Our home has a brand new Asus EEE PC 1005HA kicking around now, and I have to say I’m really happy with it. Its tiny, its fun, its fast. The only thing I even vaguely miss is the CDROM drive, but not really. Nice things to say about the Asus:
- You can upgrade the RAM later without voiding your warranty, but so far I haven’t wanted to: Readyboost works fine for one thing, and its not like I’m running two copies of Visual Studio on it or anything.
- Plenty of USB, VGA, and other relevant ports
- 8.5 hours of battery life! Who knew? My five times more expensive Thinkpad T500 is green with envy here.
- It fits in my wife’s purse (most of them anyway)
- The keyboard is highly usable
- The trackpad is very very good, even has two finger gestures like the iPhone (again the Thinkpad is not keeping up)
- I’ve been installing software on it all day and I haven’t had any problems with speed or memory
- The 10.6 inch screen has great color and clarity, and even the size is fine for 90% of the things you’d want it to do
The only hitch came when I tried to upgrade it to Windows 7 Starter Edition. The EEE came with Windows XP, but I figured “why on earth use a 7 year old operating system?” Besides, I really really like Windows 7 so far, so in my rosy glow I didn’t even read about Starter Edition online when I got my hands on a copy and started the reinstall process.
I think I assumed “sure, probably IIS7 won’t run, and maybe its limited to 6 programs or whatever it was – and probably the hypervisor stuff won’t work, and definitely there won’t be any software RAID, iSCSI drivers and all that fancy enterprise stuff, and it probably can’t join an ActiveDirectory or do Media Center stuff.”
I never would have thought in a million years that they would disable the ability to change your desktop wallpaper. I mean, they want to be competitive with Linux, and, well Windows XP right?
Note to Netbook shoppers: yes, they’re cool – totally get one, and the Asus EEE is a great buy. But resist the urge to spend the extra $100 for the models that come with Windows 7 Starter Edition. I’d rather be running Vista.
Edit: Updated to Windows Home Premium, and life is again good. Windows Anytime Upgrade actually works pretty well, also.