So, I've had the EEE for about a few days now, and have formed some initial impressions of it. Overall, it's very cool - an amazing toy. Small, light, completely silent - and a full-blown computer inside.

The screen is very good - excellent visibility and viewing angle. It's a shame it is so small (7"). The LCD itself doesn't take up all the space of the inside of the top-lid, probably because of price considerations. Asus could've easily placed a 9" screen in its place (which I hope they do in future editions).

The built-in speakers are less bad than could be expected from such miniature size. It has a built-in microphone too, and allows to connect external headphones and microphone.

The keyboard and touchpad are of good quality. Their small size takes some getting used to - especially the keyboard, which for now hinders my typing speed as I keep hitting the wrong keys (I'm writing this post from the EEE by the way). The right shift key is very small which is annoying.

Connecting the EEE to my home wireless network and sharing folders from and to it was very easy, which is great.

The OS is Xandros Linux (a fork off Debian) - intalling apps from repositories is a piece of cake. I've already installed the Scite editor (and configured it with all my settings as on the Windows computers I use it on), and build-essential (the package with gcc and make in it). Linux also means you have a console (I've changed the default Xterm to Konsole, which I like much more) - I love the console !!! I'm not too familiar with 'bash' (yet) since I'm more used to C-shell, so I'm not as efficient as I could be - but this will improve.

I've also installed Stardict - an excellent free dictionary program that sits in the background and translates selected text in pop-up windows. With this, I'll be able to comfortably read Spanish books.

There are some problems as well, though. First, the EEE is not very stable. Sometimes it hangs during shutdown, for example. Word on the street is that Asus hurried to put the software together and it's not 100% polished. Fortunately, most of the problems can be overcome easily.

Second, the small amount of space. Due to the way Linux application installation works, apps should be installed to the same partition as the OS - and I have only 2 gigs of internal SSD here. Unfortunately, if you uninstall pre-installed apps (like the huge Open Office, which I don't need anyway) - it doesn't free space because it's in the OS partition. This, of course, can be tweaked. Another way to go is to install an OS on an external SD card and just boot from it. The amount of possible tweakings is endless, and the EEE Wiki has tons of information on the subject. Since I'll need a workable EEE in Munich next week, I'll play it safe for the time being and won't get into adventures that can ruin the OS. After I come back, however, I'll make sure to tweak it to suit my every whim. After all, it's a toy, isn't it :-)


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