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View Full Version : Anyone tried the Asus Eee PC?



MonkeyBoy
November 12th, 2007, 05:40 PM
I've been looking at the Eee PC (http://eeepc.asus.com/en/) and it looks pretty cool. However all the information I've found about it is still a bit central to Asus and a few magazines.

Has anyone actually had a go on one? I really want to know how well they work and particularly about the package management.

I was planning to save up for a Nokia N810 but if this Eee PC is as good as it looks I may get that instead.

Currently my pocket Linux is in the form of a Nokia 770 but I am a bit fed up by the limitations on web plugins (flash etc), and the relatively limited amount of ported software. Am I right in assuming that the Eee PC is enough of a standard architecture that you can install anything on it without much fuss?

aysiu
November 12th, 2007, 06:04 PM
I've read a bunch of reviews about it, and it sounds as if it's good if you want a really big PDA or bad if you want a really small laptop.

I would buy it except for the following: It's Xandros and doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, so installing Ubuntu over it wouldn't be easy. The keyboard keys are too small and the screen is too small. It's still $400 instead of the $200 it was originally hyped to be.

Mr. Picklesworth
November 12th, 2007, 06:19 PM
It's a nice step, but that screen really displeases me. What oaf thought it sane to include such a small screen, with such a tiny resolution, and to have enormous borders (the size of the screen itself!) surrounding it?
With an 800x480 resolution, we can expect only its built in OS and software to work well. Using Ubuntu, for example, dialogs just are not designed for a height of 480 pixels (usually associated with 640x480, which nobody in their right mind would use -- especially with an OS where you can change font sizes for everything).

Sadly, because of that, I have no interest in this laptop. Hopefully thier 10" model will resurface, and hopefully they'll be able to pack that screen into the same form by shrinking back those horrific borders.

Asus has some really fantastic concepts for laptops that look maybe a bit too adventurous for more expensive models (and which could require some low-level trickery), so I hope the Eee does catch on. They could pull off a lot of innovation, much more safely, with a simpler laptop like this one, such as their dual screen design with the rearrangeable keyboard.

x0as
November 12th, 2007, 08:13 PM
Have a look at http://www.eeeuser.com people have already installed ubuntu & debian on them.

aysiu
November 12th, 2007, 08:35 PM
Have a look at http://www.eeeuser.com people have already installed ubuntu & debian on them.
How is that accomplished without using a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive?

p_quarles
November 12th, 2007, 08:40 PM
They probably used the wifi.

http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/10/08/how-to-install-ubuntu-locally-over-the-network/

PartisanEntity
November 12th, 2007, 09:21 PM
How is that accomplished without using a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive?

They mounted .iso files on external storage (if my memory serves me correctly). There is a HowTo at eeeuser.com

I am thinking of getting one, I personally like the idea of having an über-PDA. I don't mind the small key and small size for on the go use.

aysiu
November 12th, 2007, 09:24 PM
They mounted .iso files on external storage (if my memory serves me correctly). There is a HowTo at eeeuser.com Doesn't sound easy to me. I think I'll stay away.

x0as
November 12th, 2007, 09:37 PM
I'm pulling the dvd drive out of my box and using it with a external usb enclosure to install ubuntu on the Eee..

daynah
November 12th, 2007, 10:32 PM
I... want... one so bad... Hold me back... make me save money... I already have a 13" Asus. I don't need a mini laptop running around.

I'm going to end up with a flock of mini laptops. What's a group of laptops? a herd? Or is that just a group of Ubuntu laptops?

Does it have a USB port?

Celegorm
November 12th, 2007, 10:50 PM
Does it have a USB port?

3 of them. And an SD card slot.

daynah
November 12th, 2007, 10:55 PM
3 of them. And an SD card slot.

Then why are people wondering how to get Ubuntu on it?

Though I wouldn't put ubuntu on it, I'd but something super small. Some people are putting XP on it. O_o maybe it's like trying to climb the big dangerous tree just to see if you can...

aysiu
November 12th, 2007, 10:56 PM
Then why are people wondering how to get Ubuntu on it? Because I use a CD to install Ubuntu, and I don't have an external CD-ROM drive.

jviscosi
November 12th, 2007, 11:02 PM
I'm extremely tempted to get one of these even though I don't need a laptop and could get a free one from a friend if I did. It's just so adorable ... it reminds me of my old NEC MobilePro 770 from my Windows days.

thx11381974
November 12th, 2007, 11:07 PM
It's a nice step, but that screen really displeases me.

The Eee pc is derived from the Classmate PC, a version with a 10" 800x600 screen is supposed to be available in the spring.

amgeex
November 12th, 2007, 11:12 PM
You could do a minimal Ubuntu install with the minimal cd image, and then just install the essentials. I'd get blackbox on that baby right away...

Madpilot
November 12th, 2007, 11:18 PM
I'm really quite tempted by this little thing. The price would fit into my student budget, and it'd be nice to have at work/school - files on USB keys, and re-synch with my desktop in the evenings.

It'd never cut it as my primary computer, of course. If only for the amount of Inkscape/GIMP work I do regularly.

I'd have to be able to install at least Xubuntu on it, if not Ubuntu itself...

daynah
November 12th, 2007, 11:24 PM
Because I use a CD to install Ubuntu, and I don't have an external CD-ROM drive.

I use CD personally, also, but around my school, we often boot off of thumbdrives on the school computers.

Someone in an eee wiki said that the eee would be a great computer for families... as in, there's one, powerful family computer, and instead of everyone in the family getting their own computer just to prevent arguements over who's going to use it (since most people just surf, IM and type), they get Eees.

I thought it was a good point to mention. :) If, heaven forbid, I have a daughter who doesn't want to build her own computer, she's going to get something like the Eee, and the money saved will go for a better computer part for me. Mwahaha!

EDIT: So in January 2008... Pastels! (http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/08/asus-2g-surf-eee-pc-a-taste-of-spring-in-january/) Gigglin like a school girl over here (oh wait, I am a school girl)!

Corey
November 13th, 2007, 06:32 AM
I don't think that the Eee PC is derived from the classmate PC. Its a separate project entirely. I could be wrong though. They both are running intel, but i think the hardware is different and I don't think asus had anything to do with the classmate PC.

Installing Ubuntu looks pretty simple. Download the .iso. Mount it. Copy the files to a USB stick. Put the stick in the eee pc. The bios supports booting from USB, so a live version of Ubuntu will run from the usb stick just as if it were running from a CD. You can then install Ubuntu the same way as normal.
I'm tempted too, but I'm gonna hold out for the second generation whichi for now is slated to come out in April. I imagine there are a lot of people out there who like this thing a lot but think the large bezel is a big drawback. I'm sure Asus knows this too, and I imagine the 2nd gen eee pc will be sporting that 10 inch screen we all want. I've heard its running a different intel chip to that takes less power and may not even require a fan. Just think, no moving parts what so ever. I'm starting saving now!

mivo
November 13th, 2007, 06:43 AM
I'm actually not tempted. ;) Screen is too small, keys are tiny, and $400 isn't all that cheap for what you get. I'd probably save up another two hundred bucks and get a more "normal" low-cost laptop. It's probably an interesting option for people who need something really small yet still relatively (for its size) powerful.

thx11381974
November 13th, 2007, 08:14 AM
I don't think that the Eee PC is derived from the classmate PC. Its a separate project entirely. I could be wrong though. They both are running intel, but i think the hardware is different and I don't think asus had anything to do with the classmate PC.

ASUS manufactures both. The Eee pc is pretty much the same except it doesn't have the rugged casing of the classmate pc

starbase1
November 13th, 2007, 10:33 AM
I can certainly understand those who who think it is too small to me much use.

But it is a size that I would find useful - big keys and screen on a laptop are handy, but they are too big to be easy to use while traveling, and heavy enough to be an inconvenience.

Personally I really can't cope with smart phones - just numeric keys and a really tiny screen make them almost unusable for me.

I had fun with a GP2X, but the lack of keyboard was a problem for serious use, and the screen was still too small.

The screen on this is bigger than many media players that cost more, and with expandable storage via card or USB stick, I think it will work well in this role. It should be good enough for taking notes or roughing out docs before finishing them off on a desktop. I can sling it in my bag without thinking about any extra weight.

I also like the idea of using it to transfer photos from my digital camera to a USB hard drive when I am on holiday. I'm holding back for now to see how it pans out when people start using them in anger, but I think it could well be my Christmas present to myself!

Nick

daynah
November 13th, 2007, 12:37 PM
I'm actually not tempted. ;) Screen is too small, keys are tiny, and $400 isn't all that cheap for what you get. I'd probably save up another two hundred bucks and get a more "normal" low-cost laptop. It's probably an interesting option for people who need something really small yet still relatively (for its size) powerful.

To those who are excited, I think the POINT is that it is so small. We are looking at that interesting option.

PartisanEntity
November 13th, 2007, 01:41 PM
I must say I do not understand why some of you have used size as a point of criticism. The fact that it is small is the whole point. This is why it has a small screen, miniature keyboard and a small case. I am really tempted to say something like “duh” in response to such comments. It’s like complaining that the Smart car has small doors and only two seats.

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 03:30 PM
There are varying degrees of small, PartisanEntity.

For many, a 7" screen is too small. For others, it's just the right size.

A 10" would be perfect for me.

popch
November 13th, 2007, 03:56 PM
There are varying degrees of small, PartisanEntity.

For many, a 7" screen is too small. For others, it's just the right size.

A 10" would be perfect for me.

This appears to be a function of the user's age. With ascending age, the optimum screen size would increase while the optimum total weight of the device would decrease.

10" would also be very good for me. I am afraid that within ten years I would require a laptop with a 19" screen weighing 600 grams.

rax_m
November 13th, 2007, 05:21 PM
I... want... one so bad... Hold me back... make me save money... I already have a 13" Asus. I don't need a mini laptop running around.

I'm going to end up with a flock of mini laptops. What's a group of laptops? a herd? Or is that just a group of Ubuntu laptops?

Does it have a USB port?

Well ... if you install Ubuntu on all of the laptops then it would be a "crowd of laptops" .. seeing as ubuntu if linux for human beings :popcorn:

*EDIT* Oh... and I really want an Eee pc too.

professor fate
November 13th, 2007, 05:42 PM
Doesn't sound easy to me. I think I'll stay away.

Sounds like a challenge. Maybe I should get one. :lolflag:

MonkeyBoy
November 13th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I just discovered that my mate who does IT for a school is getting one of these at work so I plan to have a bit of a play. He is quite a linux geek too so will certainly put it through it's paces.

I can't wait to have a go.

Lostincyberspace
November 13th, 2007, 06:59 PM
It got a decent review in the newest edition of Linux Journal. :)

thx11381974
November 13th, 2007, 07:00 PM
There are varying degrees of small, PartisanEntity.

For many, a 7" screen is too small. For others, it's just the right size.

A 10" would be perfect for me.

Same here

starbase1
November 13th, 2007, 07:29 PM
I must say I do not understand why some of you have used size as a point of criticism. The fact that it is small is the whole point. This is why it has a small screen, miniature keyboard and a small case. I am really tempted to say something like “duh” in response to such comments. It’s like complaining that the Smart car has small doors and only two seats.

Well said!

If you want an IMAX experience, it's definitely not the PC for you!

If, (on the other hand) you want something light,paperback sized, and cheap, it's perfect!

So how do you 'its too small' crowd rate the video ipods then??!!
:confused:

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 07:33 PM
So how do you 'its too small' crowd rate the video ipods then??!! The interface on a video iPod is designed for showing videos, not for browsing the web or configuring GDM.

starbase1
November 13th, 2007, 07:43 PM
The interface on a video iPod is designed for showing videos, not for browsing the web or configuring GDM.

Hmmm...
:confused::confused::confused:

I'm not sure that many would consider configuring GDM as a main purpose for a handheld computer!
:lolflag:

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Hmmm...
:confused::confused::confused:

I'm not sure that many would consider configuring GDM as a main purpose for a handheld computer!
:lolflag:
It doesn't have to be a main purpose. What if you just want to change the GDM theme? Or what if you want to change your sound preferences? What if you have fat fingers? You're not supposed to type on the video iPod, but you are supposed to type on the Eee PC.

reblocke
November 13th, 2007, 08:01 PM
I bought one to take notes on and to program on while I ride the bus to school. The small keyboard really hasn't been much of an issue. It's pretty natural and only takes about 1/2 hour to get up to full speed on. The right-shift location is a bit odd and I still occasional press the up arrow instead.

The screen size is a legitimate gripe. The laptop body is big enough that they could have put a bigger screen on it. The resolution is small enough that some websites look a little funky. I've heard that there are some page scaling options that would probably fix this in opera, but I haven't gotten a chance to install it or play around with it.

Installing dev-tools was a bit of a pain, but apparently there are some easier ways to do it that are on the eeeuser wiki. Eclipse runs a bit rough; I had to turn down some of the autocompile setting and I work with lots of the normal dialogue buttons closed.

All and all I've been pretty pleased. It was a lot cheaper than getting a "full" laptop which is what I would have done otherwise, and it seems sufficient to do everything I want to do. I've just left the default Xandros on it, because I don't want to have to deal with dialogue sizing problems and such.. and Xandros has been fine so far.

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 08:05 PM
The screen size is a legitimate gripe. The laptop body is big enough that they could have put a bigger screen on it. The resolution is small enough that some websites look a little funky. The funny thing is that, from the photos I've seen, it appears to have a rather large screen, but there's a thick bar around the actual display size so that the screen size isn't being fully taken advantage of.

daynah
November 13th, 2007, 09:02 PM
The funny thing is that, from the photos I've seen, it appears to have a rather large screen, but there's a thick bar around the actual display size so that the screen size isn't being fully taken advantage of.

A new model is rumored to come out next April and is rumored to have a smaller black border. Twould be awesoooome!

moephan
November 13th, 2007, 10:36 PM
I have one, and it works very very well with Ubuntu. The repositories for the distro that came installed lacked apps, so a smart friend of mine figured out a lot solutions for configuring Ubuntu specifically for the machine, and posted a howto here:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=611422&highlight=eee

The desktop effect work surprisingly smoothly. The only problem I have encountered is that the alt-drag feature doesn't work and I occasionally run into dialogs that are too tall for the screen.

In fact, I am at a meeting on Microsoft campus posting this from my eee running Ubuntu!

Cheers, Rick

init1
November 14th, 2007, 01:44 AM
I've read a bunch of reviews about it, and it sounds as if it's good if you want a really big PDA or bad if you want a really small laptop.

I would buy it except for the following: It's Xandros and doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, so installing Ubuntu over it wouldn't be easy. The keyboard keys are too small and the screen is too small. It's still $400 instead of the $200 it was originally hyped to be.
The prices have not changed. The model that has been released is the $400 model. The $200 model will be released soon.

starbase1
November 14th, 2007, 09:16 AM
It doesn't have to be a main purpose. What if you just want to change the GDM theme? Or what if you want to change your sound preferences? What if you have fat fingers? You're not supposed to type on the video iPod, but you are supposed to type on the Eee PC.

Well, to be serious, that could be tricky - but personally I would expect to do almost all my configuring at home, where I could (for example) plug is a full size USB keyboard, or even edit files on a different machine altogether.

I would also argue that while it's not ideal, many do use lots of features on smaller devices, like smart phones and blackberries. And watch video on 2.5 inch screens.

And to me this is a box with better portability than a full laptop, and better ergonomics than a smartphone. Which I can configure, and put whatever I want on. And cheap!

Not for everyone, many will want a 'proper' laptop, but I want one.

markp1989
December 17th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I've read a bunch of reviews about it, and it sounds as if it's good if you want a really big PDA or bad if you want a really small laptop.

I would buy it except for the following: It's Xandros and doesn't have a CD-ROM drive, so installing Ubuntu over it wouldn't be easy. The keyboard keys are too small and the screen is too small. It's still $400 instead of the $200 it was originally hyped to be.

i have ubuntu on mine, using it now, installed using a usb cd rom

aysiu
December 17th, 2007, 07:01 PM
i have ubuntu on mine, using it now, installed using a usb cd rom
I don't have a USB CD-ROM.

markp1989
December 17th, 2007, 07:21 PM
I don't have a USB CD-ROM.

you can get a cheap ide to usb adapter and borrow a cd drive out of a desktop, thats what i did.

aysiu
December 17th, 2007, 07:34 PM
you can get a cheap ide to usb adapter and borrow a cd drive out of a desktop, thats what i did.
Nah. It's not really worth the effort for me.

markp1989
December 17th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Nah. It's not really worth the effort for me.

lol fair enough

starbase1
December 17th, 2007, 10:11 PM
I don't have a USB CD-ROM.

Given that it has wifi, wired lan, usb ports, can boot off memory sticks, or SD cards, that really is a trivial problem...

aysiu
December 17th, 2007, 10:18 PM
Given that it has wifi, wired lan, usb ports, can boot off memory sticks, or SD cards, that really is a trivial problem...
The easiest way to install Ubuntu is off a Ubuntu CD, so, no, it isn't a trivial problem.

violajack
December 17th, 2007, 10:27 PM
The easiest way to install Ubuntu is off a Ubuntu CD, so, no, it isn't a trivial problem.

Actually, I found that the easiest way to install Ubuntu was with a USB stick using the isotostick script. It was faster than burning a CD, and since it doesn't take up the whole stick, I can also include a folder for post-install scripts so I don't have to go hunting for stuff after install.

http://wiki.eeeuser.com/ubuntu
Use the section called "Install from a Live Ubuntu image on a USB stick"

meborc
December 17th, 2007, 10:55 PM
The easiest way to install Ubuntu is off a Ubuntu CD, so, no, it isn't a trivial problem.

you are just fighting it :) i don't understand why... you don't even own one... so why do you think eee is such a bad thing? some like it some not... let it be :) and btw - booting from usb is really simple, i'm surprised to see you (as an old forum member) saying that this is a big problem

on another note, there is a eeexubuntu available - http://wiki.eeeuser.com/ubuntu:eeexubuntu:home

Mateo
December 17th, 2007, 11:14 PM
i have one. the Eee repos suck, there's probably less than 30 packages total. You have to either add the debian or ubuntu repos. but that could interfere with the preinstalled apps.

aysiu
December 17th, 2007, 11:21 PM
you don't even own one... so why do you think eee is such a bad thing? some like it some not... let it be :) I am letting it be. When did I say it was such a bad thing? I just explained why I wasn't going to get one.

gn2
December 18th, 2007, 12:02 AM
The funny thing is that, from the photos I've seen, it appears to have a rather large screen, but there's a thick bar around the actual display size so that the screen size isn't being fully taken advantage of.

Hot rumours are that a 10" version is to be introduced in April.

As for installation methods, the absence of a CD-Rom Drive is no hardship whatsoever.

It's really very simple, just follow these (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/09/28/usb-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbon-install/) instructions to create a bootable Live USB stick, then just run the installer from the desktop Install icon

aysiu
December 18th, 2007, 12:03 AM
As for installation methods, the absence of a CD-Rom Drive is no hardship whatsoever.

It's really very simple, just follow these (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/09/28/usb-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbon-install/) instructions to create a bootable Live USB stick, then just run the installer from the desktop Install icon That may seem "no hardship" to you, but the tutorial looks a little too complicated for my tastes.

Crashmaxx
December 18th, 2007, 12:30 AM
That may seem "no hardship" to you, but the tutorial looks a little too complicated for my tastes.

All the tutorial has you do is format the pendrive, set it up with syslinux, copying the live CD to it, and copying the fix to it. You've written how-to's harder then that.

Joeb454
December 18th, 2007, 12:43 AM
I know this is off topic...but Aysiu, are you really still using Fiesty? I know a lot of people are sticking with it for a while though.

Anyway, some guy at Uni has an eee pc, quite ideal for taking out on his 3 hour journey to Uni and back

logos34
December 18th, 2007, 12:50 AM
if only I'd had one last spring when moving...what, with ubuntu on it I'd have felt right at home--on the road! It's the most exciting product I've seen in a while (up there with OLPC).

Joeb454
December 18th, 2007, 12:52 AM
I think eee pc could actually rival OLPC...if it was $100 that is lol

aysiu
December 18th, 2007, 01:11 AM
I know this is off topic...but Aysiu, are you really still using Fiesty? I know a lot of people are sticking with it for a while though. No, I'm using Gutsy. Thanks for reminding me to update my profile, though!

richardh9936
October 17th, 2008, 10:50 AM
I bought the 25 cm version, because the over-all quality is much better than the 19 cm, and the keyboard is 95% of the standard, if you measure the alpha keys only. The right shift key is small, and seems further away, so I can touch-type easily, with the occasional bump on capitals.

I dumped Xandros in favour of the new Ubuntu eee-pc special version. 8.04 didn't work absolutely cleanly, but 8.04.1 is perfect.

My nephew also has one, and we both agree it is superb.

Even Aldi sells the Atom chip nano-pc now, at $599 australian.

t0p
October 17th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Wow, this thread is a blast from the past!

With monitor and storage space on netbooks going up and up, I don't suppose I'm going to see very many 7-inchers with 4GB SSDs in the future. But, just so y'all know: I installed ubuntu 8.04 to my Eeepc 4G by following the instructions at www.pendrivelinux.com (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2008/05/15/usb-ubuntu-804-persistent-install-from-linux/), then used the Riceeey script (http://wiki.eeeuser.com/getting_ubuntu_8.04_to_work_perfectly?s=ubuntu%20e ee%20riceeey) to tweak it to work properly on the Eeepc architecture. And it works fine!

To install ubuntu to the Eeepc, I had to copy the .iso image to a usb stick. And I don't think the Eeepc would do well at running live sessions from the stick drive. Before I installed hardy to the ssd, I tried a live session. And it was sooo slooow... the red light on the stick kept flashing as data was transferred back and forth from stick to pc and back... but it took an age to actually do anything.

Oh, there are already instructions up on www.pendrivelinux.com on how to install ubuntu 8.10 on the Eeepc (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2008/10/15/ubuntu-810-persistent-flash-drive-install-from-live-cd/). I haven't checked them out yet.