Asus Eee PC 1000 Plus Ubuntu: Big Power in a Small Package
Can't Start A Fire Without A Spark
The original Asus Eee PC was the spark that ignited a forest fire of sub-mini notebooks from second tier providers to high end players like HP and Dell. Asus did so well with the original Eee PC they decided to release other models with similar design goals but minor tweaks of the hardware specs. The Eee PC model 1000 sports a robust list of hardware features sure to make your mobile computing experience a pleasant one.
For this review ZaReason provided an Asus Eee PC 1000 loaded with Ubuntu Hardy Heron. Basic specs for this unit include a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of memory, a 40 GB Solid State Disk (SSD) drive and a 10-inch screen. A 6-cell battery is standard and provides up to 6 hours of run time depending on usage. Networking support includes 10/100 wired Ethernet plus 802.11n and Bluetooth.
Boot time with the SSD is quick. I had a login prompt in about 45 seconds from pressing the on switch. It took another 30 seconds after entering my login credentials to bring up the main screen. Total time from power on to logged in and ready to go is under two minutes assuming you type your password in correctly. Speed and power are two definite advantages of SSD equipped laptops.
ZaReason ships the Eee PC with a standard install of Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04). Basic software packages include everything a typical user will need including Evolution, Gimp, Open Office, and more. You'll get Firefox 3.01 out of the box along with the F-Spot photo management tool, Pidgin instant messenger client and Cheese for taking photos or videos with the built-in 1.3 MP camera.
Ubuntu's auto update feature ensures your Eee PC has the latest security updates available. The Synaptic Package Manager is the easiest way to find and install additional software. I was able to get the latest version of VLC for the Eee PC using this method. Command line software installation using apt-get is another option for installing other applications. I used this approach to download and install the Banshee music player.
For connectivity to Windows machines there's a Terminal Server Client application that will allow you to use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to a Windows-based machine. This is one of those applications that doesn't fit on the Eee PC's screen. At startup you're presented with a dialog screen with entries for the computer name, user name, password, domain and client hostname. The bottom of the screen containing the buttons to either exit or connect doesn't show although you can barely see and click on the tops of the buttons. Guessing that the bottom right most button was connect got me connected to the remote computer. Once I was logged in I wasn't able to see a full screen, and there was no way to scroll it either.