Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Asus PC arrives: Easy to carry, Easy to use, Easily liked!

Today is a little drum roll day ... as I am pleased to announce the purchase and delivery of an Asus EEE PC mini notebook in a smart 'Pearl White'. :-) I had been reading with interest various reviews (almost invariably positive) and had heard colleagues equally lavishing praise - even to the extent that they have suggested that these machines become standard issue! They described how it would be ideal for taking along to conferences for giving presentations, typing notes, quick access to email etc.

Actually, I had been doing all these things with the HP Jornada 720, which is half the size and weight, is instant-on and has double the battery life. However, much as I am very fond of the handheld PC, there's no doubting its limitations e.g. there's no application that delivers full web support, its screen is 640*240. The Asus is in most operational respects far superior, so I made the investment.

Take a look at the following assorted devices.

The Jornada is on the left, the Asus EEE PC in the middle; to the right is a Toshiba 486 laptop, which is about 3 times as thick as the Asus [not mine, I should add]. Underneath is the HTC P3600.

Using the Jornada has proved beneficial because the Asus keyboard is not so much bigger than it, but since I can type almost as quickly on the Jornada as I can on a desktop keyboard, I am quiet comfortable with the Asus.

I've only tried it out for a few hours, so not much to report - first thing I managed to do was connect to the department's Eduroam wireless network and the responsiveness was surprisingly good. However, the battery level was already low and soon was down to 20%, so that was all. Back at home, recharging, I can surf at leisure and once again I compare my experience with the Jornada and naturally find that the screen resolution is generally fine, but the main difference is that this small device is running a full desktop operating system!

It's a case of windows through windows: the screenshot was from the Asus running Windows (!), which I expect more often to run Linux; and the inner screenshot was taken of the Jornada with the Windows CE OS running an X server connecting to a Linux box!

It's reminding me of 'thick' vs 'thin' client discussions, but I won't go into that now.

In the meantime there's quite a bit to explore...

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