Asus eee PC… GOT IT!!!! First impression..
It was Saturday.. outside the city wasn’t as busy as usual, yet.. I opened up my fatty 15.4″ laptop and thought.. why not have the little one a go!??!?! My girlfriend saw it some days ago on a magazine, I saw one at the Enterprise 2.0 conference…what the heck, it is just €299, it won’t be all that bad if the thingy is just a blunder… so, I went and hunt for the Asus eee PC!!!!
First, find a place where it was still in stock or sold, as a matter of fact, since hard-to-find tech gadgets make the object itself some sort of an icon straight from day one.. provided the tech-thing is worth the while..
So, I found an Asus Point the other side of town, I jumped into a pair of combats and my boots, girlfriend was fast enough to get the car key in a matter of seconds, shoot out, jump into the Mini and set the GPS up!!
Milan was sort of waking up in a decent sunshine.. spring is almost here, so what’s nicest that have a little, smart, light and fun PC to go out and hunt for WiFi spots??? To be on a beach with nothing to do but sunbathing, I guess, but since we are in town..
Shop was where it was supposed to be, too many people for my liking, but thanks heaven I called before hitting the street, and THE LAST ASUS eee was already booked in my name!!! I could then sit back and relax, waiting for my turn in the cue…
Some ten minutes after, we were outside the shop, holding a smallish box, something like the size of a weekly magazine and a palm thick… the little guy was there, lurking at us from a plastic foil protecting its pale white complexion… back home I let Antonella get the baby out and start playing with it, but after a few hours charge, since the battery was absolutely flat!!
After having spent this waiting in weekly shopping trips, finally the eee went “live”… no more than 30” and the screen was popping with a start up screen, a matter of seconds to type in name, date, time, the usual stuff and there it was!!!
A nice, tabbed screen with some magic words such as work, entertainment, web, stuff like that!!! So, where to begin???
First.. the overall feeling is of a sturdy little pc, the size of a decent paperback, light as light can be (less than a kilogram..), keyboard is clearly on the small side, and yet is fin to type in, I have to say that I am not really a giant, and my hands are quite small, still, the baby is not made for creating your next trilogy the likes of the lord of the rings, so…
All applications are nicely grouped under “tabs”, the same you have in any decent Web browser… it is all there, ready for you to use! The entire office suite is the Linux version (yep, the entire machine is running on Linux, should you do not know that already!) of OpenOffice, thus dead easy to use, pretty compatible with most of your documents, will do for some work whilst you are out!
Connectivity… the usual Ethernet modem connection which, damn, forces me to wait and try the baby on the web, got a tragic USB modem but, wait… WiFi!!!!! There is a little icon on the bottom left of the tab-screen, why not having a go.. mind you, I still haven’ t got WiFi at home (lazy, waiting to buy an Airport Extreme…), but, eventually, there were some six or seven around.. of which two open, and nicely ranked with an “intensity percentage”… got an87% and bam, there it was, into the Web. Just like that, no configuration of any sort, no hassle, nothing, just hit “connect” after having selected the access point, and wait a few secs..
Firefox was up and running (yep, no configuration, installation, nothing, it is all done for you beforehand!!), fair enough the screen (7″) is not exactly massive, yet it does the job quite nicely.. access speed, downloading and the rest of the web experience were in the norm, so quite fast, not an hiccup, nothing at all.. several kind of web sites, with different graphical layout and “intensity” have been downloaded and rendered without problems.
I wrote some stuff, responded to a few mails, Antonella checked for a new couch on the IKEA site, all in the norm! The baby was there, ready to answer our performance calls!!!
Photo upload was hassle-free… put in your SD loaded with your favourite pictures, click on the “Open” and there you are..
Haven’t tried Skype (pre-loaded…) yet, nor the webcam, but the beginning of the eee era in my flat are pretty fine!!!!
Most interesting feature.. do not know, really, it is the ease of the experience that is stunning, something that could remind me of some tales about the Apple MacBooks and such… the start up time is great, very very fast, battery lasted one day and half of pretty intense usage…
Should you buy it??? As a second PC, something seemingly reliable, packed full with all-you-need-applications, easy to use, WiFi enabled, yes, it is a definite yes!!! As your only machine I would actually think twice about the choice, keyboard too small and some work to do with external storage may hinder the fun!!!
If you bash into it, get the card out and get one!!!!! Your lifestyle as modern, city like chaps will have a boost and, seriously, you won’t pass unnoticed!!!!!!!!!
UPDATE: when I went about the “one day and half” battery life, clearly I didn’t mean that the eee was actually ON for all that time, it meant I used it half of Saturday and the whole of Sunday on and off, doing things for tens of minutes each go.. you know the going..