Long term review: Asus Eee PC

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eee-pc-review.jpgYou might remember my positive review of the teeny-tiny Asus Eee PC a few weeks ago (if you don’t, here it is). When the review sample went back, I was as good as my word and bought one, seemingly just before they sold out across the UK. With that in mind, I’ve got several weeks more usage under my belt, and a few more points to add.

– I’m now entirely comfortable with the keyboard – very few typos and good speed despite its size. I do get a momentary culture shock when switching back to a full-size keyboard on my desktop (the results resemble the typing my cat does when it trots over the keyboard), but it only takes a few seconds to adapt. But yes, typing on the Eee is fine – I’ve liveblogged with it and not looked like a mis-spelling idiot.

– You’d be surprised at the amount of simple image editing you can do with the Eee’s built-in Paint application, if you’re a blogger…

Although putting the Eee to sleep is just a matter of folding the screen down, it does chop your Wi-Fi access off, meaning that when you fire it up again, there’s a delay while it reconnects to the network. It’s certainly slower than my iBook to reconnect.

I could really do with a 3G modem inside or connected to this thing. I’m puzzling out how to connect my existing Vodafone 3G USB modem to the Eee (if anyone has any advice…), but if Asus is smart, it’ll sign a deal with a mobile operator or two to ship 3G-enabled versions sharpish.

I’m still not keen on the mouse buttons, and the fingerpad is a bit too sensitive for my liking – occasionally jumping my cursor to a random point in an OpenOffice document if my thumb knuckle brushes it while typing. I’ve still not found the ideal sensitivity setting to stop this, without making the fingerpad too stodgy for normal use.

The battery life is marvellous, especially with the screen brightness turned down and Wi-Fi switched off. I’ve not been left twiddling my thumbs through lack of juice on a long train journey yet.

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Stuart Dredge

3 comments

  • If you have the Vodafone 3G USB widget (I have the 7.2 model) then configuration is as easy as adding a new connection through the connection wizard – no shell access required. And no additional drivers either.

    It’s easier than configuring it on OSX was and uses all built-in GUI functionality.

    Just go to the Network Connections app (by clicking on the icon at the bottom left of the screen), choose Create… then the GSM/3G (UMTS)/HSDPA option and follow the wizard. It even asks you which network you’re on so that it gets everything right.

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