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Asus Eee PC at first glance


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Preview:
What's all the fuss about


We've
published dozens of Eee related bits in the past months and it was about time to see what all the fuss is really about. Asus did a great job promoting the new product, it certainly raised many eyebrows in the industry and opened up a whole new market segment.

In fact, Asus did such a good job that it found itself in an awkward situation. Two months after introducing the Eee in Europe it's still very hard to actually get one. Worldwide demand is huge and Europe is at the receiving end of the Eee shortage. Funny, with the U.S. dollar at a record low, it might seem like a better idea to flog the tiny laptop in Europe. Due to the shortage, the first generation Eee isn't going to stick around on the European market very long, as new models are just around the corner. With companies such as Dell, FSC and MSI developing their own Eee-killers, we decided to see if Europe is missing out on anything.

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In our neck of the woods there's no Eee shortage, so we easily managed to score a green Eee, thanks to IT Computers, a local retail chain. What's more, it even comes with a Bosnian keyboard and that was a bit of a surprise. It ships in a tiny box, with a footprint smaller than a regular 15.4" notebook and the whole package weighs just over a kilo. We didn't have much time to toy around with it, but we decided to do a preview, anyhow. You can expect the full review next week.

The Eee itself is, well, very small and it certainly takes some time getting used to, especially with my huge fingers. Its keyboard is much smaller than on a 12" notebook, but it's still okay. The biggest drawback is that it feels a bit flimsy and it twists under pressure, but this is to be expected on such a small and low-priced device. As for the touchpad, it's tiny, but works well and you get used to its size in no time.

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Although it weighs under a kilo, the plastic body is robust, but it also feels a bit cheap under your fingertips. The screen cover doesn't twist or bend as you may expect on such a small device. The whole thing looks very durable, but there's room for improvement on the aesthetic side. Its 7" screen does not impress. Apart from its small size and relatively low resolution, it lacks contrast and black is just not black. Basically, the image quality is similar to that of a 6 to 7-year-old notebook.

On the upside, it's silent, doesn't heat up much, although it does get quite hot in certain areas while charging. It's lightning fast, boots up and powers down in mere seconds. That's about it for now, a thorough test is coming soon and I wouldn't like to comment on its OS and performance just yet, so stay tuned.
Last modified on 27 March 2008
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