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Have you used the Asus EEE PC? I've got a couple of unusual questions

By Andrew Pollack on 08/28/2008 at 11:51 PM EDT

I'm considering the Asus EEE PC as an option for Second Signal base station units. The 900 looks fast enough by specs, and in all other regards is more than sufficient. I do have a few questions about the units though, that can be answered by people who have owned one.

1. Is there a fan? Is this unit passively cooled or is there a cooling fan that comes on?

2. Can the unit run in an "Always On" state reliably?

3. Can the unit run with the laptop screen closed without overheating?

Did you have problems with any of the ASUS software? I'm looking at the Windows XP version, but even then it will have Asus software on it. While I've found their hardware to be pretty good, I've never been impressed with Asus from a software or documentation perspective.

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re: Have you used the Asus EEE PC? I've got a couple of unusual questionsBy Dwight Wilbanks on 08/29/2008 at 02:14 AM EDT
I just got mine today. I got the 1000 with the Atom processor. It does have
a very small fan on the side. Since the Atom uses less power than the celeron.
I would guess that the 900 produces more heat. I havent had it long enough to
answer the others questions. I plan to plug in a monitor/kb once I get windows
installed and use it in the office, so, I should know more soon. I got is
because its small enough to fit on the motorcycle for a trip to Indianapolis
next month.
re: Have you used the Asus EEE PC? I've got a couple of unusual questionsBy Tim Tripcony on 08/29/2008 at 02:19 AM EDT
I've had a 4G EEE since early January... it was great at Lotusphere; most
sessions I attended, that's all I brought with me. While the max resolution on
mine is laughable, it was perfectly sufficient for taking notes (in OpenOffice,
of course) and live blogging (via Firefox).

I'm not sure how it's cooled, but it doesn't get nearly as warm as my Inspiron.
I routinely leave it running for weeks or months at a time (depending on my
travel schedule), plugged into an LCD monitor for watching movies and such
(with an external monitor it supports huge resolutions), and have never had it
lock up on me. Closing the lid automatically puts the device in standby...
surprisingly, I've found no way to disable this behavior (though it's probably
a limitation of the Xandros distro, so I doubt the XP model would have the same

Speaking of Xandros, the default interface is beyond remedial. In fact, it
seems intended specifically for children. But a couple quick terminal commands
allowed me to switch to "full mode", which looks very similar to SUSE / XP. And
they didn't load it down with a bunch of their own software, just the usual
default distro stuff (Firefox, OpenOffice, Pidgin, etc.). However... despite
only having a 4GB drive they still included the restore partition, so in case
of complete disaster you can restore to "factory settings" just by holding F9
while rebooting. Very convenient in that dire scenario, but leaves precious
little room to actually store anything on the drive. But the SDHC slot comes in
handy... I have an 8GB card, which currently contains all 6 Star Wars movies
and two full seasons of Simpsons episodes (which has already made me the envy
of many a fellow airline passenger). My biggest pet peeve is that there's some
software lock on the SDHC that prevents assigning x to any files on the card,
so you can't run programs from the card; you can only access data on the card
via programs run from the internal hard drive.
re: Have you used the Asus EEE PC? I've got a couple of unusual questionsBy Neil gower on 08/29/2008 at 06:53 AM EDT
I have had an EEE PC since Nov 07, and it does has a cooling vent, but as yet I
have not heard a fan.. It can run warm but nothing like as hop as my IBM or
Apple machines....

I have left mine running for days on end, and have a monitor and keyboard for
it, so I can use it as a desktop without any problems. Closing the lid puts the
machine in standby...

I could not live without my EEE PC (okay thats not true but...) tis is the
ultimate travel tool, and its all I ever take with me (except my N800 tablet)

I would recommend an EEE PC to anyone, best thing I have bought in years...
re: Have you used the Asus EEE PC? I've got a couple of unusual questionsBy mdmadph on 08/29/2008 at 03:48 PM EDT
While I like the _idea_ behind the EEEPC (and extremely low-power, inexpensive
travel laptop), the one time I used one for a while while a coworker let me
borrow it, I found the keyboard to be almost unusable, and I'm not a huge
person or anything. Other than that it's pretty neat.

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