Wednesday, 13 February 2008

i Has A EeePC

After not spending any money on anything cool for six months, I finally caved and bought an Asus EeePC, a subnotebook with a 7" screen and a weight of a little under 1kg.
It feels satisfyingly weighty for its size, and is finished to feel cool to the touch, like metal. It doesn't fit in even the largest of my coat pockets, and it seems way too small for a satchel-style bag. A lot of the time I just carry it in my hand like a hardcover book.
I've been using it mainly to watch TV shows on the train and when I'm waiting for stuff. The 800x480 screen is slightly taller than widescreen movies.
I installed Windows XP on it as soon as I could, via a 1Gb USB stick, then the drivers which activated the audio, graphics and WiFi capabilities. I bought the model with a 4Gb SSD, and the system takes up about 1.4Gb. The battery lasts more than three hours. It boots from cold in about 40 seconds, and comes out of standby in about three.

Is it a stupid toy? Yes, I suppose that because I have a Core Duo 15" already it's not 100% necessary, but it is insanely portable and I use it in ways that other devices don't really let you do -- I can check my email via WiFi and listen to mp3's while standing at a street corner waiting for a crossing light. Maybe with a $900 cellphone you could do that. A regular laptop: you could, but you'd look like an idiot.

It cost $350, which is the most important thing, considering that Apple and other companies are pushing $2000 machines. It signals inevitable directions for the market: affordability and portability. When technology gets better and cheaper like this, it never goes backwards again. There will be dozens of devices like this by 2009. They will do 90% of what people use computers for.

Here's a graph [scroll down] of the uptake of new technologies in the 20th century: what % of people had what products (TV, VCR, washer, etc). As soon as prices go down, ownership explodes. (Notice that only three-quarters currently have computers, and only two-thirds are online.)

Future plans to make it cooler: 8Gb memory card; GPS receiver; 2Gb RAM card (from 512Mb); protective case.


Anonymous said...

what are your flatmates like logan, can you do a profile of them and your apartment, liek the use of pics to emphasis points.

chrome3d said...

I have also been looking for a similar kind of machine as that eeePC. It seems far better choice than iPod Touch. I wish there would be just a little bit more memory than 4 GB as it leaves only 2,6 for "your own stuff", but I guess memory card could cover the need for extra space.