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Asus Eee PC 900, Asus Eee PC 701, OR MSI Wind Notebook

Posted on 2008-06-25
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I'm considerng getting one of these machines:

An Asus Eee PC 900 -OR- an Asus Eee PC 701 -OR- an MSI Wind Notebook

I'll use this mostly for taking notes for some research I'm doing - and I don't really care whether it's got XP, Linux on it, just as long as I can transfer documents between it and an XP Pro machine.

I'm really looking at battery life, weight over pretty much all else, and I'd be very interested in hearing opinions on any of these machines, esp. if you have one!

Links:

http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/3516641/Asus-Eee-PC-701-4G-Celeron-Mobile-900MHz-512MB-4GB-7-Linux-Netbook-Black/Product.html

http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/5429233/Asus-Eee-PC-900-Win-BK-Intel-Mobile-1GB-12GB-8-9-Windows-XP-Netbook-Black/Product.html

http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/5889219/MSI-Wind-Atom-1-6GHz-1GB-80GB-10-Linux-Netbook-Black/Product.html

http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/5889222/MSI-Wind-Atom-1-6GHz-1GB-80GB-10-XP-Home-Netbook-Black/Product.html
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Question by:peetm
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8 Comments
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 21872228
I'd go for one of the Asus models. They are robust, and the biggest advantage is that it uses a solid state disk. This uses much less power as there are no motors running. Notes don't take up much room on the disk, so the unchangeable small 4GB HD should be good enough. The other eee pc has a bigger HD and a bigger display. The bigger display would be a big advantage, but you should get the linux version of that PC.
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Expert Comment

by:THEPIER
ID: 21917894
Got a 701 at work and was so impressed that I have just bought a 900 for personal use.
Would recommend the 900 over the 701 - more storage, more RAM, larger screen, and a faster CPU.
Battery life isn't great (about two hours) but a more powerful battery is available from Asus if you want.
My advice would be to go for the Linux model - same price, but more storage than the Windows version.
I found the Xandros distribution that came pre-installed was somewhat limited, so I replaced it with Ubuntu 8.04, although you could just as easily install Windows XP.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Jon Winterburn
ID: 21925707
Personally, I'd recommend the Asus 701. I have the 4gb Xandros model, on which I've installed XP (Xandros is a bag of crap) and upgraded the 512mb RAM to 1GB (although you can upgrade to 2GB for cheap from eBay). I prefer this over the 900/901 as it's lighter and smaller and if you get the 4gb SD card for a fiver from play.com, you have 8gb of space. I installed XP and some programs on the 4gb SSD and still have 3gb space plus the 4gb SD. The 900mhz processor is easily fast enough for anything you need it to do (I watch films, play Unreal Tournament and browse the web using mobile broadband dongle).
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Author Comment

by:peetm
ID: 21936402
@jonathen

May I ask about the steps needed to install XP, and, the RAM upgrade - the 512mb you added - what are the steps required please??
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Expert Comment

by:Jon Winterburn
ID: 21936539
You can't add 512mb, because there is only 1 slot for memory. Therefore you need to buy a 1gb (£16.99) or 2gb (£26.99) RAM chip (whichever you prefer, depending on your budget) - you can get these on eBay (I can tell you the trader I bought mine from, or you can search for: asus eee 701 ram). Unfortunately this means your 512mb is useless, but such is life. Changing the memory is fairly easy - you need only remove two screws from the panel underneath and change the memory.

Then, you need an external USB CD-ROM drive if you can borrow one from someone (or buy one for £14.99 from the same seller on eBay).

Then it's just a matter of booting from CD-ROM, running XP install, deleting ALL partitions when asked and completing installation.

Finally, when XP is running, there are some steps you can take to reduce the space being used - I would suggest you first complete all Windows Updates.

After that, you delete ALL files within: C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download and delete ALL files beginning with $NtUninstall within: C:\WINDOWS. These are only copies of the Windows Updates you downloaded and the uninstall files for uninstalling the updates.

If you want to reduce the space used further, you can compress the contents of the drive.

If you buy the 4GB SD card addon for £4.99 from play.com you can then save all your files etc to that disk - there is also a way of installing programs to this disk instead of the onboard disk, but I've not bothered as the onboard disk is plenty for programs and O/S.

If you do buy one of these, I'll give you links to the cheapest parts needed and provide you with a step-by-step for changing the memory correctly.

Hope this helps!
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LVL 10

Author Comment

by:peetm
ID: 21936756
>>If you do buy one of these

I'm sold!

The 701 with these upgrades sounds 'just the job' for the kind of use I'd put it too - and - as the 701 is superseded, I'm hopeful that I'd get one at a good price right now.

Yes, do please give me the seller's ID etc, and any further step-by-step instructions you think I need following your excellent description!

One last Q ... would you advise my performing the upgrade[s] vs. buying one with a larger memory already?  For example, I just found some links:

http://www.powerupmobile.com/product--378.htm

http://www.kikatek.com/product_info.php?products_id=61133&source=froogle

If you've any other seller ideas, please let me know!

many thanks.

Etc.
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
Jon Winterburn earned 2000 total points
ID: 21937158
Those two links don't give you a memory upgrade - if you look closely, they only come with 512MB of RAM. The 4GB refers to the solid-state disk. I don't think anyone sells these with more than the default 512MB. From what I can see, they are selling exactly the same as play.com, but for more money. Play.com sells it at £219 + £4.99 for the additional 4GB SD card (giving you a total of 8GB of disk space).

The eBay seller for more RAM and other addons is: laptopscomputersetc - the shop is:

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/laptopscomputersetc

I followed this video to change the memory:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uMczeX5W3M

You can download a free utility which allows you to overclock the CPU and increase/decrease backlight and fan speed as much as you want (without reboots) from:
http://www.cpp.in/dev/eeectl/

One thing - when you've installed XP, you will need to install the drivers from the Asus CD (which comes with) which will allow you to run the desktop in 800x600 as well as the default 800x480. There is another utility out there that allows you to run in 1024x768 and above but it made my eyes hurt and I find 800x480 (with the start bar on auto-hide) perfect for everyday use.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Jon Winterburn
ID: 21939976
If you are unsure at all, I see PC World is selling their own brand from the 7th July:

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/07/04/pcworld_scc_vs_asus/
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