Review Asus eee pc

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
My "eee" pc from Asus came with a 7" display, 4Gb solid state hard drive and 521mb memory, it's name comes from Easy to work, Easy to learn, Easy to play. I paid £229.99 but atmo you can get them for £219.99 from many places including pcworld. The unit has 3 usb 2 ports, an sdhc slot and a vga output, along with audio in/out and has both Lan and wireless Lan built in. It's advertised as having a 900mhz Celeron processor which it does but it's underclocked to 630mhz to extend battery life, you can reclock it if you want but so far the machine runs like a dream at 630mhz for me.



Out of the box the laptop is ready to use (well from the mains at least while the battery is charging) booting silently thanks to the solid state drive into it's xandros operating system in under 30 seconds. I won't go into xandros here for two reasons, it's far better covered elsewhere and five minutes after I got it I wiped it and installed XP Home. Don't get me wrong Xandros is fine, it's a flavour of Linux and if it covers what you want it to do there's no reason not to keep it. I wanted to be able to do 'some' photo editing work and to use other windows based software so Linux was never on the cards for me.
XP Home installed from a usb dvdrom drive without a hitch and all the drivers you need are on the supplied Asus cd. When completed and with my choices of software installed I had 1.6gb free on the main drive which went up to about 2.3gb after I'd stopped xp from using virtual memory. I'd also deleted some of the bloatware crap that XP comes with like messenger etc.

A great resource for info is www.eeeuser.com which has a good wiki and forums for linux, xp, hardware, modding etc.

What I've done to it - Fitted a 4gb shdc card as a permanent second hard drive I've updated the video drivers so that I can get 800x600 resolution over and above the standard 800x480 the unit comes with, installed my favourite Opera browser, (Openoffice, e-reader software and my graphics software on the sdhc) I've ordered a 2gb so-dimm to replace the supplied 512mb and have a 40gb 2.5" hard drive in an icy box enclosure. Also a usb DVB-T stick and software to turn it into an excellent 7" digital tv set, I just need to add a wireless mouse (does anyone like those touchpad thigs?) and I reckon it's about complete.

A week or so back I made a tongue in cheek post about the ultimate photographers laptop (a 20" Dell that weighs half a ton) this wee machine is pretty close the the ideal out and about or travelling kit for me, it's much faster than I thought it would be and the laptop and 40gb usb drive together weigh just 1.2kilos (2lb 10oz), the laptop on it's own is 950 grams. Dimensions are 22.5cm long by 16cm deep, about the size of a large paperback book. Stated battery life is 3hrs 15 minutes which is confirmed by others but I've not been able to yet, the onboard wireless lan can be turned off to help here if it's not needed and already a l-ion battery pack has been found that extends this further. The keyboard is small but even my phat fingers have no real trouble typing on it with the exception of the small right shift key which I keep missing.



The 3e will use the usb drive quite happily to run programs from but I think it's greatest advantage will be the extra storage it offers, transfering from a flash card directly to the usb drive via the 3e is quick and easy and of course though mine is 40gb, the sky is the limit.
You can see from the box that other colours are available, white now with the girly pastel colours coming soon.
 
Messages
4,178
Edit My Images
No
#3
Mods, pls change Steep's tilte to Tech-e :)

Great review m8.
 
Messages
192
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
This is interesting to read, I've been looking into one of these for myself. I understand they're not selling the 1GB of RAM version over here though (anyone know for sure?) which would be the one that I'd want as I'd be looking to run photoshop on it.

Though I have just read the bit about sticking 2GB RAM in it, I'd be interested to see how that goes for you, plus, if you don't mind sharing a few prices?

The only issue I've got is running PS on 900/600ish MHz...

We'll see...
 
Messages
3,901
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
Nice review Steep.

I'm now on my second EEEpc. Paid £200 for my first and was given a black one as thanks for a review I wrote for RM of which they are using a quote of on some literature for the BETT show in January.

Lovely little machine, upgraded mine to 1GB ram, running with a 6GB SDHC card as a second storage device and like you have a usb 2.5" hard disk to go with.

Ideal for when you're out and about, we're taking ours to the states with us in April, going to use skype on it and call the UK from there for not very much money at all ;)
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#7
There are rumours of an 8.9" version for some time next year which would most likely have a bigger ssd and more memory.

Even at that size I don't see it being used for any serious pp work but I've tried it and it can already handle raw conversion and image editing well enough (with the current 512mb) to be useful say on holiday or when you're in the field.
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
Saw one of these in PC World, only thing I didn't like was the thick black plastic round the screen, its just crying out for a 10" screen instead of the 7".
When you get down to using it you don't notice the border, which by the way houses the speakers and the built in webcam.
 
Messages
346
Name
Jonathan
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
My flatmate (a computer science student) has one and thinks it's brilliant. It's absolutely tiny in the flesh! Really small. It has a very nice feel to it - think 30D ;)
 
Messages
275
Name
Jez
Edit My Images
Yes
#10
I got a eee 701 too... mines white with XP Pro, I've got a 160GB 2.5" hd, DVD/RW self powered and a 8GB SD flash hanging off it !!! I so love it.. it's ideal for work and play as I'm an IT consultant and I have to plug into loads of different networks each week.

I've to Trillian pro on it for the messaging, and Net-stumbler to find those free hotspots.

I've not looked at upping the ram yet. mmmmm must open the bonnet !!!
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#11
The good news is that Asus have now said it's ok to break the seal on the base if you want to upgrade the ram. It won't affect your warranty. My 2gb stick arrived today :)
 
Messages
275
Name
Jez
Edit My Images
Yes
#12
The good news is that Asus have now said it's ok to break the seal on the base if you want to upgrade the ram. It won't affect your warranty. My 2gb stick arrived today :)
and ..... ?

is it the 2GB 533MHZ DDR2 NON-ECC CL4 SODIMM ?
 

RobertP

TPer Emeritus
Messages
14,453
Name
Robert
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
Interesting little machine. Thinking travel photo storage and review - what is it like at running a slideshow of RAW files from the external hdd using say the microsoft viewer?
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
Jez it's Patriot 667Mhz CL5, this one, http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...B+PC2-5300+Signature+SO-DIMM+?productId=27890

Robert I have no idea m8, HDTune reckons the 40gb drive has an average read write speed of 24mb/s, the onboard ssd comes in about 33mb/s while a maxell 4gb class 4 sdhc about 15mb/s.
Since I tend to avoid MS software where possible I've never used the microsoft viewer and tbh never thought of running a slideshow of raw files.
Breezebrowser will convert a raw file to 16bit tiff in 1min 15sec, my main pc (amd athlon x64 dual core 6000+) using the same settings takes just 15 seconds. Of course that's not a fair test but it shows that the 3e is capable enough of getting the job done.
 
Messages
362
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
Interesting review and interesting bit of kit but just wondered what were the windows programs you needed to install xp for? I have heard it runs much quicker on the original linux.
 
Messages
1,100
Name
Euge
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
I have had an eee for a couple of months now and its great, especially when traveling. I use it for WiFi when out and about and also backing up photos to various external HDD's.

I did install the Ubuntu release but found there to be a couple of little problems so went back to the original version. I have not installed XP but know it will run alot faster on the native linux distro.

If you cant leave MS software behind, then try crossover office (will cost about £50) as that will support most applications. I use it for Outlook on my work pc and dont have any issues.

Also on the subject of viewing RAW files, i found out that my Archos 605 wifi will display RAWs so i now use that as my backup HDD so i can quickly scroll through the images.

Cheers
Euge

P.S Skype Video works really well :)
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#17
bailout, my graphics software, raw conversion software, dvb-t stick software, email software... I've dallied with Linux in various forms many times in the past but have never been really happy with it, whereas xp works the way I'm used to having it work, gives me no grief and I can use my existing software which means no having to find my way round strange menus in software that lacks useability because it was written by geeks for geeks ;)

/edit, I should mention that my eee died and has been back with Asus for just under 4 weeks 'waiting' on a new mobo.
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
Quick update, my repair status went from Waiting to Repairing to Repair Finished today, should be coming home soon :)
 
Messages
496
Edit My Images
No
#19
whats the screen like? as in showing colours for photos.This would be great for me to take to automotive shoots so I know what im getting before I get home and correct things
 
Messages
11,452
Name
David
Edit My Images
No
#20
do you have an issue with slow copying from ds slot to usb hd?
I borrowed a friends when i shot a match a while ago as i didn't have enough storage on me, and it took an hour to copy a 2gb card (scandisk extreme III) to my external HD, is this just cos i forgot the second usb power cable or is it usual?
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#21
It's not something I've come across, I use CF cards via a card reader mind you.

I can think of reasons why it might take a long time, if your mates version is 2gb and has the basic 512mb memory running windows there could be a bottleneck. My external usb drive doesn't need two power cables but others might well do.
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#23
Pretty much the same as any laptop I've tried, small of course but that goes without saying.
 
Messages
444
Edit My Images
No
#24
Pretty much the same as any laptop I've tried, small of course but that goes without saying.
I tried my friend's and found the trackpad pretty bad - it didn't register unless you pressed down quite hard which made lots of mousework quite tedious.

They may have fixed this by now, though.
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#25
Mine was one of the first to come out, tbh if anything I find it too sensitive. Maybe quality control has something to do with it.
 
Messages
410
Edit My Images
Yes
#26
I've tried most of the netbooks that were the main competitors to the Eee back in December but the best ones by a mile were the MSI Wind and the Samsung NC10. I really didn't get on with the Eee and the Aspire One, they were too small and fiddley! I couldn't stand the tiny screen and I must admit the ergonomics of the Wind and the NC10 are much better. We ended getting the NC10 and never looked back. Fantastic little machine, does most things well and now with 2gb ram is running really well.
 
Messages
48
Name
Jack Laurenson
Edit My Images
No
#27
I have the Asus Eeepc 1000H. Its the perfect netbook for the press photographer and photojournalist but im sure it works just as well for any photographer. Gutted that i spilt a glass of water over it when i was in India and its had to go in for some repairs. Cant wait to get it back.

I reccomend this laptop. Its fab.
 
OP
OP
Steep

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
Messages
15,569
Name
Hugh
Edit My Images
Yes
#28
The bigger screen makes all the difference there I reckon.
 
Top