ASUS eeePC- initial thoughts

On the weekend I bought myself a new toy. It’s the ASUS eeePC. At around A$500 it’s one of the cheapest laptops on the market at the moment. It sports:

  • a 7in LCD screen 800×480,
  • 900MHz Intel CPU,
  • 512MB 667MHz DDR2 ram,
  • 4GB solid state hard drive (it is basically an SD card),
  • 802.11a/b/g WiFi
  • 3 USB2.0 ports,
  • 10/100 Network,
  • integrated stereo speakers,
  • 3½hrs battery life (I’ve had 3 hours at full brightness),
  • SVGA out (untested for max resolution), and
  • webcam.

It comes pre-installed with a myriad of applications and would be relatively friendly for most people to use… for a linux distro… Oh, did I mention… It’s NOT Windows based!. Rather it’s built on a very customised Xandros build. The interface is not too bad once you get use to it, but there is a quick install to go to a more full Xandros desktop:

  • drop to a terminal (CTRL+ALT+T)
  • sudo apt-get install kicker ksmserver
  • reboot

You can make this permanent by going to Settings –> Personalization and change the login mode to Full Desktop mode, but this is far from ideal. If you watch it boot up, the e actually boots twice, once into normal (easy) mode and then reboots into advanced mode.

So far I am very impressed with the unit, albeit that I am use to a more flexible linux distro, this interface does suit the eeePC perfectly.

This device lends itself to much modding, just google eeepc hack.

I will report more on this later. Stay tuned for my WiFi walk!

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