If you really can’t deal with Linux, Asus has made all the Windows XP component drivers available. Thus, you can install Windows XP if you like, or even wait for the Windows version that Asus has already announced. Whatever you decide to do, one can’t help but feel that given the price and functionality, the Eee PC could easily generate a great community that might churn out applications designed specifically for the device. In fact, EeeUser.com shows there’s already a grassroots community that could and should blossom.
Having touched upon the Internet and office functionality, one of the surprisingly good aspects of the Eee PC is its media ability, especially in regards to video. An open source media player is installed, which can play more or less anything you throw at it, including Xvid. For standard definition video, the screen is also quite capable. It’s not the most colourful or the sharpest by any means and has a slightly mottled look to it, but black levels are surprisingly good and it deals with motion well enough.
Returning to an earlier theme then, is the Eee PC the natural successor to likes of the Psion Series 5 and netBook? Yes, it is. It isn’t the same as them by any means, but it’s a modern take on a similar theme. Yes it’s small and has a great, small keyboard, but technology has moved on enough that you can now comfortably use it to surf the Internet, listen to music and watch video too. It also has a wider appeal, being great for introducing computing to children and for adults who want something simple and portable.
As such, one can only recommend the Eee PC. It does have its issues, but it’s difficult to deny both the value and sheer usefulness of the device as an auxiliary notebook or general portable companion. Moreover, Asus must be applauded for being gutsy enough to introduce such a device at the bargainacious price it has. Now, one can only hope it is encouraged by this response and goes away to improve on what it has done. Were it, for example, to make a version with a 9in screen with 1024 pixel width, then the Eee PC could become something even more special.
Refreshingly innovative and scandalously cheap, Asus’ Eee PC is a great little device for those with basic needs. A great keyboard makes working on it surprisingly easy, while media playback adds a little extra to the package. Internet browsing is also a key component and though the low resolution screen lets it down somewhat, at this price it would be churlish to penalise it too greatly.
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