Asus Eee PC 701 Reviewed (Verdict: Light and Able)


LAPTOP magazine got an exclusive first look at the Asus Eee PC 701, the solid-state 7-inch laptop that many people have been greatly anticipating. Editor-in-Chief Mark Spoonauer stepped up to review it, giving it four of five stars in its Linux-based version.

Asus is forging a new class of device with the Eee PC. Yes, you can get a laptop with a bigger screen and better specs for the same amount of money, but this machine wasn't designed to go toe-to-toe with bargain-basement Windows laptops. It's an excellent secondary computer for households with children, and it's a very good primary computer for novice PC users who never had the time or patience to master an operating system.
In many ways, too, the Eee PC is a new-and-improved version of the Internet appliance concept, as its easy-to-tote, easy-to-use design makes it simple for anyone to get online.

Exclusive First Review: Asus Eee PC 701 []

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  1. For a while I’ve been thinking I want to get a second computer. My “desktop replacement” Vaio laptop is very fast, can burn DVDs and edit dozens of 8-megapixel images at the same time, edit video, play Halo, all that good stuff. It’s also huge and has a battery life of about half an hour (no exaggeration) and no wireless capabilities (something that would come in handy more and more often during trips… I should just get a wireless card). After 4 years it still runs like new, and I’m starting to wonder for how long that will be true. Given all the terrible things I keep hearing about Vista, I want to make my Vaio last for as long as I possibly can. This will probably involve me getting a “secondary” laptop to use for everyday web surfing, watching small videos, writing, working on my website, traveling, and maybe editing pictures. It would ideally be a small, cheap Linux machine with long battery life, barely powerful enough to play a full-screen video. (These requirements were in part crystallized by the release of the One Laptop Per Child laptop). The big Vaio would only be used to edit videos and audio, to transcode videos (between DVD, PSP, iPod, YouTube, and DivX/Xvid formats), to burn DVDs, to manage my iTunes, and maybe to record streaming media and edit pictures if the little Linux laptop can’t do those things well enough.

    So I’ve been looking around the websites of companies that sell laptops with Linux pre-loaded (since I don’t want this whole Linux thing to be too much of a hassle), and they’re all more powerful than I need them to be, and thus pretty expensive (almost half the cost of something like my Vaio, but still almost twice what I think I should be able to pay for a slow Linux machine).

    Then this EEE PC 701 thing comes along. It’s perfect. PERFECT. There are even some for sale on eBay already! I’m totally getting one. I can’t wait! I’m really excited about this. I’ll give it a little while so that any major problems have time to make themselves known, but by Christmas I want to get my hands on one of these.

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