I don’t have many tech gadgets or toys, but my Eee PC 1000 is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Though admittedly I have conditioned myself to say that after paying so much for the 1000 model when it was still fairly new in Canada. It definitely has some flaws, but to be one of the early adopters of netbooks and to experience and follow the development of this industry is especially rewarding because of the ideas behind netbooks, and because of how big of a part Linux will play in it.
My First Netbook
I got the Eee PC 1000 instead of the other Eee PC models specifically because of its larger keyboard, preventing any excessive hand cramping from typing, and because I wanted to have a flash memory based device. I could have gotten a lot more hard drive space going with the Eee PC 1000H, but the SSD memory was purely for bragging rights.
After getting the netbook I immediately removed the customized version of Xandros which came preloaded, which wasn’t necessarily that bad, but I chose instead the Eee PC optimized Easy Peasy. Easy Peasy lets me use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) interface, a netbook optimized menu system. UNR looks great on a netbooks’ screen when showing it off, and except for using hot-keys, there’s really no better way to access applications or system options.
When I first started using the netbook I thought I would need to install all of the light Linux applications to handle common tasks like word processing, programming, utilities, and multimedia. But I most of the applications function almost problem free except for two issues. When watching certain formats of video the computer has a habit of skipping the video every once and a while. The audio continues fine and it doesn’t get out of sync, but it does damage the experience of watching videos on the laptop.
The only one other problem with the Eee PC when using Linux is…. Firefox. Firefox (3.0 specifically) will commonly lock up the entire system. It’s an annoying situation when it happens. You are looking at a
web page an scrolling down, then the scrolling will stop. You might try clicking on some links to change the page, switch to other applications, or quit Firefox entirely. After a few seconds of unresponsiveness, all the actions you’ve performed in the last 10 seconds will happen in sequence. A total disruption. I haven’t experience a hang up or a slow application in any other application running on the Eee PC, and this is on Linux, so a Eee PC running Windows, and definitely running a faster browser like Chrome should do just fine.
Hardware wise I had some problems with the Eee PC as well. None of my USB devices would fit in the USB ports on the Eee PC, this was the only time I’ve ever experienced that problem. Thehas three USB2 ports, and to fix the problem I had to get a bit dirty and with a screw driver bend the prongs inside the USB ports ever so slightly so they would loosen and let the USB devices fit in. They all work fine, but that’s not a task that anyone should have to do after buying a new laptop. Another hardware problem that I’ve learned to live with is that the very left portion of the left track pad button is irresponsible to clicks. I can click on the right side of the left button and it works, but the left side seems to be permanently depressed and unusable. Again, not a problem that should have ever made it out of the factory. I seem to be alone in getting these sorts of hardware problems though. The LCD on the Eee PC is super bright and very crisp as well, easily the brightest screen I’ve ever used.
I expect the Asus line of netbooks to step aside in the next few years, especially in North America because of how they are sold. In Toronto, the Acer Aspire One (not as good) and the HP Mini-Note (over priced) are both sold at Future Shop and Best Buy, but there are no big retail stores who sell the Eee PC. The only place to find them is the bulk computer equipment stores in China town, which the majority of consumers are not as comfortable with doing as compared to buying at a Future Shop or Best Buy.
Now that you can find both the Eee PC 1000 and 1000H for under $500 CAD it’s a great first netbook.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Windows 7 on netbooks: Does Linux stand a chance?
- Acer updates Aspire One netbook
- The One Thing the ASUS CEO did Not Get Right | $279 Acer Aspire One?