Cheap mini-laptop

March 27th, 2008 in Travel, Web/Tech

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.

One Response to “Cheap mini-laptop”

  1. Stormy,
    Probably you would like to look the Toshiba Portégé R505. The screen size is almost the similar as Dell Inspiron 700m, the keyboard is bit larger than Dell’s one; but this notebook is very thin and light-weight. It looks like a book.
    Unfortunately this is not a cheap laptop: US$ 2000 and it has some issues if you try to run Linux (not that much, really).
    The R505 is even more light than the EEPC (100 gr less, which is the weight of a cellular phone).
    According the specs, the battery should last 12.5 hours, but probably with an extra battery. It last between 4 and 4.5 hours.
    Where I work I have one assigned to me. Previously I had assigned a 700m; and it feels pretty heavy now.
    Regards,