The Easiest Computer Ever
January 09, 2008
As I’m gearing up for the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I’ve been doing research on the loads of gadgets that I’m about to come across. One of them that stuck out was the ASUS Eee PC. ASUS just received the 2008 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards for the Eee PC, along with three other products. Additionally, my brother was just showing me his Eee PC that he took with him on his last snowboarding trip.
The three Es in its name stand for easy to learn, easy to play and easy to work. That pretty much says it all, plus it’s small, cheap and uses flash storage, perfect for durability. It makes a good first impression for a small little thing. It only weighs two pounds with a seven-inch, 800x480 pixel display. It’s about the size of a big paperback book that can fit into a large pocket or a bigger-sized purse. It’s perfect for traveling and checking your e-mail/doing some light work on the road.
Sean Maloney, Executive Vice President of Intel, described the Eee PC as a “fine addition” to other ASUS products, and that it is in line with Intel´s “World Ahead” marketing drive, which aims to provide anyone around the world a chance to own a PC. “It will give them the chance to access the Internet and share in the 21st century opportunity,” Maloney added, referring to the wiring up of the next one to one and a half billion people who are still without a computer.
The Eee PC’s operating system is Xandros Linux, which is the same as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) computer (also known as the $100 laptop). In other words, it’s easy to understand and navigate, especially for the technically challenged. There are four basic user-friendly tabs - Internet, Work, Learn and Play. Each of these contain a variety of icons that are applications, settings or a link to a website.
The Internet tab includes a Firefox browser, Skype (if you don’t already have an account, you can download one for free), an e-book reader, a wireless utility and links to Wikipedia. Google Docs, and Internet radio. The Work tab includes OpenOffice 2.0, which you can use to read and edit most Microsoft Office formats. You’ll also find Acrobat reader for your PDF files, and Mozilla’s Thunderbird Web client to collect your e-mails from Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail. Eee’s Learn tab is especially made for the students, containing a bunch of math and science applications. And, at last the Play tab is where you can play with the Photo Manager, File Manager or Music Manager.
Underneath it all, the Eee PC contains a 900Mhz Intel Mobile CPU, 512MB of RAM and a solid-state flash hard drive (2GB, 4GB or 8GB). For your web access, the Eee has built-in WiFi 802.11a/b/g or a 10/100 Ethernet port. There are three USB 2.0 ports, VGA out for video, stereo speakers/head-phone/microphone jacks and a convenient SD card reader for your pictures. The battery life is rated to be 3.5 hours, but it really only lasts around two hours (or less).
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