I’m usually not much for gadget lust, but…

I’m usually not much for gadget lust, but for some reason I find myself really interested in the Asus Eee PC, a $400 900Mhz laptop with a 7″ screen and a small flash disk that runs Linux.

I don’t know why I’m so tempted, I’ve already got a little laptop, my 12″ Dell D400 — I think it’s that it’s so little and not “I’m carrying a laptop today” fragile that you could carry it more like a book. It’s decently kitted out, too, with built-in wifi and wired Ethernet, external VGA, an MMC/SD reader, and a webcam.

I think I’ll probably hold off until they start showing up secondhand when their early adopters get tired of them. (I’m glad I’m now in a city where people use Craigslist.)

Any of you guys pick one of these up yet? (deviant-, I’m looking at you!)

Also, until the Air costs $400, you are not permitted to suggest a MacBook Air instead.

6 responses to “I’m usually not much for gadget lust, but…”

  1. I’ve heard nothing but good things. A couple of coworkers have them, and they’re quite nice little things — and I *so so much* prefer it over the OLPC, which is somewhat similarly sized and priced (with the buy two get one deal), but the OLPC is (as a laptop for a technical person) largely unusable, whereas the Eee doesn’t have that problem.

  2. While this appeals, I still think I prefer my 1st gen clamshell ibook, with its whopping 9Gb HD. It’s a little heavier, yes – but it comes with a handle.

  3. i know what you mean. i am constantly tempted to get one, despite the fact that i really have no need for one. there’s something about the form factor that hits a sweet spot. it is a lot like carrying a book.

    i know a few people who have them now, and they all love them. the keyboard is tiny, though–that would certainly take some getting used to.

  4. Chris: Yeah, Justin at FreshBooks got an OLPC” but it strikes me more as a geek conversation piece/collector’s item than a practical palmtop. And it seems just too big to carry around everywhere, between the extra 3″ of depth and the extra 1.2 pounds, at which point I might as well just take my actual laptop.

    J.: Hah, awesome. I had a tangerine clamshell at e-smith, which was ostensibly the “Mac test platform”.

    bunnyhero: Yeah, that’s it for me too. I’ve got a laptop I like, but it’s been a while since I just bought a fun tech gadget for playing with. I think I might stalk Craigslist for people that early-adopted and then found themselves not using them much.

    (Also: I’m in TO now, and I think I’m in your neighbourhood, too! I’m sure we’ll run into each other at some event or another!)

  5. Having played with one (though not an owner), I can tell you the EEE PC is very, very light and small. Perfect for class and quick informal meetings and talks.

    So just how small/convenient is it? Around here in Taiwan (home of Asus and the designers of the EEE PC), it’s become something of a fashion item, especially among women, who just stick in their purse. Unlike most laptops, you don’t have to think twice about carrying it around with you. It’s supposed to be a secondary computer–the one you take to a restaurant meeting or whatever.

    You’re absolutely right about the Mac Air being non-comparable to the EEE PC. Actually, I’d take it beyond price and would claim that the Mac Air’s very sexy, but larger form factor means it isn’t possible to take it with you in situations you might take the EEE PC. The thing I would be concerned about for people not used to working with multiple computers (in middle/high income countries, it’s very hard to imagine this as anyone’s primary computer) is synchronization and interface for a small screen. A smaller screen can be somewhat limiting, but Palms and Windows handhelds always could design intuitive interfaces for it. I think the EEE PC is sort of reaching into Palm territory (Foleo anyone?), and the next step (that would make me a proud owner of one) is to start designing good interface and sync and software for it.

    Hell, the thing is Linux anyways, they could just try to build a community and have people collaborate and contribute to build a better software platform for it.

  6. pir has one. He had it down the pub on Sunday evening. It is SO CUTE. The keyboard is so small I can’t type on it – I’ll have to wait for the 9″ or 10″ model. He had an 8GB SDHC card in it, which I expect isn’t really optional practically speaking. It runs a real operating system and a real browser. Get one.