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|15th April 2008, 12:52||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Asus Eee PC 4G XP sub-notebook
Asus created a whole new class of budget sub-notebooks when it launched the Eee PC late last year. Since its launch, the Eee has been so popular that the likes of MSI, Gigabyte, HP, and even Dell are scrambling to come up with their own take on the formula. The formula, of course, combines relatively low-end hardware that's fast enough for basic tasks with an ultra-portable sub-notebook form factor that's much smaller than other budget notebooks. These systems come pre-loaded with Linux and free software to keep costs down, allowing Asus to sell the standard Eee PC 4G for only $400.
The marriage of true PC functionality with sub-notebook portability at an affordable price makes the Eee PC ideal for a wide range of applications and users. Many folks who have never even heard of alternative operating systems may be turned off by the Eee's unfamiliar Linux OS, though. The device's Xandros distribution is by no means difficult to use, and the bundled applications offer all the right functionality. But the alien environment does take some getting used to, especially if you want to be productive.
The vast majority of consumers have little experience outside the Windows world. While some may enjoy learning the ins and outs of a new operating system, I suspect that most would rather get rolling in a familiar environment. It seems Asus agrees, because the Eee PC is now available with Windows XP.
Getting Windows running on the Eee isn't a particularly impressive achievement—the original was fully compatible with Windows XP, and Asus even provided the necessary drivers if you wanted to install the OS yourself. What makes this latest XP-powered Eee PC 4G special is the fact that it's selling for the exact same price as the Linux version, so you're essentially getting Windows for free. And we like free. Read on to see if XP makes the Eee PC better or if its budget hardware bogs down under the weight of a Windows OS.
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