There are several models available, but the one we’re reviewing and which Asus considers the most desirable model is the Eee PC 4G 701. Aside from the processor, which is the same across the range, the 4G 701 features 512MB DDR2 RAM and a 4GB SSD (Solid State Drive). There’s also a 0.3-megapixel webcam and integrated microphone, with network connectivity provided by 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and 10/100 Ethernet. All models ship with a 7in 800 x 600 display, while this and the more expensive 8G 701, which ships with an 8GB SSD and 1GB DRR2 RAM, utilise a four-cell 5200mAh battery.
Two other models exist, including the 4G Surf and 2G Surf. Each have 4GB and 2GB SSDs respectively, while the 4G Surf features 512MB of RAM compared to the 256MB found in the 2G Surf. Each also lacks the webcam, while using a slightly smaller 4400mAh battery. In addition, in a deal with RM, the 2G Surf will be sold to schools as the RM Asus Minibook.
Given its dimensions, the Eee PC is surprisingly well endowed with connectivity. On the left edge there’s an Ethernet port, one USB port and headphone and external microphone jacks. You’ll certainly be in need of these, especially since the integrated microphone isn’t the strongest, though the speakers either side of the screen proved far better sound than one would reasonably expect.
Other connections on the right include a D-SUB port for hooking up an external monitor, along with two further USB ports and a memory card reader that supports MMC and SD card formats. Given that there’s only 1.3GB of space after the OS and applications, external storage through USB keys and hard drives will be essential. As such, it’s pleasing that Asus has managed to squeeze as many as three USB ports into the diminutive chassis.
When you consider that this model costs a mere £219, it’s hard not to be impressed with the package on offer. If all you want is something that you can surf the Internet with and write the occasional document, on paper it’s everything you’d probably want at a price that’s too good to turn down. Of course, on paper all sorts of things can appear better than they are, so the real test is in how easy it is to use the Eee PC.
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