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03-12-2008, 10:33 PM   #1
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Micro notebook at a great price

I just bought myself a small mini notebook for portability reasons for work. It is amazing how heavy my 14" notebook gets after lugging it around with me all day. Not that it is all that large or heavy. Just that my work means I am mobile all day long, and it does get bothersome at times.

A local sales flier showed this little notebook. Previously, I was not aware of this little neat device. I am posting it here because I can see the usefulness of this device for a photographer in the field, especially if you couple it with a small portable USB HD. You could have a working station that is compact and highly portable. It has a built in card reader that takes SDHC cards.

The notebook is called an Asus Eee 4G. It only has a 7" screen (800x480), has a 4GB solid state HD, and comes with a Linux based OS. I bought it after I found out that I could install XP because the work software is windows based. It is a shame actually; as the computer came with around 40 pre-installed useful programs (The unit does come with a recovery disk that can re-install to factory specs in case you do get bored with XP). To install XP, you would need an external USB CD ROM or a flash drive. You could also use nLite to make XP less large. There are some useful online tutorials on how to install XP on this notebook.

Anyways, this thing is a tiny perfectly working computer. It might be the perfect thing for a mobile professional, your kids, or anyone who needs a fully functioning portable notebook.

The only downside possibly is the HD space. 4GB is more then enough for the operating system and most productivity software out there. Because there is no moving parts, it is fairly quick and durable. Not to mention that the memory is upgradeable also.

The best part is the price. I paid only $399 Canadian for mine. This thing is a steal for its size and performance. I do know that you can get a full size laptop for a hundred+ more, however, it would not come close to this device for size and weight.

Here are a few comparison photos of this little guy. In case you are wondering, the tools in the background are for leather working.

On the left, a 14" HP notebook, on the right, an Asus Eee 4G.


An angled view. Both are running XP second Edition. The Asus is far more portable by far.


A thickness comparison of the two.


Some useful links if you are like me and have never even heard of this device before.

ASUS Eee PC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ASUS Eee PC: Exclusive Inside Look! :: TweakTown


Last edited by Chako; 03-12-2008 at 10:39 PM.
03-12-2008, 11:04 PM   #2
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I used to have a mini-IBM about that size, but with 10" screen 800x600.
This resolution was too restricting for me (doesn't show webpages well), so I don't think I can cope with 800x480.

The lid looks like it has room to accommodate a 10" 1024x(whatever), then I'd be very interested.
03-13-2008, 02:07 AM   #3
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GAH, I'm so fed up with those!
They're selling like cupcakes here, though. Most customers coming into the store ask about them, and some even buy. W00t for us.

The Surf isn't the best value out there. Try getting the one with 4GB worth of SSD and built-in webcam. Yep, kind of exactly like the one you own.
Throw in a high-speed 8 or 16 gig SD card, and you've got everything you need for ultra-mobile computing.

EDIT: The 2008 version will sport an 8.9" touchscreen. If they market it for the same price, I'm sold.
03-13-2008, 04:14 AM   #4
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Oh lol. Here in North America, very few people have even seen or heard of these things. I guess they must be very popular in other parts of the Planet.

Yes, I was sure after some reading, to stay away from the surf models. I have read that the white surf 4G model has no memory hatch, resulting in a complete dismantle to upgrade the thing. The black surf 4G has the hatch. Likewise, the 2G models have the memory soldered on.

With that in mind, mine is the second higher up 4G model, because the 8G could not be had at the moment here in Canada.

03-13-2008, 04:47 AM   #5
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Yep, popular in Australia too. AU$499. I don't like them, the screen's not large enough, but the new 8.9/9" model should be better.

Meanwhile, I'm happy lugging around my 3kg Dell Inspiron 1300. Much more versatile.
03-13-2008, 05:49 AM   #6
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I was going to ask whether you were into leather...what a neat workshop.

Anyway, I think these machines are meant for those who won't be doing much other than surfing the net. Would probably be a very nice gift for a senior citizen wanting to get a comp. to keep in touch with thier children and grand-children.

Do you really need WXP??? I mean you can get Open Office instead of MS Office and I think you can still do everything with Linux as you could with XP, including connect to any work server - I could be wrong.
03-13-2008, 12:00 PM   #7
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Yes I do need XP. I have one essential windows only software that is needed for work.

True, the screen size is a little bothersome. However, in the past, I have been known to pay more for a Sony Palm based PDA + productivity software and a folding keyboard. There is a thing about being too small. The PDA is too small to be useful. This I feel is large enough to be useful. I am willing to compromise on screen real-estate for the sake of portability. I do have a 24" LCD screen on my home computer, and the 14" laptop.

The point is that this should not be your only computer. Use it as an ultra portable micro laptop. I am just amazed at what 399 can get you these days. I paid almost 550 for a top end PDA a few years ago.
03-13-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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The best combination, by far, is to use the Eee with Ubuntu. Heck, you can even install it on an SDHC card.

03-14-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
The best combination, by far, is to use the Eee with Ubuntu. Heck, you can even install it on an SDHC card.
But, since he has to use a specific Windoze-only program for work, he would also have to install and set up something like Wine or VMWare before he could use it for its intended purpose...

Jim
03-14-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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how can this possibly be a tool for photographers,

i only see this is as portable type writer

the resolution is almost 1/4 of what i'm used to working on, and the processing power most certainly does no match my computer demands.
03-14-2008, 09:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
how can this possibly be a tool for photographers,

i only see this is as portable type writer

the resolution is almost 1/4 of what i'm used to working on, and the processing power most certainly does no match my computer demands.
QuoteOriginally posted by Chako Quote
Anyways, this thing is a tiny perfectly working computer. It might be the perfect thing for a mobile professional, your kids, or anyone who needs a fully functioning portable notebook.
he didn't say anything about photographers.
03-14-2008, 09:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by OniFactor Quote
he didn't say anything about photographers.
i will quote your quote:

QuoteOriginally posted by chucko:
Originally Posted by Chako
Anyways, this thing is a tiny perfectly working computer. It might be the perfect thing for a mobile professional, your kids, or anyone who needs a fully functioning portable notebook.


"mobile professional"
"fully functioning notebook"

my personal requirements of fully functional are much different than this tiny little machine offers.
03-14-2008, 12:15 PM   #13
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i think the problem that your idea of 'fully functioning' means higher specs than the laptop provides. at a blistering top available CPU speed of 900 mhz, this isn't made for a photographer. but, as far as being fully functioning, i don't think there are any laptop duties that this cannot do, that fits it's market segment..
03-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #14
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I'll be honest, had that laptop had a higher resolution screen (1024x600 at least) I would have snatched one up on the spot. It would have been the perfect truly PORTABLE solution to access the web from anywhere.

Unfortunately, with such a low resolution screen it's just too much agravation (I have a few older 800x600 laptops in my junk closet, I've tried web surfing at low-rez... ugh!).

Pat
03-14-2008, 04:10 PM   #15
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Just wait for the 8.9" models to roll out. You'll be well pleased with those.
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