Asus Eee PC 4G 701 - Asus Eee PC

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Asus Eee PC 4G 701

Summary

Our Score:

9

It's fortunate then that Asus has done an excellent job with the design, producing a simple, unfussy but nonetheless attractive machine. Finished in classy looking pearlescent white, it looks and feels like a product that ought to cost a lot more. Unlike other super-light notebooks like Toshiba's Portégé R500, it feels sturdy and well put together thanks to some chunky screen hinges and a general feeling of density and compactness. Importantly, the outer casing is well protected and should make sure the screen won't crack under the merest amount of pressure.

Even better, the keyboard for a machine of this size is a work of pure brilliance. For sure, it's small and does take some getting used to, but given a short amount of time it's perfectly possible to maintain a brisk and consistent typing speed. Keys have just the right amount of travel and provide a crisp and even response, while the layout is surprisingly decent given the size. If any further proof were needed, this entire review was written on the Eee PC and it didn't take any more time than it would normally.

This is also helped by the software provided, with the generally excellent Open Office on hand for all your office productivity needs. Along with a word processor there's Presentation and Spreadsheet applications, while under the Work tab you can also access Adobe Reader, as well as Thunderbird for email and a Dictionary.

Moving to the Internet tab there's plenty to see, including shortcuts to popular mail services such as Gmail and Hotmail, as well as links to Wikipedia, Google Documents and Internet Radio. Skype comes pre-loaded, along with the excellent multi-platform instant messenger, Pidgen. Internet browsing is supplied by Firefox, though of all things the browsing experience on the Eee PC isn't as seamless as it could be.

Why? To begin with the screen resolution isn't ideal. Since a great majority of websites default to 1024 pixels wide, the 800 pixel width means many websites can't fit into the screen. There's also little in the way of scaling of web pages as found in Mobile Safari on the iPhone, which makes browsing on the lower resolution screen awkward at times. These aren't insurmountable problems, but it may make some people think twice and as a result one has to wonder whether Opera might have been a better option as the default browser

It's known to be quicker and less resource intensive than Firefox, while it's also better optimised for mobile devices with low resolution screens. Of course, the Linux proficient among you could happily install Opera yourselves, though the command line jiggery-pokery involved is hardly end user friendly.

In favour of Linux though, it does mean that the Eee PC boots up impressively quickly, in the region of 15 seconds. Moreover, the standby mode provides a near instant restart, just like other mobile devices. It also means that, despite the relatively slow components, the Eee PC doesn't grind to a complete halt. It still isn't fast mind you, but it's perfectly useable for the usage required.

Lantic

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!!!!

smeeeth

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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