Eee PC Review (part 3)

Over the past 5 days I have been using the Eee PC for all of my article writing and freelance work and can confirm that the keyboard is perfectly useable for extended periods of time, without cause undue strain to your fingers. If you have particularly fat fingers you may struggle but your fingers would need to be rather fat indeed (no offence to fat fingered people meant:))

The screen is small, as I have mentioned before a few times, but it is more than adequate for word processing and most business activities. There is a video port as well, should you wish to hook it up to a larger monitor to save your eyes a bit. Talking of ports, there are more than enough for most users with 3 USB ports, a network port, security port and an SD card reader. A quick test with my SHDC card was positive and with the price of these cards dropping quickly it should be possible to add a further 8GB quite cheaply.

The Eee feels robust and more than sturdy enough to cope with daily demands although the top now has 2 small scratches on it. It is slightly tricky to open first time and the person I stupidly showed it to dropped it onto my desk at work whilst opening it up. It fell on top of a stapler and then bounced onto my laptop- 2 small scratches is a good price to pay for that stupidity and is hopefully a sign of a tough tool for my daily work.

It does become hot after prolonged use but not unreasonably so and there is a strange whirring noise most of the time. I can’t say that this whirring is any worse than other laptops but it is noticeable. With time comes familiarity and within a couple of days I felt completely at home with the Eee and love the fact that I can do so much on such a small unit. The Psion 7 was my idea of the perfect mobile workhorse, but the lack of communication and up to date functions holds it back in 2007, which is understandable. The Eee is a worthy replacement for a Psion 7 and it has been of benefit in ensuring that I am much more productive than I have been for a long time.

The Eee itself is not the only reason I am now more productive- any device in this new genre would be advantageous to people like me and I genuinely believe that there is a BIG market out there for this kind of device, even if Palm (Foleo) and others do not agree.

The discussion of PDAs being laptop replacements has rumbled on for many years but I have never bought that idea, not for one minute. Even the latest Smartphones struggle to cut it for long periods of data creation- my TyTN II has a decent keyboard which is great for emails and the like but the small screen and keyboard are not really of use for laptop type work. The Nokia E90 is bigger but again, it is far from a laptop replacement and more of a device you use when your laptop is not available.

I think of all smartphones as being devices that are ideal for communication and organisation when out of the office or away from home.

I think of laptops as not being portable enough to use in many locations.

I think of the Eee as the ideal bridge between my desktop and smartphone, and it is what I have been waiting for since Psion stopped innovating in the consumer market.

ASUS have put the Eee together extremely well and created a unit that works with the owner. You need little knowledge to get started, it is quick to use and in my opinion is a genuine laptop replacement. Barring the physical limitations of the smaller than average screen and keyboard, it does everything I need and I am starting to feel strangely attached to it.

There are some niggles such as limited battery life but hopefully these will be overcome with extended accessories soon. For now, it is a great great device and at just over £200 is a complete bargain. There is no way on earth I am letting this one go back!

Available from www.clove.co.uk.

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