I was recently loaned an Asus Eee PC 1008P-Karim Rashid edition for one year to use and love and try out in many different ways. I have owned a Dell Mini 9 for a while, but its battery recently died. Not being able to use it wherever I want certainly affects its usefulness, and at this point I can’t afford a replacement battery. So I was thrilled to put off that purchase and to be able to use the Asus, a slightly larger (10 inch diagonal) netbook with a better keyboard. Just having the ‘ ” key in the correct place makes all the difference when I type.
I’m in a pretty good position to test the Asus. I’m a mom who is often at meetings and appointments, such as at the library or Girl Scouts. I also use many computer-based activities for our homeschooling endeavors. Being able to move those activities anywhere in the house, or anywhere in general for some of them, makes us more flexible. I also love to travel and may be taking a very very long road trip next summer, and this would be quite handy to bring along. I also write and perform blog-related tasks many times daily.
So over the next year, I will be writing a number of times about the Asus. This post serves as an introduction and my first impressions. I haven’t done too many in-depth things with the machine yet, but so far I like the machine very much. The machine is easy to use, doesn’t run noticeably slower than my desktop machine (unlike my Dell), and Windows 7 is impressive.
Here is some context about my current computer setup. My regular desktop machine is about four years old. It runs Windows XP. All of our computers at home run XP, with the other two desktop machines being even older than mine. So just the fact that the Asus is shiny and new is exciting. A new computer doesn’t happen too often at our house. But I still expect it to run better than my desktop, and the Asus manages that feat easily.
The first thing I noticed about the Asus was, of course, the interesting exterior. Karim Rashid designed the seashell surface, and it does stand out from the netbook crowd. I love the brown color. It also comes in pink, but I’m just not a pink sort of girl. Once I got my hands on it, though, one of the first things I noticed is that it is really light. It is definitely lighter than the Intel-Powered Classmate PC that I recently reviewed over at GeekDad; the Asus weighs in at slightly over 2.5 pounds, according to my postal scale. The rubbery outside of the Asus is grippy but not too grippy. It’s still rubbery enough to collect a little bit of dust, but not too much.
My first impressions were very good. The Asus is nice to look at, light to carry, and easy to use.
Read Part Two: Hardware, in which I discuss the keyboard, screen, input and output jacks, speakers, trackpad, and battery.
Note: I received a loaner unit for the purposes of this extended review. Complete specs are available on the Asus website. Retail price of this version is $499.99.