So I picked up a 4G Eee Friday, and I thought I'd post a mini-review (which I'm naturally doing from the Eee).

What I was looking for was a field computer for work. I just need something to help me keep track of my notes as well as to use MS Excel spreadsheets. I debated going with a Windows Mobile PDA, but when I realized that the cheapest PDA is priced competitively with the entry level Eee, I thought tossed the PDA idea and went with a fully-functional notebook. I didn't want a big, bulky notebook either, as I'd like to take this around without needing a huge carry bag (in fact, the Eee actually fits inside one of my clipboards). When it came down to it, the Eee seemed like the perfect option for what I needed.

My initial plan was to go with the base model and then install an nLited version of Win2k, which would hopefully give me what I needed without getting too resource intensive. I ended up going with the 4G (vs 2G) for the extra storage space ($349), but I lucked out when I discovered the 4G has upgradable RAM, which the 2G does not (though 512mb is more than enough for 2k).



First of all, yes, this thing is tiny. It took a little trial-and-error, but eventually I managed to get 2k on it. The hardest part was working around the lack of an optical drive. You either need a USB external optical drive, or a desktop PC and a sizable USB storage device. I just transferred files to my 2GB thumb drive for my installation needs. Installing the drivers was actually pretty easy, as the Asus-provided XP-driver CD worked just fine on 2k. The same was true for all the other apps. Here's what I installed on the machine:

Win2k nLited
Office2000 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access)
Paint Shop Pro 9
Picasa 2
Foxit reader
IE6 sp1
Firefox 3.0 RC

Total space used: 1.27gb

I guess I could have gone with the 2G and still had room to spare.

The keyboard is smaller than average, but after a couple days, I've actually gotten pretty fast typing on it. I'm also getting better with the small trackpad (which thankfully scrolls left and right and up and down). The screen size is actually pretty usable, despite being only 800 x 480. It's wise to auto-hide the taskbar and shrink your toolbars as much as possible. Here's a couple examples of the space you end up with when you manage it carefully:



Mobility isn't too bad either. At 2lbs, this thing is a fly-weight, yet I don't feel like it's fragile in the slightest. The WiFi adapter actually does pretty well, too, as it picks up both of my neighbors' wireless signals. Connections seem to hold up well, and surfing speeds seem fast enough. Battery life is also decent. I managed to get about 3-4 hours on my first full charge, and that included tasks like installing windows and other apps. Boot up is also quick, taking 30 seconds to get from power-on to using windows.

Well, that's all I for now. I'm sure I'll add more later, especially after I test it out at work.