What my Eee says about Mee

Asus Eee vs Acer 'laptop'The Asus Eee mini-laptop is the new Wii: the ultra-cool white gadget that clearly surpassed its manufacturer’s best sales projections. I was lucky enough to find one on sale in Tottenham Court Road a few weeks back, at list price too, and it was the guy’s easiest sale of the day.
What makes the Eee special? Its portability: as you can see, it’s much smaller than a conventional laptop, and much lighter too. Its cost: just £219 for the most popular model, but it’s still fully-spec’ed. But most importantly for me… its boot-up time. You’re up and running in 15 seconds, online in about 30.
And interestingly, it’s a conversation starter. Total strangers on the train ask me about it. I whip it out in meetings to take notes, and the conversation inevitably deviates for a minute or two. As Hugh MacLeod might say, it’s a ‘social object‘.
When you’re living the freelance/consultancy life, things like this matter. The Eee allows me to quietly communicate a few things about my view of life and business, without having to say a word. It’s quick. It’s not unnecessarily expensive or extravagant. It’s adaptable. It challenges the norm. I’ve yet to say the words ‘very much like myself, actually’ – but I think the message gets through.
Meanwhile, my former Big Ugly Laptop is gathering dust in the corner. Vista is a distant memory. Result all round, I’d say.

4 thoughts on “What my Eee says about Mee”

  1. You’re finding it usable out of the box? Without adding any (non-online) software or applications?
    How do you handle syncing back to your normal/main machine? Presuamably the printer drivers are fairly few and far between meaning that you head back to Windows/Mac to print off your scribblings?

  2. Yes Alan, no problems with ‘out of the box’ functionality… mainly because it comes with Firefox pre-installed. The reality is, these days, I’ve moved virtually everything over to online. Email via Gmail, RSS reading via Bloglines, bookmarks in del.icio.us… that doesn’t really leave much.
    It comes with OpenOffice pre-installed, but I don’t plan to do much document authoring on the Eee. It’s not that it can’t… just that the bigger machine/s will inevitably be better.

  3. I take it you have a Linux version? The Windows XP version is out in the US on Wednesday and as I’m there and they’re half the price of the UK, I thought I might buy one – but I’m torn between Linux and XP?
    I work almost entirely out of Firefox, but I’m not sure about iTunes and pen scanner compatibility with Linux – must do some research…

  4. If you’re travelling, I can see the Eee being ideal. Just check the XP version boots as fast as the Linux version. I don’t know how much of the speed is down to the hardware, and how much to the OS. (Anyone?) It was the boot time which persuaded me to buy it… but I don’t know if a normal boot time would have prevented me, if you know what I mean.

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