The Asus Eee PC is a value priced ultra-portable notebook series based off of Asus' own hardware and software specifications. The Eee PC is a fully operational computer, however the budget price and small form factor limit the performance capabilities. Various configurations are available, with the standard being a 900MHz Celeron M processor, 512MB or RAM and 4GB of solid state memory. More recently Asus has released models based on the new Intel Atom processor, that, with its improved chipset has improved overall performance and cut power consumption. The series has also seen a move to larger 9 and 10" models with larger keyboards, batteries, and screen resolutions to appear more attractive to average consumers that found the miniature keyboards and resolutions lacking compared to full laptop alternatives. Other value priced portable computers are being marketed by companies like Intel (Classmate) and by the One Laptop Per Child non-profit (see the XO-1) but those are targeted towards developing countries, while Asus is offering the Eee PC to everyone.
At just over an inch thick, the notebook flips open to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard and a 7, 9 or 10" screen. The keyboard buttons are justifiably smaller than regular keys, though Asus decided to make the letter larger than the functional keys like "tab" which end up being much smaller than their traditional size. A 1.75" touch pad is included for mouse control with one button available, similar to the Apple's Mighty Mouse, the left side of the button controls left click, with the right side controlling right click. Not unlike Apple's various touch interfaces, the EEE includes advanced (arguably superior) multi-touch support. Around the bevel housing the screen are found two speakers on the sides, and on top is a webcam for video conferencing. Internet is available through the 100 M-bit ethernet port or the included A/B/G WiFi adapter (no modem). All models support SDHC cards.
A customized version of Xandros Linux is used to power the Eee PC and give access to its various programs. Many standard programs come bundled in the package, and being a variant of Linux lets you download and install more applications if you wish. On the productivity side, OpenOffice 2.0 ( not 2.3? ) is included which lets you interact with all the usual Microsoft Office documents. A media player, Firefox web browser, and Skype round out the productivity applications available. Asus also includes a suite of casual games accessible under the "play tab".
- 900 processor which has 512KB cache RAM
- Intel G915 chipset
- Integrated graphics chip with VGA output
- 7" LCD LED backlit screen, 800x480 resolution
- 256MB of DDR2 RAM
- 2GB solid-state storage
- 1 PCI Express Mini Card connector
- 10/100 Ethernet, B/G WiFi adapter
- 3 USB ports, multi-card reader
- Built-in stereo speaker; built-in microphone
- Colors: White, black, green, blue, pink
- estimated 2.8 hours battery, 4400mAh
- estimated availability end-of-November
The 4G Surf model includes everything from the 2G Surf model with these changes:
- 4GB SSD storage
- 512MB RAM
The 4G model includes everything from the 4G Surf model with these changes:
- 0.3MP camera
- 5200mAh battery, rated for 3.5 hours
The 8G model includes everything from the 4G model with these changes:
- 8GB SSD
- 1GB RAM
Various 9 inch models have been introduced with a movement to larger, more usable, higher resolution screens. Beginning with the EEE PC 900 with the same Celeron processor and internal SSD, the series has more recently expanded to cheaper 900H and 900HA models that include the higher performance atom processors and cheaper storage options (a slower SSD in the 900A and a cheaper 160gb hard disk drive in the 900HA).
Various 10 inch models have been introduced to allow users larger screens, keyboards and higher capacity batteries - pushing the runtime of these higher costing EEEs to 6-7 hours. All of these contain the newer Atom processors. The 1000 contains 40GB of SSD, and is more expensive than the newly announced 1000HA that contains the same 160GB HDD found in the 900HA. The 1000 series contains a physically larger 10" screen which becomes easier to use despite using the same resolution as the smaller 9" screens.
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