Asus Eee PC Netbook

Grant Holliday’s blog

Senior Service Engineer, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Service

Asus Eee PC Netbook

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In my recent trip to Australia, I had some time to walk through the shops. One of the things that really caught my attention was the Asus Eee PC. (It’s pronounced “e p c”). I’d heard about these low-cost, low-power netbooks before but I’d never considered how useful they might be. The thing that struck me about these is that they were appearing on retail shelves – which means that they’re no longer a gadget-geek, early-adopter piece of technology.

Asus Eee PC

Here’s what I like about them:

  1. They’re small, yet still useable.
  2. They’re power-efficient. That means longer times between charging.
  3. They’re cheap.
  4. They come configured. They come pre-loaded with Windows XP, Skype, Live services and everything ready to go. No bloatware, no turds.

The current models are also able to run the next version of Windows – Windows 7. That means that they’re not going to be obsolete too soon.

My prediction is that they’re going to be the Next Big Thing and you’re going to see them as popular as iPods with young people in the next 12 months. To add some weight to my theory, I’ve been reading and asking what other people think of them:

First of all came the email responses from other softies:

“I use the unit now as my everyday – domain joined – Microsoft laptop and love it”

“Highly recommended – the portability and battery life can’t be beat.”

The next example was from the girl at the counter from where we ended up buying 1000H model preloaded with XP, 1Gb RAM and 160Gb Hard drive:

“They’re really cool. Everybody at uni has them, they fit on the lecture desk”

The next example was when we got home and my wife tried it out:

“It fits in my bag!”

Then there’s these comments from a New York Times article – Mini Laptops Fuel PC Sales Growth:

“The UMPC is not going to be a fad. It is going to evolve into something that Generation Y will find even more useful as they become the increasingly affluent, on-the-go, always connected members of society. This generation already looks at small screens, type on keyboards that are accessible only by their thumbs, and type fewer and fewer documents, in favor of blogs, twitters, metatagging photos, videos and creating presentations vice point-papers.
Desktop/Tabletop laptops will replace the current mid-tower PC, as the increasing power fits into the smaller form factor, but the UMPC - in whatever its evolved state - will be their second device; indeed their true mobile device that will enable them to stay in communication with their world and in touch with their community.”

“For us ladies, you can slip an Eee PC right into a handbag. Really can’t say the same thing about any regular laptop. It’s really different when you can take a full PC with you wherever you want whenever you want.”

Let me know what you think. What are you doing with your Eee PC?

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  • I got an MSI Wind netbook in the summer.  The main reason i got it was that I was having some health troubles at the time and I wanted a small Atom powered machine that I could easily carry around with me back and forth to hospital etc.  However it has been a great hit in the household and my wife has more or less adopted the machine as her primary device.

    Combined with my 3G data card and Windows Live Mesh (to sync files but also to gain remote access to my desktop development machine back in the office), the diminutive device provides all I need to be able to do work on the go and has really made me re-evaluate what I want from a notebook.

    It has also made me much more concious of the use of vertical space in my applications (with a 1024x600 screen, vertical space is at a premium)

    I am now running Windows 7 (build 6801) on the MSI Wind and it is working great - resume from standby times are much faster than with XP or Vista.  I've also got a third party 9-cell battery for the Wind which means I can go a full day working away from a power supply.

    I too am a netbook convert.

  • I'm using the Dell Mini 9, again with Windows 7 and have had no issues. It is running VS2008 and Office, perfect for note taking and quick demo's on the road.

    I chose the Dell as it is all solid state and has (according to reviews) a better battery life. I have been very happy with it thus far and am suprised how oftan I pick it up as opposed to my Acer Travelmate.

    The only problem is my 6 year old first words when he saw it were 'that compute ris just the right size for me'

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