Windows XP

One of the shortcomings of the Eee (or strengths, depending on which side you're on) is its Linux-based operating system. While ASUS went to great lengths to streamline the installation and include useful apps, the reality is that most consumers are familiar with Windows XP, are more comfortable with it, and can easily install new applications on it. At the same price point of $399, and with the extra goodies, the XP version is likely to take the sales lead.

Drive Usage and Performance

So, how much space will XP cost you? What about memory usage? And how much bloat is ASUS giving users with their standard installation?


The base install weighs in at about 3.0GB (out of an available 3.7GB). Memory usage is only 186MB, with very few running processes - only 30. Kudos to ASUS for not overloading the install with "value-added" software. Microsoft Works is included for word processing tasks, which is nice. We opted to remove it to save space on the primary drive, as well as other Windows components that aren't used. How much did that buy us?


That's better! We still have the 4GB SDHC card as well, which many users simply leave in the card reader all the time. If you want additional storage, flash memory is relatively cheap as well. A 16GB SDHC card runs around $65 online, which would be sufficient for storing quite a few movies, audio files, pictures, etc.

Windows Startup

What kind of environment are we greeted with on first boot?




As noted before, this is a fairly clean install with just a few additions. Note that the 900MHz Celeron M processor is still underclocked to 630MHz (70MHz FSB). We'll say more on that later.










ASUS' update software is included, which will fetch and install new versions of the Eee's BIOS. They also include a tray utility that allows easily setting the resolution back to 800x480 (not selectable from the Intel driver options), as well as disabling the built-in 0.3 megapixel camera or wireless LAN.




Internet Explorer was a little "busy" when first started.


Some users don't mind additional toolbars, favorites and Messenger icons, etc., but especially on a screen this small, we favor real estate, and pared it down.


Index General Performance
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  • Nihility - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    What about batter tests of XP vs Linux? Considering what a mess there was with the reviewed EEE 900's this should be tested. Reply
  • Nihility - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Not so much. I was hoping computers like the EEE and the OLPC would help push linux but all these companies are quickly finding that it's easier to just ship with windows. Your customers like it, your developers like it and it's already been tested and proven so that saves on RnD. Maybe they still will help push linux in the long run but it sure doesn't seem like it for now.

    The EEE 900 with the bigger screen, even if it's more friendly to those older games it will come with a major drawback of even lower frame rates. Don't forget that. What the EEE needs is more power, for less power.
    Reply
  • turkeyjob - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Microsoft recently posted a video to their Ch9 website, of work they'd done to reduce the disk footprint on smaller systems. They demonstrated fully functional XP AND Office-2003 installed in 1.2GB of disk, on an EEE Reply
  • amasephy - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    In regards to the Diablo 2 benchmark, the eeepc doing 25-30 fps is normal. D2 was capped at that for single player mode, which judging by the screenshots is how the game was benchmarked. More than likely it would perform better played on bnet. Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Good point - I did the Diablo II tests at the very end of the article (actually as an add-on after it was written) and didn't try multiplayer mode. Reply
  • 1up949 - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    I guess anything can be made to run anything if you cripple it enough... Reply
  • Sc4freak - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    There seems to be something funky going on with the page navigation in the article. 3 pages are named "Windows XP", and you can't go to a previous page from them. Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Thanks, fixed. Reply

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