Whether it’s a Mayoral hustings at Reuters or an advance look at an upcoming film there always seems to be something to drag me away from my desk and so away from my computer – a tad inconvenient for someone who spends somuch of the time writing.
Of course I have a laptop but it’s a big widescreen job and weighs a ton so for a while now I’ve been in the market for something a little smaller. After using an Ameo for a while I decided the keyboard really isn’t suitable for my big fingers and typing on it is pretty slow.
I seem to have finally found the answer in the shape of the Asus Eee PC – a lightweight, scaled down laptop with near-normal sized keys and a 7″ screen.
Currently Asus uses a customised Linux operating system although Windows powered models are expected to be available later this year and there are bundled instructions for installing any spare copies of Windows XP you might have hanging about.
The Eee has built-in support for WiFi and works out of the box with the USB modems the mobile networks are offering so there’s the maximum potential for connecting to the web on the move while an in-built ethernet connection offers another way to connect to your home or work network.
Battery life is around 2 hours although if you connect a USB-powered device you’ll see that reduced to about an hour.
On the 2G Surf model there’s around 400mb of disk space actually available to users � the rest is used up by the operating system and pre-installed software – but extra storage can be easily added via the memory card slot.
The screen is crisp and clear although I tend to find writing articles is easier with the font sized bumped up to’14’ and there’s the option to connect the machine to a standard monitor.
The installed software includes the Firefox web browser and the Open Office suite (word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software) plus Skype, a basic art package, a couple of simple games and a range of media players.
My one niggle is the casing which has a slightly cheap plastic ‘tinny’ feel to it but with prices under £250 this is great value for any one looking for ultra-portability.