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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  • gochichi - Saturday, April 26, 2008 - link

    It trully doesn't matter what the CPU is rated at, it is still overclocking when you personally override the thermal envelope of the little machine and clock it as you see fit.

    These machines hit a price point and size that other brands should compete for. That or at least ASUS needs to refresh the hardware within this product.

    1GB RAM = $20 or so... and there are more thermally efficient procesors out there. 2GB = $35.00 ... so why the heck are we still dealing in 512MB?


    Reply
  • Alphafox78 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    Its nice to see a review on the eee here, but there are some things that could have been done to shine a much better light on it:

    1. 3Dmark01 should be run in the LCDs native rez of 800x480 - if you run it at 800x600 the driver has to stretch it to make it fit which kills the benchmark numbers.
    2. the asus supplied drivers stink for gaming. you have to get the latest intel drivers, there are some modified ones on the eeeuser.com website that support resolution stretching and stuff.

    if these things are done you can easily get a score of 3200 in the benchmark.

    the stock mhz on the celeron in the eee is 900mhz, they do clock higher than 900 and I have seen one guy hit 1.2ghz almost. I am able to set mine to 1.044Ghz and when I do this I get a score of 3600 in 3dmark01. temps are 67c running warcraft for a few hours and fan on max.

    if you do all of the above you can even play wow on it, I use it now instead of my 17" lappy and prefer it. its neat to play on it for some reason... I get around 30+fps grinding and 10 or so in the cities. except for shatarath, its like 4fps there for some reason.
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    I don't think "misleading" is quite accurate - I'm generally quite pleased with the Eee, Asus did a great job with it and it's a nice little machine, and I think the article reflects that. Point taken that you can squeeze some more gaming performance out of it, but it's clearly not a gaming laptop. I wanted to show a few fun games that can average 30+ fps with a minimum of user effort, just to shine a light on the fact that some gaming here and there is possible and enjoyable with older titles. Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 25, 2008 - link

    The original half-life game is probably playable as well - and I think it was OpenGL which would be a good test. Reply
  • kilkennycat - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    To all Anandtech reviewers:-

    When you are reviewing any portable devices in the future, please explicitly state the mA-hr capacity of the battery supplied in the review unit(s) AND confirm with the manufacturer of the product that exactly the same-capacity battery will be shipped with the for-sale product - especially when you are publishing the available use-time between charges.

    Asus has been apparently been playing fast and loose by supplying higher-capacity batteries to reviewers of the EeePC than those offered in for-sale units and thus implicitly shafting some first-round real customers.

    See the following:-

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asus-eeepc-batter...">http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asus-eeepc-batter...

    Reply
  • cputeq - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    battery life tests.

    Maybe continuous MP3 playing, or better yet, looping movie playing without power management, esp. in the underclocked and normal configs.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    The 4G XP models on NewEgg:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi...;descrip...

    Don't appear to include the Mouse and SD card. Anyone know what the full story is here?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    I also inquired over at Best Buy today - same thing, their 4G-XP's (the only model they carry thus far) doesn't include the mouse or SD card.
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Sunday, April 27, 2008 - link

    I've asked Asus for a response on this and am awaiting a reply. From what I've seen also digging around on the web, the $399 model doesn't have the mouse or SD card. As you can see on page 1 from our retail packaging picture, though, it clearly calls out the mouse and SD card on the label. This makes me suspect that Asus didn't scrap it entirely, but may reserve it for some slightly higher priced config. This would alter my thoughts on this package, since the mouse and SD card really represent a good bundle for usability. I'll update here when I hear back from the manufacturer. Reply
  • nubie - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    I won't use Internet explorer unless forced, why no Firefox? Reply

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