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Hardwarewise, there’s nothing truly astonishing about the Eee. Let’s have a look at the specs of our unit:
- 900 MHz Intel Celeron CPU
- 1024 MB RAM
- 16 GB SSD
- 8,9” TFT
- 1,3 Mpix WebCam
- Atheros 802.11g WLAN card
- SDHC card reader
- 1xRJ-45 TP NIC
- 1×3.5mm Minijack audio out
- 1×3.5mm Minijack audio in
As I said, there is nothing revolutionary about the specs of the Eee. That is, not until you take its size into consideration. Weighing in at 0.99 Kg, and sporting its 8,9” TFT monitor, this computer is definitely an impressive bit of kit.
The Eee comes with either Windows XP Home or Xandros Linux. Our model was the latter. Bundled with the computer we find OpenOffice, Mozillas Firefox webbrowser as well as a suite of games.
I assume you know what Windows XP is all about, so I’m only going to cover Xandros in this review. If you’re a basic user, the Xandros setup will most likely suit you fine, no problems. It works well for all it should work for.
If you are any kind of sysadmin, computer tech, or other kind of power user, the basic OS installed on this computer simply will not do. My suggestion is to reinstall it with Ubuntu Linux. First off, it works excellently, and secondly there are several guides out there to help you work out all the kinks (just make sure you have a internet hardline handy, as the Atheros WiFi-card is not supported out of the box).
I have heard it commented that the keyboard of the Eee is too small for actual, practical use. I’ve got to disagree. Granted, this might not be the computer you use to write the Great American Novel, but it is most definitely workable. Indeed, so much so that this entire review has been written using the Eee.
Watching movies is no problem, nor is connecting it to a larger display. I’ve even used it to watch movies on my 37” TFT display, and connected it to my soundsystem at home. It works excellently.
The Eeepc is not what I’d recommend for your primary computer. Frankly, it is too small for that. It is ideally suited for a secondary computer. It’s small enough, and has no moving parts, making it an ideal companion for trips.
My immediate reaction was that it was the cutest thing I’d ever seen. I still think it is, but I also see its limitations. A 900MHz CPU has many of them, meaning that its multitasking skills lack something to be desired. Even so, it is a good bit of kit, and works very well.
My recommendation is this: if you’re not willing to wait, get it, but don’t complain to me later. If you are willing to wait, wait for the 901, which is rumored to have a 1.6GHz processor, which promises to be an improvement. Also, get the 9-cell battery, which will double to triple your batterylife.
Note: This entire article was written on the EeePC reviewed.