Cheap mini-laptop

I bought an ASUS Eee PC last week. I was looking for a very light-weight and yet inexpensive laptop for travel that could run Linux well. I love it. My shoulder loves it.

After having used it on a business trip, here are my initial pros and cons.

The good:

  • It’s light. Only 2 pounds. I will carry my laptop around more now. (I carried it to dinner when normally I would have gone back to my hotel room to dump it off.)
  • It’s cheap. I got mine for $350.
  • It’s small. It doesn’t take up any room in my bag and it’s easy to carry one handed.
  • It runs Linux out of the box. (And for those not familiar with Linux it has a nice graphical menu to launch common applications.)
  • It comes on IMMEDIATELY. Hit the button, it’s on. (Well, maybe 5 seconds later.) For travel, when you want to take a quick note, or check an itinerary, this is really nice.
  • The power cord is also very small and light.

The not so good:

  • The screen is small. Like really small. Like my Dell Inspiron 700m screen now seems huge. I didn’t really have any problems with it – it just takes some getting used too. I did have to use the mobile version of Google Reader as the regular one was not usable on the small screen.
  • The battery only lasts two hours. Luckily the power cord is small so I just carried both and plugged in where ever possible.
  • The keyboard took some getting used to. (It’s small.) For me the biggest problem was they put the up arrow to the left of the right shift key and shrunk the shift key. I kept hitting up every time I tried to hit the shift key. If you don’t like small keyboards, you’ll hate this. (Frank doesn’t even like my Inspiron.)
  • The wireless didn’t automatically connect me to anything. I had to manually connect every time I opened the laptop.

I’m enjoying it. For a second computer for travel, it’s great. Note that Asus is coming out with a version with a larger screen for an unknown price.