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Asus Eee PC 4G 701 review

Andy Vandervell



  • Recommended by TR
Asus Eee PC 4G 701


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When you review over a hundred products a year, it's a rare thing to become truly excited about something. Yet, when Asus' Eee PC landed in our office recently it garnered genuine excitement. Indeed, when we first heard about the Eee PC it immediately drew comparisons to the burgeoning and frankly imperfect UMPC sector. However, as we learned more about the device, it generated more interesting comparisons to such yesteryear classics as the Psion Series 5 and the legendary netBook. Is the Eee PC the natural successor to such devices?

Possibly, maybe: in truth I'm in a playful mood right now, so you'll have to follow the trail of crumbs instead. First things first though, what is it? Fundamentally, the Eee PC is a compact and low power sub-notebook. It is based on the Intel 915GM chipset and is powered by a 900MHz Intel Celeron processor. Weighing a mere 920g and with dimensions of 225 × 165 × 21~35mm, it's the perfect size for carrying around in a small bag or simply by hand. It's small enough too that it can be used in more or less any environment, be it plane, train or cardboard box - so long as you can sit down, you can comfortably use the Eee PC.

For example, right now I'm writing these words while sitting in Heathrow Terminal 1 waiting for a colleague to finally emerge from the Arrivals lounge. Surrounded as I am by hoards of taxi drivers and screaming children it isn't the most comfortable place in which to work, but with the Eee PC rested on my lap it's a good deal easier. Even compared to the smallest and lightest ultra-portables its size is appreciably advantageous, with me now comfortably working away in bed, burning the midnight oil.

These are the sort of environments in which the Eee PC excels and it's being marketed as ideal for those who want something small and Wi-Fi enabled, particularly for children but it's also quite compelling for adults. To help keep costs down the system ships with a custom version of Linux, with its own intuitive tabbed interface that's split into Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings and Favourites categories. Each tab is populated by a large array of shortcuts to pre-installed software and Internet services/utilities, with practically every need catered for. Before I delve deeper into the software though, let's take a closer look at the hardware behind the Eee PC.

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June 17, 2008, 9:12 pm

Great machine but the WiFi can be tricky to get working and according to the Asus "help line", it's a common problem to which there is no solution ... or very limited options.

So be warned, WiFi setup can be problematic. I am still battling!

Other than that, fantastic machine, at a great price with excellent functionality.

Chris Tinker

August 15, 2008, 4:23 pm

EEE PC - the best businessmans companion ever!!!!!

I'm a pretty average business user of computers, with one exception, I fly an awful lot, about 4 times a week to be exact. So lugging a massive notebook aorund with me isn't an answer, and I feel sorry for those that have to. So I gave up the good old Fujitsu Siemens Amilo. After all I did have my Blackberry Curve for emails, plus an Ipod Classic for music and the occasional movie - if you have good eyesight! I used to log into the internet at various places, including the overseas office, to pick up my email and attachments from our Zimbra collaboration tool.

Well, now I dont have to worry - I am an EEE PC convert. This dellightful little notebook is the answer to a travellers prayers. I bought the 7" half gig memory, 4 gig flash drive Linux version in an attractive white for just over 𧶀 in Currys and have never looked back.

It didn't take me long to realise that Linux wasn't for me though. I was too used to Windows and used a lot of Mircosoft business tools (including mobile broadband) which I was unable to get from Linux. Linux is OK for Geeks, that is people who enjoy messing about in the root of computers, I dont! Don't get me wrong Linux and especially Open office is pretty good, just not for me. I want functionality without any messing about.

I upgraded the memory to 2 gig, bought myself a 16 gig sd card as a secondary drive, grabbed a cheap USB disk drive, and an "official" version of XP home (SP2) and basically followed the instructions in the EEE PC manual.

Sure it took a few hours but now I have XP up and running, have installed Office Pro, McAfee Virus protection, MS Project, MS Visio, Mind Manager, Adobe Reader and Quick Time Player for my MP4 videos and have at least 1.5 gig free on my flash drive!

It took a little jiggling about and one or two re-installs with some programmes (especially for some reason Quick Time), but I finally got everything working OK and I'm delighted. People next to me on my flights are usually amazed when I remove the little darling from its case and power it up to watch a video. Mobile broadband with wi-fi access completes the picture. This was one of the reasons I went to XP as Linux was unable to support mobile broadband without some massive programme writing in Unix, something I wasn't about to try.

Asus have produced a marketing miracle with this notebook, the build quality of which is excellent and comparable to the Sony's, which at around � are a scam. Even the add ons haven't cost an arm or a leg. OK the battery time is not quite as good but acceptable and the small keyboard quite useable. The main reason they have been able to produce this little miracle is the relaisation that most laptops are only big because of the hard drive and dvd recorder. Doing away with those, plus the use of large capacity memory sticks and sd cards complete the picture.

My only grumble? That's not with Asus its with the movie makers. Why can't they sell movies on memory sticks? Don't they realise that DVD's are a thing of the past?

The EEE PC is the best buy yet...and certainly the best businessman's companion ever!!!!


September 27, 2008, 7:00 pm

Eee PC gives rise many web-sites about it, for example very interesting is this one - www.pceee.net

joung joy

March 11, 2013, 4:29 pm

i useing at present,,bt very interting for me i like so much..

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