Reviewing the Asus Eee PC 4G - page 4
Giddy for the Eee
The MMC/SD card slot is on the Eee's right side, next to two USB 2.0 ports and a VGA port -- connect an analog monitor, and you can see a presentation on either or both screens, with external resolution up to an impressive 1,600 by 1,200. A third USB port is on the left, as are microphone, headphone, and Ethernet jacks (and a dial-up modem port left empty in the 4G configuration).
The Eee's Intel Celeron M 353 processor -- a 900MHz single-core CPU with a 400MHz bus and 512K of Level 2 cache -- was obviously chosen for its frugal 5-watt thermal design power instead of its screaming speed. But the solid-state disk helps the Asus feel peppy enough when loading and switching among programs; the bulky OpenOffice.org loads in 15 seconds. Nobody's going to edit high-resolution video on the Eee, but everyday applications feel perfectly fine and responsive.
Also adequately responsive is the Asus' keyboard. It's small, but it's bigger than it looks -- the Q through T keys span 3.1 inches, closer than many subnotebooks and all UMPCs to the 3.5 inches of a desktop keyboard. We admit that it's crowded around the edges; the Tab key is teeny weeny, and during our first few hours we found ourselves occasionally overshooting targets (hitting 4 instead of R, say) and consciously taking care to type more precisely than usual.
But the keyboard layout has no unpleasant surprises, and its typing feel is close to first-class -- maybe the tiniest bit rattly but, like the rest of the Eee, firm and not flimsy. Within a day, we were percolating along at fairly close to our desktop speed.
We were less content with the Eee's tiny touchpad, which sometimes balked at registering taps and double-taps; we got better results using the chrome bar below the touchpad, which works like a rocker switch for left and right mouse clicks. The pad's right edge offers rapid but handy vertical scrolling.
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