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Asus Eee Purchased – Only One Catch

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Yesterday, I wrote about my techno-lust with the Asus Eee. Not long after the post went live, the lowest possible version on Craigslist for $200. That's $100 less than retail, and $40 less from any other price I've previous seen. I jumped at the opportunity to own it. I figured that in the worst case scenario, I could sell it for a very small profit on Ebay tomorrow. I love when I can try "new-to-me" technology with little or no financial downside.

So now I get to "the catch..." It is the pink version. My wife finds the whole thing rather comical. Not that there's anything wrong with pink, it's just not the color I would choose if given a choice. It should be an interesting conversation piece when I bring it to a conference next Tuesday (more on that later today). I think I will pay another $20 for a protective color that will make it look mostly black. If I can look for a silver lining, it will make a good hand-me-down for my wife. She could take it with her when she travels for work. I'll be happy to upgrade to better versions when the prices get more reasonable.

If you are considering getting one, here are some quick thoughts on the Linux version:

  • Linux isn't bad - There's a reason that one of the "E"s stands for Easy. It really is easy. I would have no problem giving this to my mom to use. She could get on the Internet and do most anything that she would want to do.
  • Google Reader is bad on the 800x480 screen - I use Google Reader as my main way of reading blogs. Unfortunately the frames that Google chose to use do not allow you see your list of subscriptions by default. However, if you switch Firefox to full-screen mode (press F11), you get just enough real estate to cycle through your subscriptions in a very small window. For those with the newer Asus Eee 900 this shouldn't be a problem.
  • It's relatively snappy - Because it has a solid-state hard drive, it boots up in 20 seconds. From Standby, it comes back in about 7 seconds. Websites render quickly. The slowest part of the machine is me - the keyboard is small that I current make a lot of typing mistakes unless I resort to a mostly two fingered approach. I think I will get better with it over time.
  • Not sure if space is going to be an issue - With a 2GB hard drive there's not a lot of room for extras. I have a 4GB SD card, but I'm not sure if I can run extra programs on that. My limited experience with Linux says this shouldn't be a problem, but I haven't tried it.

It doesn't look like it's going to replace my full computer any time soon, but it looks like it will do exactly what I expect it to do - get me online from the road with relative ease at a reasonable price.

Last updated on June 14, 2008.

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8 Responses to “Asus Eee Purchased – Only One Catch”

  1. Llama Money says:

    You’re a bigger man than I am, that’s for sure. I’ll stick with my Treo for mobile internet ( even though the screen is much smaller.) I just can’t pull off pink – especially not in a professional environment. Hope your co-workers have a sense of humor!

  2. SimianLogic says:

    I’ve been using a Fujitsu P1510 Lifebook for over a year now (similar form factor to the EEE, and I’m 6’3 with big hands), and I’ve since ditched my desktop completely. I’ve had laptops before, but they always sort of turned into desktops because of size/clunkiness. This is the first PC I’ve had where the form factor is such that you really can take it just about anywhere. Prepare to be addicted to how convenient it is…

  3. Happy Steve says:

    Well that was mighty quick. Welcome to the group of Eee owners! :)

    I doubt the small hard drive will be an issue. The only software I use is Firefox, Skype, and the occasional game of solitaire if I’m stuck without wifi for a while.

  4. DebtKid says:

    I was just lusting over one of these at the store this week. The one I had was running XP. I already run Linux on my main laptop, so I was actually curious about getting an uber cheap one like this to run XP. Would it be too slow?

  5. Clever Dude says:

    Now you’re tempting me since it’s coming up to laptop replacement time. I like my little 12″ monitor Vaio for its portability, but I guess I could use something even smaller. I think I’d wait for the larger screen version though.

  6. Mary Sue says:

    Apparently some of the travel DVD cases will fit the EEE and cover up the pretty pink. Or you can go Sharpie on it, mine’s got Sharpie flames and a sticker from girl-wonder.org on it. Not terribly professional, I admit, but I use it more for recreation… and I live in Portland.

    I run Pingus off my SD card, so that’s not an issue. One thing from reading all the forums that worried me was the fact that SSDs will suffer from write fatigue faster than a ‘regular’ hard drive, so I mounted a 4GB SD card as my main drive, as that’s easy and cheap to replace. I got the directions off the EEE Wiki, but that’s about as fancy as I’ve gotten. I still use Easy Mode.

    The one thing I forgot to mention is that if you use one of these things in public, be prepared to constantly field questions about it. I’m about two minutes away from xeroxing the stats onto index cards to hand out.

  7. Patrick says:

    Just take diligent time taping up the whole thing and sand/prime/paint the case whatever you want.

    Or cover it in vinyl stickers like you see for Wiis and things.

    I have a guy that could make something one-off too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you really love Asus Eee, try Eee PC 900, the harddisk capacity is much larger than any other Asus Eee laptops. 2 GB? What can you do with it? :D

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