Quick first impressions of the Asus Eee PC

Asuseeepc7014gkctofel_2James and I had a 45-minute video chat while I got my first look at the new Asus Eee PC 701 4G. Quick impressions in no particular order:

  • The microphone port is under the trackpad in the front of the unit. I thought this would be a problem.
  • With the mic position and the speakers, there is zero feedback on a Skype call. This device just provided me with the best native Skype experience I’ve ever had on a device; i.e.; with the integrated speakers and mic.
  • There is about 1.3 GB of free storage space on the 4GB model.
  • There are instructions to install and optimize XP in the manual. I won’t touch XP on this until I’ve gotten the full experience with the custom Xandros build.
  • The connection manager offers connection types of GSM/HSDPA as well as DSL, cable and more.
  • The interface is drop-dead simple; very well suited for folks news to computers and kids.
  • My kids think it’s a cute little laptop.
  • The webcam is disabled by default in the BIOS (I hope that gets addressed). When I enabled it, it worked just fine, but Skype for Linux doesn’t support video yet.
  • With 512 MB of RAM, the device is relatively peppy.
  • Shutdowns, restarts, sleep and restore are as quick or quicker than on other devices I have. More details to follow.
  • I’ll show this in a video, but the footprint and keyboard size / layout is nearly identical to the Vye S37. I could touch type on the Vye and I can touch type on the Eee.
  • The device weighs about the same as my Q1P, maybe a smidge less.

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