel tried to stop the OLPC project...

Re:FOSS is working as intended (4, Interesting)

erikina (1112587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801413)

It gets tiring seeing the same arguments over and over, so I'm not going to rehash the arguments in Intel's favor.

On a side note, no matter how you look at it - your hero Negroponte sold out. It's amusing how on their website one of the "5 core principles" is open source software. And to much acclaim, they publicly refused to use Mac OS (which was offered for free) and then turn around and license XP. (Oh yeah, and disagreements with Negroponte is the reason Intel walked away)

Re:FOSS is working as intended (2, Interesting)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802181)

Don't know much or care much about the man, but OLPC has been a good example of how (in everything) great tech isn't enough to solve a problem. The lack of teacher training and software interfaces designed for those totally unfamiliar with computers have (temporarily, one hopes) held the project back.

But still, even if it hasn't been the revolution for every single kid that it was dreamed to be (and given the kind of rhetoric surrounding the project -- there's no way it could fully live up to expectation. People in the international activism world rolled their eyes too.) it's a Very Good Thing. Now a techy teenager in Mali has a much better chance of getting her hands on a real computer than she did before the project.

DIY tech and microfinancing are fantastic ways of providing meaningful aid.

Whether or not Negroponte maintains full OS orthodoxy and where he stands on MS vs Apple is certainly interesting to ME but I'm hardly the person who matters in this discussion, and that kind of thing is hardly the most important issue.

Efforts to assist the underdeveloped world that aren't just bags of food or plans to turn them into a labor market for western business should be applauded, not nitpicked.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801567)

That's silly. Negroponte didn't invent cheap machines or cheap laptops, and when the conditions are right, they appear in the market, as they have done a number of times before. Furthermore, no OLPC technologies have actually made it into any of the low cost laptops. It's a shame, really, because Negroponte and his project really could have made a contribution in this area.

The Eee PC would exist without the OLPC, but both OLPC and the Eee owe their existence to FOSS.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801013)

help!i have virii on my lunix boxen!!

Re:FOSS is working as intended (3, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801257)

FOSS has made it possible to create these machines and circumvent Microsoft's near monopoly...

I'm not sure FOSS made their existence possible, but it certainly made this price differential possible:

The Wind appears to be solidly constructed out of hard plastic--unlike some early mini-laptops, which feel about as sturdy as a Styrofoam mini-cooler. At 10 by 7 by 0.8 inches, the Wind resembles some pricier portables--enough so that the list price of $399 (or $499 for the Windows XP version) seems like a bargain. Wait a week and we'll be able to tell you whether it's worth the money.

Computerworld [computerworld.com]

The mini-notebook phenom has most definitely highlighted the Windows tax on computer hardware. And it's nice to see examples of having that price differential clearly illustrated. And that's the way it should be. If you feel having Windows adds $100 of value to your notebook, by all means go right ahead and fork over the $$$.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801417)

The mini-notebook phenom has most definitely highlighted the Windows tax on computer hardware./blockquote> Since Windows is *optional* on these notebooks I think calling it a Windows *tax* is no longer warranted. FWIW, I strongly suspect that for only $100 more, many (most?) will opt to purchase Windows on these devices. But I agree with you ... making Windows optional is the way it should be. From my perspective, I hope each flavor garners about half of the market so the competition remains stiff. That is when we the consumers win.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801541)

The important thing to note is that the Linux-based Wind has a smaller battery, no Bluetooth, and less RAM. So there's a good bit more there than the price of a Windows license.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801735)

I think a large part of the reason FOSS has been so central to the emergence of these computers is the mindset it gives people making the devices. FOSS makes it much easier to see the advantage of making a general purpose PC instead of a much more closed internet appliance.

If you are using FOSS there is no reason not to include a spread sheet, word processor, photo editor, games and so on. In effect it changes thinking from "What can we cut out to save costs?" to "What can we cut out to save disk space?". Once you have got to that point the idea of locking down the system becomes a little silly unless you have a really good reason to do it.

So starting with the idea people want a little device to surf the web you end up with an eeepc that can do a lot instead of an internet appliance that can do a couple of things.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802259)

It certainly helps that the manufacturers can tailor the OS to their hardware themselves.

Free and infinitely configurable vs. pricey and fixed featureset isn't much of a competition.

Of course

Compatible with my files from work vs. not isn't either.

The best thing going for FOSS right now is that for most users application support is an issue of diminishing importance. Media and document formats are everything. If you can view web pages, you can do most everything, if you can edit word, excel, and powerpoint you can do everything else.

However crappy MS's XML format is, it's a sign of things to come. That they're even making motions toward being open is a pretty strong bit of writing on the wall.

Microsoft is a combination of IBM and DEC. They had a very lucrative decade, but they've lost their ability to launch new products and shape the market. They're going to have a long, slow decline. They will be purchased by some company for lucrative support contracts with an installed base. A decade or so after the purchase, there will be few traces of their tech remaining. Their primary legacy will be that they enabled commodity hardware, and inspired a generation of programmers to compete with them for free.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (3, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801371)

Not to its full potential, though...

Why wouldn't you put a different CPU in an UMPC? Sure, an Atom CPU is low-power, but it's also held back by the x86 architecture. Drop that, and you lose binary compatibility (a small loss for this application) in exchange for even better battery life. An UMPC based on ARM, Mips or low-power PPC core could be even more awesome than one based on Atom.

I can understand that people want x86 compatibility, even for a small UMPC running Linux. But with this market exploding, I'm sure there is (or will be) room for a niche market of non-x86 UMPC's. Let's hope some manufacturer steps in there.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801899)

"Drop that, and you lose binary compatibility (a small loss for this application)"

Sell THAT idea to people who want the convenience of running the same binaries on all their machines.
What do you think makes small x86 computers so popular?

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802323)

Google around for Linus' statements on Itanium.

He's pretty fond of x86, and takes the perspective (pretty obvious one for him if you've looked inside the Kernel) that a collection of hacks and cruft like you see in the intel instruction set is the sign of good engineers dealing with problems that don't come up in theoretical exercises.

Aside from the fact that x86 is a conceptual mess, do you have evidence to back up you aversion to the architecture? Intel is bending over backwards (in their own interest to be sure) to tailor-make a PC to this spec. There would need to be some overwhelming reasons to go with an incompatible architecture that would require many many more engineer-hours to build to (a far bigger consideration than the user's experience with binary compatibility) wouldn't support the parallel windows line, and probably wouldn't have any real world advantage on price/performance.

Cheapening the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801407)

$2000 is alot more reasonable for a quality product.
When you demand cheap sh*t you drag down the entire industry.
1. The costs of chip design and manufacture are going up, not down.
a) example: reticles are about 10x more expensive than they used to be ($1 million+ versus $100K)
b) chips are getting harder to get working. PCIE, SATA2, HDMI, especially USB, are all serial high speed devices with funny protocols that never ever work quite right. They can be sensitive to jitter, thermals, etc and all take time and $$$ to debug thoroughly. Many of the subfeatures, like PCIE's power saving modes, are chronically broken in all chipsets. And don't get me started on ACPI.
c) fighting power consumption on modern processes (90nm and lower) is insane. We had brief respite at 65nm but not much. The trend is still onward and upward. Yes, really.
d) fab costs are rising with each generation

2. The value of the dollar is half what it was not long ago. $2000 today is really $1000 yesterday.

3. Margins of everyone (save perhaps Intel) are razor-thin as it is.

So stop demanding cheapness. You're not encouraging quality. You're asking hard-working engineers to work more than the 60-80 hours a week they already do and eventually get laid off anyway. The industry _will_ implode if this trend continues.

Re:Cheapening the masses (2, Insightful)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801885)

A consumer can demand whatever he wants for his money, and it's up to the companies to provide however they see fit, or if they choose to not provide it, then so be it. As long as there is demand for some product, some one will create the supply or there won't be a market. This implosion you are talking about is the same implosion for the typewriter and traditional print media industry. Companies don't need protection and neither do engineers. If you feel like you need the protection, that tells me what kind of company your work at and what kind of engineer you are.

Re:Cheapening the masses (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802231)

I totally disagree. I'm not demanding cheapness. Instead I want a machine that does the things I want it to do, does them efficiently, is in a package that works for me, and doesn't cost too much. The Eee is just that machine for me.

I'm not looking for a powerhouse PC.

Now, when this HP laptop on which I'm typing right now dies, I will replace it with a MacBook since that's what works for my wife (the primary user of this machine). So it's not a matter of every computer being cheap (as you put it). But there needs to be a market for machines like the Eee. Why? Because people want it. A $2000 machine is no longer an option for me. It's a crazy amount of money to pay for something on which I'm going to run Firefox and listen to music. For that, I'll stick with the Eee and buy something for around $500.

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801865)

Hi,

here in germany, they don't sell the Asus EEE PC with Linux. The only available version is the XP version with 12GB Flash and it costs 600$ (400 Euro). It seems that Microsoft has "convinced" Asus not to ruin their market here.

An unhappy Martin

Re:FOSS is working as intended (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801893)

Correction: They don't sell the 900 with Linux. Only the 700 is available with Linux. You can dualboot the 900 with Linux, but you have to pay for the XP :-(

Re:FOSS is working as intended (4, Funny)

cmacb (547347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801997)

And the motivation for it all has not been that people begrudge Bill Gates his collection of 19th century gold plated toilet plungers, but the fact that people want choices and free markets in software and hardware.
I find it disgusting that people continue to pick on Bill Gates and his enormous wealth. Don't forget that he not only *invented* the PC, but also wrote most of the software that runs on it.

Furthermore, he is devoted full-time now to charitable works, such as providing 19th century gold plated toilet plungers for Africa!

Outdated chipset (4, Insightful)

niko9 (315647) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800875)

It worries me that the chipset consumes more power than the CPU itself. Since my
Thnkpad X40 sub note book is working just fine, I guess I'll hold off until the next revision of the Atom
platform is released and then reevaluate.

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800999)

Your next computer will be faster, smaller, cheaper, more memory, better graphics, consume less power, be quieter and whatnot. I guess all I conclude was that you already have a good machine in this category and isn't in the market for a new one yet. I agree it has potential for improvement but I'd be very concerned if it didn't. To me it sounds like a very good machine available now (or close to).

Re:Outdated chipset (4, Interesting)

aliens (90441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801015)

What difference does the power drain of the chipset make if it still gives you 7 hours battery time?

Sure, a lower wattage chipset would give you more, but what exactly is there to worry about?

Re:Outdated chipset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801029)

Because 7 hours of battery life on a so-called "portable computer" is so stupid and insulting as to not even be a joke.

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801137)

I don't think you explain it very well. Seven hours isn't enough? Or are you saying that the seven hours is fudged? Seven hours is still better than most notebooks available today.

Re:Outdated chipset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801353)

I'm saying seven hours is far from enough. The fact that it's "better than most notebooks available today" only shows how low our expectations have been driven. I don't want a goddamn gigahertz crotch warmer whose battery life is barely adequate to play a movie off its stupid-ass built-in DVD-ROM drive. Shit, even "portable" TELEPHONES are starting to need charging every day. That's pathetic.

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802041)

"I'm saying seven hours is far from enough."

So what exactly are you doing with your computer that requires something like 20-hour (the longevity you mentioned in your earlier post) battery-life? Last time I checked, there's 24 hours in a day, and we sleep roughly 8 of those hours. That leaves you 16 hours of potential computer-use a day. And none of us spend every single waking moment sitting on an untethered computer. If you do, then your problem is not laptop-batteries, but your lifestyle.

"Shit, even "portable" TELEPHONES are starting to need charging every day. That's pathetic."

I charge my phone every day. When I go to sleep, I plug it in. I unplug it when I wake up. Yes, I can see why that is such a big pain in the ass....

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802245)

You watch 7+ hour long movies? Wow. Now that's a long attention span.

There are few times in my life when I'm 7+ hours away from an electrical socket.

Re:Outdated chipset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801179)

Because 7 hours of battery life on a so-called "portable computer" is so stupid and insulting as to not even be a joke.
I hear you, Brother (or Sister)! I, myself, am refusing to buy a laptop until they can at least outlast me without having to recharge.

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801427)

I agree. I bought a laptop. Although I certainly don't use it as a portable computer. I use it because it's nice to use on the couch, or is easily transported to the kitchen so I don't have to print recipes. It's almost always plugged in. The amount of battery power in laptops is dispicable. 7 hours should the the minimum for basic laptops. Not something to be happy about. A laptop should at least be able to work all day without worrying about the battery.

Seven hours from a wall outlet (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801855)

If I'm seven hours distant from a wall outlet what I want is not a mini laptop. What I need there is a fishing pole.

It's the principle! (5, Funny)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801223)

What difference does the power drain of the chipset make if it still gives you 7 hours battery time?
You might as well ask why we invaded Iraq if Osama bin Laden is in Afghanistan. You liberal types just don't know when to shut up...

Re:It's the principle! (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802263)

So what if Osama bin Laden is in Afghanistan. We all know that Saddam Hussein planned 9/11. Right? That's what Bush/Cheney/Fox told me. And they would _never_ lie.

Re:Outdated chipset (4, Insightful)

niko9 (315647) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801593)

What difference does the power drain of the chipset make if it still gives you 7 hours battery time?

Sure, a lower wattage chipset would give you more, but what exactly is there to worry about?

What difference does the power drain of the chipset make if it still gives you 7 hours battery time?

Sure, a lower wattage chipset would give you more, but what exactly is there to worry about?
The difference is if Intel had mated the Atom CPU with a more apropos low power chipset you would be paying
same amount of your hard earned money for an ultra portable that had maybe 14 hours or more of battery life.

Imagine that. A sub note with close to 20 hours battery life, much like the Tandy 100.

As of now, the Intel Atom is mated to a 3-4(?) year old 945 chipset. Sounds like something was missed here.

Re:Outdated chipset (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801943)

Intel's chipsets often include an integrated graphics controller, which is the largest part of the chipset, and is often larger than the CPU itself. The next chipset for Nano will probably offer better graphics and a larger controller, I don't really expect the chipset power to decrease much.

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802249)

If Intel had waited for a low-power chipset to be ready, then we wouldn't have the Atom at all in the meantime, and you'd be getting a 3 hour battery life. It's coming, but Intel has said it's just not ready yet.

Unfortunately doesn't work like that (2, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802339)

Laptop!=cpu+chipset. There is that big screen thingy with its drivers and backlight,RAM and the Flash - which still needs power to write and read. Then there is the analog audio drive, the wireless modules, and probably a load of other stuff. A laptop consists of two main parts that dissipate heat partly through ducted air and partly through convection from the surface. Cutting the CPU power may reduce the fan load quite a lot, but the fan is there mainly to remove heat from a very small, very hot area. A lot of heat gets dissipated from the entire case.

Changing the north and south bridges might increase the battery life by perhaps 20%, depending on the attached peripherals, but it will not double or triple it. In fact, even this may be wrong; you do not know how efficient the chipset is already, and it may not be possible to reduce the power significantly.

Re:Outdated chipset (1)

Balial (39889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801925)

Could it be that the chipset includes the GPU and a bunch of other devices on it?

Just because it can consume more power doesn't mean it's wasting it.

Still one thing missing... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23800913)

That is for Asus to sell the Eee without an OS so we can avoid the Microsoft tax. [xandros.com]

Re:Still one thing missing... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801931)

Offer to buy enough units and it's a fair bet they'd sell them to you wholesale.

Re:Still one thing missing... (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802277)

Doesn't selling it with Linux avoid that tax?

Re:Still one thing missing... (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802307)

> Still one thing missing... That is for Asus to sell the Eee without an OS so we can avoid the Microsoft tax.

And the Linux version isn't doing EXACTLY THAT?

Ha, I wish ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801097)

Reviews are hitting the net for the first Intel Atom-powered netbooks

If it really were atomic-powered, we wouldn't have to worry about battery life.

Sometimes I feel old... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801099)

Combined with the lean and mean Linux OS, performance is snappy and responsive. With 1GB of RAM in support you can even have two or three programs open at any one time and not encounter any major problems unless you want to watch video,
With one gig of RAM, you can even run two or three programs at once... Not that I long back to everything, seriously WTF it's what I ran on my desktop a few years ago and I had a lot more than that running. Looking at my memory stats 4GB is overkill and 2GB would do, and I got... 20 applications open including a virtualbox version of XP which itself runs 4 apps.

Re:Sometimes I feel old... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801351)

A few months ago I was going video editing on my desktop system, running Firefox2 (you know how much memory that takes!), and had amarok playing in the background.

Everything was working fine. No hiccups or anything.

A few weeks later the system died. When looking for a compatible motherboard and CPU for an upgrade, I was shocked to rediscover that my "workhorse" computer only had 512 MB of ram.

Re:Sometimes I feel old... (2, Interesting)

TrekkieTechie (1265532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801585)

The Atom processor is specifically designed to do one thing at a time, for low-end applications such as the Eee and the E-box. It is a very low-powered single-core chip. So, yes, the fact that it can actually handle a little multitasking is something to take note of.

Re:Sometimes I feel old... (2, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801757)

but we've had multitasking since the pentium first appeared. Not only that, the Atom is a hyper-threaded CPU, so really you could say its designed for multi-tasking.

I think the point was that modern apps are so hungry for resources that you need lots of RAM and CPU, whereas we got the same stuff done with significantly less only a couple of years ago.

Re:Sometimes I feel old... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23802363)

Pentium? What're you smoking, while Win95 was the first 'multitasking OS' from the windows line (actually NT 3.1 would've been, or was 3.5 the released version?)

And prior to that were plenty of multitasking apps, like DesqView and whatnot. It's been possible on x86s since the 286 era (386 was the first usable I believe.)

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I haven't really thought about any of this stuff in a good 15 years.

Re:Sometimes I feel old... (2, Interesting)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802461)

Modern web pages do in fact require that a whole lot of information be kept in memory (or swap). Other apps don't have as much excuse, but a browser can really only be as lightweight as the content you are browsing.

Also modern OSes expect a lot of extra memory and use it to do things like constantly maintain a search index, preload common software, run auto-defragging filesystems, and so on and so forth.

You engineer a computer differently when you have gigs of memory. There's an appeal to having a pile of raw untapped power under the hood, but it actually makes a lot of sense to use that power for something during the 99.999% of the time you aren't recompiling the kernel.

1024x600? Eew.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801161)

And I thought 800x600 was a pain to work with on the previous model. I think this will only make it even more annoying since you're stretching your screen a lot this way. I'll pass...

Re:1024x600? Eew.... (2)

sokkalf (542999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801237)

It's pretty much like a normal widescreen with regards to the aspect ratio.. most laptops are fitted with widescreen LCDs anyway. Never tried the 700-series Eee, but I have a 900 with 1024x600, and it works really well. No need to scroll sideways while webbrowsing etc..

Re:1024x600? Eew.... (1)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801379)

Actually, the previous (well, still current in fact) 700-series uses a resolution of 800x480.

It's remarable usable if you take some care to tweak firefox into eating less vertical real estate.

Re:1024x600? Eew.... (3, Informative)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801531)

I reccommend the "Compact Menu" extension.

Anonymous Coward (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801247)

Where is TOUCH SCREEN?

WHERE is Pixel Qi - Dual Mode battery saving Screen technology and 1 watt system use?
http://www.pixelqi.com/
(love the Pixel Qi products page with PaperWhite Screen Tech being worked on by them that uses very little power)

Where is OLPC like $10 user anywhere replaceable battery?

If DELL does the Pixel Qi stuff first, bye-bye Asus EeePC...
http://www.pixelqi.com/blog1/

Re:Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802147)

Where is TOUCH SCREEN?
Where is GRAMMAR, FAGGOT?

Why a VGA port? (3, Insightful)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801261)

Very cool, but why not DVI? That's insanely stupid.

Re:Why a VGA port? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801523)

Business users still require VGA for presentations on old projectors. DVI can do both, but it requires an adaptor or special cord, and is more expensive.

Re:Why a VGA port? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801887)

It's not that big a deal to carry an adapter for a VGA projector if you really need to and with the other features they added like the 20G flash storage, bluetooth and wireless-n, why not DVI? It can't be much more expensive if you get it on budget graphics cards and mobos.

Re:Why a VGA port? (1, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801875)

DVI is physically about twice the size. Unless Asus suddenly decides to use that thing on Apple laptops (which probably carries a licensing fee) it's not going to change any time soon.

Re:Why a VGA port? (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802025)


That's insanely stupid.

It sounds really stupid to me to have a DVI port, and not a VGA port. Why? Because there's a lot more VGA compatible hardware out their than their is DVI compatible hardware.

The small advantage of slightly better graphics output doesn't really outweigh the disadvantage of having to either have an adapter (that people will likely forget or lose), or use a display that supports DVI.

Atom is ok. But, VIA Nano can run Crysis... :) (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801275)

Re:Atom is ok. But, VIA Nano can run Crysis... :) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801717)

Yeah with a nVidia 8600GT graphics card, hardly what you'd want in a low power laptop. And the most relevant spec, power consumption, can't really be compared from the info in the wikipedia articles. Before saying one is better than the other how about some real world benchmarks for both systems on performance and power consumption.

Re:Atom is ok. But, VIA Nano can run Crysis... :) (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802075)

Nano also consumes a lot more power, so the two CPU's are not really comparable. While Atom consumes about 1-4w, Nano consumes about 20w

Downward spiral of hardware prices (4, Interesting)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801305)

The rate at which hardware prices are dropping is simply breathtaking. Consider it from the seller's angle: a $500 drop in price from say $1500 represents a 33% drop in revenue; a $500 drop in price from $1000, on the other hand, represents a 50% drop in revenue. This wreaks havoc on a lot of business models--and of course, creates a lot of new ones.

Looking at this price trend, it seems like every home will soon be littered with a lot of portables--some fairly new, others, say, one or two years old. There might be one on every coffee table, you might throw one in the bathroom, as well as the one in the bedroom, and so on. Managing and maintaining the software on all these devices will be a chore.

In an article [faunos.com] I co-wrote for the FaunOS project project, we argue that making the boot device detachable and largely hardware agnostic is an attractive solution. The idea is that users carry and maintain only a single copy of an operating environment which they can run on pretty much any device of their choosing. That way, the user accumulates and maintains know-how on a single evolving operating environment rather than having to duplicate that effort across multiple machines. Does this makes sense?

Re:Downward spiral of hardware prices (1)

David Jao (2759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801687)

making the boot device detachable and largely hardware agnostic is an attractive solution. The idea is that users carry and maintain only a single copy of an operating environment which they can run on pretty much any device of their choosing. That way, the user accumulates and maintains know-how on a single evolving operating environment rather than having to duplicate that effort across multiple machines. Does this makes sense?

It makes sense, but the implementation leaves something to be desired. In this day and age, an operating system or operating environment is not viable for everyday use unless it has timely and usable mechanisms for installing, reporting, and keeping track of security updates. The problem is that very few [distrowatch.com] linux distributions provide this kind of infrastructure, and of the ones that do, none of them is small enough to fit on a boot device.

What I want to see is something like FaunOS where security updates are reported and published in a transparent and timely fashion, and where a large block of updates can be applied without filling up the disk or reinstalling the system entirely. Ideally, the maintainers would also commit to supporting old versions for seven years (like Redhat), or even three years (like Ubuntu). If this sound impossible, it probably is -- maintaining a linux distribution is a lot of work, and only the large organizations have the resources to do it.

Re:Downward spiral of hardware prices (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801815)

an operating system or operating environment is not viable for everyday use unless it has timely and usable mechanisms for installing, reporting, and keeping track of security updates

"Yum update" does that for me. Sure, I don't much care about security updates as I download all the updates regularly. Same with my Windows box, it tells me it wants to update something, so I let it. I don't actually know what it does but it keeps fixing this "critical" and "important" security update all the time.

Now maybe these things can get a bit more security to them, as people who have them really want them as computer devices (like, say, a PVR), not general purpose computers. That means we need it to have quite locked down access to the internet, maybe sandbox the browser too.

Re:Downward spiral of hardware prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23802337)

You could try Ubuntu set up as a live usb drive with persistence [ubuntu.com] . Not really sure how well it works, I only came across it when looking for a way to install Ubuntu from a USB drive so I didn't test the persistence feature, so I guess the updates may end up taking extra space where they don't on FaunOS. But for distros not fitting on a boot device, you can get 8GB and 16GB usb pendrives now which can easily accommodate a full install of pretty much any Linux distro.

Re:Downward spiral of hardware prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801701)

Wow, someone else thought of this! I call this pod-computing because you just bring your "computer"(HD actually) with you wherever you go. Then just use terminals/kiosks/portables to plug your flash drive into and you keep all your data with you. No need for internal HDs anymore.

Wifi-N? (3, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801315)

Maybe I missed a memo, but so far all I've found for WiFi-N support on Linux is "legacy mode" where it falls back to B/G. Is there real, MIMO and bonded WiFi-N under Linux for either the Intel or Atheros chipsets?

Eee PC regrettably still lacks a touchscreen (2, Insightful)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801349)

Even though modding projects like JKK's [blogspot.com] caused 7" touchscreen add-ons to sell out within weeks when the first Eee PC came to market last year, making clear this should be a built-in feature, unfortunately it is missing from the new edition nonetheless, though the review for some reason neither discusses nor deplores its omission.

Anyone coming e.g. from a Psion or Nokia Communicator will know what a difference a touchscreen makes on small devices, and would surely have appreciated it at least as an option.

ASUS not committed to Linux (5, Interesting)

zaivala (887815) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801405)

What bothers me is that ASUS is no longer committed to Linux, and the 901 is the last Eee that will feature Linux as the preferred OS. I'm waiting for other companies to bring out an Atom, and also waiting for Ubuntu to finish their notepad version of 8.04 to run on one of these... which should be very soon.

Re:ASUS not committed to Linux (1)

zaivala (887815) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801439)

Sorry, meant "netbook", not "notepad". Hard to keep up with terminology...

Re:ASUS not committed to Linux (3, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802319)

Um, the 1000 runs Linux, and on a 40GB SSD too. If anything, their commitment to SSD is waning, evidenced by the 1000(H) with an 80GB hard drive.

Where is the tilde? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801475)

I assume the keyboard on the review is a US one, which is supposed to have the ` and ~ key on the left of the "1" key. Where is it?

Anyone can go ALT+96 or ALT+126, yes, but ~ being the "home" character on Linux means it's quite used..

Re:Where is the tilde? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801645)

On the 701, it's to the right of Esc and above the 2. From the screens, doesn't look like they've changed the keyboard much.

Re:Where is the tilde? (1)

miscz (888242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801785)

It's between Esc and F1 keys.

Re:Where is the tilde? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23802185)

I guess you didn't RTFA, or that you missed this picture [trustedreviews.com]

So what will the next version of OLPC look like? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23801721)

I'm pretty allured by these things, but I sort of had my heart set on playing with an OLPC machine. I just love the idea, and who knows, I thought I might find something in the software to help develop or improve.

If AMD can't put out a competitor to Atom, I hope Negroponte decides to go with Intel for the next version of OLPC. I also hope that high volumes could get the prices even lower than $600. But... yeah, I'm definitely intrigued.

Haiku OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23801861)

i can't wait for those haiku guys to finish their stuff so i can run it on one of those puppy. Those 512M and 4G flash entry model are useless exept if you use haiku/beos on it, then it saturate (meaning you will not even see the difference going larger-stronger).

www.haiku-os.org
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