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Asus Eee 901 

So at long last I get to see for a few days one of the biggest talking points of this year. It came with no documentation a Linux operating system and apart from an initial problem with Wireless connectivity it worked flawlessly.

asus eeepc

It is 22x17x4cm and weights 1140grams. The screen is 19.5x11.5cm giving the notional 8.9 inch diagonal measurement. The screen is 1024x600. The processor is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom. It has 1GB of RAM. 20GB of storage. A 1.3 mega pixel webcam. 3xUSB ports. 2 year warranty. External VGA and Ethernet ports. Headphone and microphone sockets. SD card port and a very easy to use copy of Linux. It also has wireless and Bluetooth.

In fact the version is so like Windows the only thing you need to think about is single click not double click. If you want a PC for surfing, email and word processing then this is ideal. However if you need a third party program that runs on Windows then you might have problems.

Battery life was amazing, I got six hours and that included quite a bit of wireless connectivity, I did however mostly have Bluetooth turned off.

I am not a Linux expert I have a PC (gathering dust) that has a copy of Linspire Linux on it but I forget the last time I turned it on. This Linux boots in 30 seconds to a front screen that has six drop down menus, highlight the one you want with the built in trackpad. The default (first selection) is Internet this has a total of fifteen icons including Skype, Web Mail, Web, Internet Radio and Wireless Networks. The later one was the only problem I had in that initially I could not connect wirelessly the solution was straightforward and if it had had the instructions no doubt it would have told me. However once setup correctly it worked flawlessly.

The second menu is Work includes Star Office 8, a PDF reader and other useful applets. Next is Learn with things that the kids will use but probably think are useless. Play has some games as well as Media. Photo and Audio software. Settings have sixteen icons all fairly easy and while some may have slightly different names they work well. Finally Favourites this is slightly different it does have web pages but more however it’s a minor difference to Windows. Lastly the taskbar at the bottom is very familiar just remember hover to see if you don’t understand an icon.

About my only real concern (apart from third party software) are peripherals. I have three printers or AIO units around and while I did not expect it to support the brand new review units it did support my own now quite old HP Officejet 6110 AIO unit. Do check your devices are supported before you buy.

Yes on occasions I wished for more depth on the page when browsing but given that the only small Windows notebooks seem to command a huge premium. I never understand why a 12 inch system is a lot more expensive than a 15 inch one. Even a Tablet PC probably the most expensive option will weigh a lot more than just over a kilo. Getting six hours of battery life out of one will either require a second battery or a visit to your optician as the brightness and contrast will be so low. Here I just accepted the default settings that to me seem almost identical with mains power or without. No doubt you can tweak them but I did not.

It does not come with a CD unit but as it can accept a USB one or you can copy software to a USB stick or SD card that is not a problem. Lots of Linux software is Free anyway and can be downloaded. I mentioned the boot up time of 30 seconds, the shutdown is 5 seconds. Windows can’t get near either of those figures I mean shutdown not suspend or hibernate.

There is only one other problem the price the original Eee the 7inch screen without webcam model was the magic £200 this is £300 and while it has more memory etc it just misses that sweet point. For anyone who travels a lot then Bluetooth and Wireless are important these work well. Ethernet is just a plug away and should you take the power supply it is tiny and not the brick that so many notebooks use.

Doing my Internet searches found the Eee 901 with Linux at a best price of £281.98 including shipping but with new models appearing all the time this will be a very volatile price. If you must have Windows then you'll pay £275.27 but you'll only get 12MB of storage (to compensate for the cost of Windows).

Doing my Internet searches found the Eee 901 with Linux at a best price of $429.95 including shipping but with new models appearing all the time this will be a very volatile price. If you must have Windows then you'll pay $439.99 but you'll only get 12MB of storage (to compensate for the cost of Windows).

Doing my Internet searches found the Eee 901 with Linux at a best price of €380,09 including shipping but with new models appearing all the time this will be a very volatile price. If you must have Windows then the price is the same but you'll only get 12MB of storage (to compensate for the cost of Windows).

http://event.asus.com/eeepc/microsites/en/index.htm for lots of info and a look at the product.

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Features3
Performance3
Value3
Ease of use3
Design3
OverallAsus Eee PC 901 rated 84 out of 100

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