The Eee PC Is Friggin HOT

December 17th, 2007

About three weeks ago I got one of those Eee PC. You know, the tiny, linux running laptop that was designed to be the OLPC for adults. It’s cheap, easy to use, based almost entirely on open source software…and is absofuckinglutly awesome. Seriously, it’s the few non-Apple gadget in years that was thoughtfully designed and planned out.

Oh, and it’s cheap. $399 cheap. Compare that the OQO or the Flipstart!

I’ve got a black model with the 4gb flash drive, 512mb RAM, and the webcam. It has Firefox, OpenOffice.Org, some games, and that’s about it. And that’s all it needs. Really, how much power do you need on a secondary laptop? That’s about all this can be, unless your computing demands are very light (mine aren’t).

After using this for several weeks it’s become clear that this is about as small as a laptop can go – the keyboard is just big enough to kinda-sorta touch type and the screen is just big enough to do browsing and document creation (I giggled when I put the Eee’s 800×480 next to my iMac’s 24″ 1900×1280 screen). But the portability is very useful for me. I can take it anywhere to get some work done or do some writing or just surf. I can’t wait to test it out on a trip when I go home to visit the family in a week.

As for the software, I think using open-source software for everything is a giant leap towards commoditizing the most common software. It also means that if I were so inclined, the Eee is deliciously hackable. Hell, even the open source games are fun!

This is a great computer for very portable computing. I use it to take my work anywhere, like on the couch in the living room. And while there are some rough edges, it’s the sum of all of the parts that makes this computer great.And I can use it to justify to my friends that I like good design, not just Apple products.

This does mean that I now have three computers – the iMac, the Eee PC, and the iPhone. That’s right – my phone is a computer. Think about it – I can use it for web browsing, checking my email, playing music, watching video on YouTube. That’s like 90% of what constitutes my everyday computer use. But sometimes I need something a little bigger. With a keyboard. And a bigger screen. And Crack Attack.

***Oh, and a word for those of you who decide to get one: be very careful when you take this out in public. It’s like the iPod when it first came out or a PowerBook when no one owned one. People will bug you incessantly if you’re not careful. I really want to take this down to the neighborhood Starbucks but I was mobbed the last time.

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