I blogged about the original Asus Eee-PC when it was first announced and, as you can probably tell from that post, I basically fell in love with the concept of a small laptop-like, lightweight portable device that could be used for casual browsing. But then the introduction price turned out to be nowhere near $199, and versions with bigger, more useable screens were announced. So I decided to wait. Until today.
The 901 Eee-PC is finally in stock at some Dutch online retailers, and I just couldn’t help myself. I ordered a black one. The XP variety simply because it’s the only one currently available. Compared to the older 900 version (which also has a larger screen), the 901 may not be much faster, but it is based on newer technology. With the Atom processor comes a different chipset, with stuff like Bluetooth. Unlike earlier models, I can hook it up to my 24″ monitor and drive it at full resolution. And it has Wireless-N, which makes it more future-proof. Well worth the small price premium in my opinion.
There are tons of other options in the exploding netbook market. I used to have an Acer PDA, until the power/data connector simply broke off, so no Aspire One for me. Dell’s shipping costs bug me and, like HP’s expensive 2133, their offering isn’t yet for sale where I live.
The only competitor I found hard to dismiss was MSI’s Wind. With a 10″ screen and a 80GB hard drive it has slightly superior specs. But then again it was Asus that paved the way with the Eee-PC 701, and I’ve had some pretty good experiences with the brand. Besides, it’s far cooler to store your stuff on shock-proof solid state storage instead of ‘old-fashioned’ spinning magnetic discs :).
I’ll keep you posted about my findings when my new toy arrives. Can anyone recommend a flavor of Linux that will be easy to install on the 901? I hear Ubuntu isn’t quite there yet, although their ‘Netbook Remix‘ looks really promising. It’s nice to be able to fall back to XP, but I’d really like to have this thing run Linux so I don’t have to worry about keeping one more computer malware-free.