ASUS Eee PC 1000, Ubuntu Jaunty and You!
February 25, 2009
If you follow my twitter feed, then you know over this past weekend I got an ASUS Eee PC 1000. In fact, I spend a good deal of time tweeting about it on Monday when it arrived. I thought I’d spend a little time sharing my impressions of the device and some of the tinkering that I’ve done with it over the last few days (it lasted about an hour before it got reformatted). Please note: Most of this post is in the extended body, so to read it all you need to click the more button. In the past I haven’t used this feature much, but this post is really long.
First the system specifications:
• 10.2” LCD @ 1024×600
• 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom
• 1 GB RAM
• 40 GB SSD (More correctly: 1x 8 GB and 1x 32 GB)
• Comes pre-installed with Xandros Linux (of the Debian family)
• 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
• Stereo Microphones (shows as 1 device, used for noise canceling)
• ~5 Hour battery
• SD Card reader
• 802.11b/g/n Wireless
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet
• Multitouch trackpad
• Ports: 3 USB, 1 VGA, 1 power, 1 microphone, 1 headphone, Network
My first impressions is that this is a nice little package. My unit came in black and I think it looks good; granted it is a glossy surface so it picks up fingerprints. The accent pieces, like the buttons above the keyboard and the mouse buttons, have a brushed steel look (though they are probably plastic), which I think looks really classy. The screen is nice and bright at its brightest setting, though it doesn’t get that dark. The buttons on the mice are a little tough for my preference, but it isn’t really a deal breaker, especially since you can just tap the pad instead (which I have the tendency to tap really hard). Additionally, the important thing is, it is LIGHT, 3 pounds and change with the standard battery.
They keyboard is advertised as 92% full size which I think is a fair description, though some compromises have been made in the name of fitting into the form factor. My only real problem with the keyboard is that directly below the Enter key is the Up arrow — right where I expect the Shift key to be. The Shift key has been moved to the right of the aforementioned Up arrow. Since I have a preference to use that right shift almost exclusively, I hit that Up arrow by mistake A LOT when I first started on the device. But like any keyboard that is slightly different, it takes a little getting use to, then it is all good. In fact, I am typing this entry up on the Eee PC itself and I’m not hitting the Up arrow by mistake nearly as often (and I find myself using the left shift some, which is actually a good thing for me to do).
Overall, I’m pleased with how it is designed.
Semi-update: I got to take a look at Brion’s Dell Mini 9, the shift key/arrow key setup is the same on his machine as it is on my Eee PC. So I’m under the impression that this is actually a fairly common design for netbooks. It makes sense, since most “regular” keyboards have the arrow keys off on their own little island and that wouldn’t fit in such a small form factor.