Published March 30, 2008
Tags: battery, eee
Even though I sold my Eee (and still love my Macbook to bits) I’m still following the development in the low end of the UMPC market rather closely. One of my gripes with the Eee I had was the measly battery life. It doesn’t mean a lot that your computer is small and portable if always have to be within 6 feet of an outlet.
JKKmobile is reporting about the development of higher capacity batteries from Asus themselves and also from 3rd party vendors. I especially love the thought of the 8-cell battery promising 10400 mAh of juice for your Eee. Compare that to the 5200 mAh of the original battery and you should go well over 6 hours of wireless productivity (as the so aptly call it in Cupertino)
Published February 3, 2008
Tags: eee, grievances
I sold my Eee. The auction just ended with a swift “buy it now” and I must admit that it’ll be a hard one to part ways with my little munchkin. It was inevitable, however. Here’s why:
- The keyboard’s too small
I’m a relatively large guy (6’4″, 230 poundish) and my hands somewhat match my body. I could touch type on the Eee, but it never really became comfortable. I tried using it for a couple of days for notetaking and such at my lectures, but it was just too damn hard to get anything down. Overall this isn’t a major complaint, but after a month and a half as an Eee owner I can honestly say that my ideal Eee computer has a screen size of no smaller than 10 inches and a keyboard to match.
- Resolution, resolution, resolution.
On paper it all sounded great. Firefox does zoom, IE 7 does zoom, Opera does fit to width. It was going to be a breeze. I’d just zoom out a bit and I’d have the same surfing experience as I do on my Macbook pretty much, right? Wrong. It’s awful. You get intimitely aquainted with the arrow keys on your Eee and you learn how to shrink menu-bars and such to an absolute minimum. But again it’s a fail. The ideal Eee has a resolution of 1024×600. The web’s outgrown the 800×600 days. 800×480 is annoying with dialog boxes as well that go below your taskbar.
- Battery life. Yes I know that Asus are coming out with a high capacity battery and I know that it will allegedly boost your battery life past the magic 5 hour mark. But with Asus’ (delAsus, get it?) gift for delaying everything way past what’s acceptable I’d probably be able to get my hands on one of those sometime in April and my need for battery time that’s decent is now. Probably yesterday. Under 3 hours is just not good enough for an UMPC no matter how small the charger is. And don’t get me started on standby battery drain. A modern laptop should last more than 12 hours on standby no matter the price point.
- Crappy linux. I spent a great deal of time lusting after the Asus before I finally got my hands on one. A lot of this waiting period was spent convincing myself that this would indeed be the year of linux on the desktop etc. Well it’s not. Linux is great. It seems solid and open and you can customize it anyway you want. I want it to work and I don’t want to have to read through four pages of posts on the eeeuser.com forum (great forum by the way) to add a stupid icon to my launcher. It should be able to do that out of the box. I don’t want to resort to command line hacking to update my browser or get a version of Skype where my webcam works. In my (limited) experience Linux performs abysmally bad in usability and functionality for the average user who’s somewhere between computer geek and your confused old grandmother. I want my computer to do what I tell it to do and run the programs I want to run. 2008 is not the year of anything but OS X on my desktop.
- The squeeky? It’s no secret that my last couple of laptops have been Macs. It’s no secret either that they have carried a heavy price premium over the Eee. The problem with owning a Mac is that it spoils you. I thought that the Eee wasn’t too bad looking and that the build quality was ok. Untill I’d carried it with me for three days in my messenger bag with textbooks and my lunch. It’s starting to squeak. It’s not super noticable, but it’s not good enough. For a computer that emphasizes its portability it’s a problem. I know we’re talking a lot about disposable computers etc., but it doesn’t matter much to me that the Eee is half or a third of the price of a Macbook when the user experience is directly proportional to the relative cost.
That being said I’m sad to part with thEee, my little friend. I loved the SSD, I readily accepted thy limited computing power. I liked the SD reader for portability of documents between devices. (Listen up Apple – SD cards aren’t so bad!). I think come version two or (dare I say it?) thrEee, I’ll consider jumping on the wagon again. Or better yet, if Apple realizes that the world does not need paper thin notebooks, but something SMALL and functional I’ll be getting the EeeMac.