One Asus Per Child? – Eee PC 701
|The One Laptop Per Child XO notebook-you know, the one that was supposed to be sold to the world’s poor children for just $100-has some competition. Sort of. It’s not another save-the-world project we’re talking about. In fact, this laptop-the Asus Eee-is more for the richer folks in the West. What makes it similar to the XO, though, is the Eee’s price and powerful simplicity.|
But there’s good news and bad news about this new laptop. First, the bad news for you half-empty type of people. At Laptopical, we’re used to talking about supercomputers disguised as laptops-gaming and business computers built for big needs and bigger budgets. The Eee is not one of them. It really can’t even compare to other ultramobile notebooks.
The tiny Eee is neither Windows or OS X based (although both these operating systems can be installed)-it runs on Linux -it has a mere 7-inch screen, 512MB of RAM, and a 4GB flash hard drive. Yes, you read that right. So a desktop replacement the Eee is not.
On the other hand, the good news: the Eee is nearly perfect for what it’s meant to be, a computing device for people who don’t like to mess with computers. Believe it or not, not everyone likes, or understands, computers.
That’s especially the case for older folks who want to just e-mail their grandkids, or those grandkids who want to play games on the Internet while their parents use the family’s first laptop.
At only 2 pounds, the Eee is a tight package that contains everything that those kinds of users would want-an easy-going, picture-based interface based around six screen tabs-for Internet, Play, Work, Learn, Favorites and Settings.
Built on openware, the Asus Eee comes with apps galore, including OpenOffice, Thunderbird and Firefox for e-mail and browsing, Skype for Web phoning and IMing, and a very basic media program.
The hardware will do the trick too, with USB slots for those flash drives you’ll need to store files on, an SD card slot for multimedia cards, a VGA port, and Ethernet and wireless hookup.
And the other really good news-and another reason it’s not far off from the XO-for all this, it weighs in at a wallet friendly $399.
– Asus W3J
By Matthew Brodsky – Laptopical
Monday, November 05, 2007