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Eee PC - Opinions, please. Answered

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I had a minute's play with an Eee PC today, and first impressions were good. I know that a local high school has invested in a bunch of them. #1 son has started making noises about "needing" a computer of his own. In a year of two, he may be right, so, at a price of around 150GBP / $300, it seems a reasonable target for him to save up for (and ask relatives for cash at birthday & Christmas). Bearing in mind that his school uses Windows, and so does the high school he will probably go to, is the Eee a sensible buy for a 11/12 year old? I use a Windows laptop, our desktop is Windows. We have a British Telecom wireless hub. I am ignorant of all aspects of Linux, so I also need to know if the documents he produces can be accessed through Windows software and vice versa?

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csharpdeveloper (author)2008-06-19

i own the newer version of the eee pc, the 900. it is more expensive but has a larger screen and touch pad. the prices for the 701 pictured are set to drop soon so you might want to wait. I've used both models and i can highly recommend them. its only when using a 900mhz cpu that you realise that your other computer is hugely overpowered, it runs most things well (just don't expect crysis to run).
If you do buy one i recommend you join the eeeuser forum, its an excellent community not dissimilar to instructables (the hacks section is particularly good.)

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PKM (author)csharpdeveloper2008-06-19

just don't expect Crysis to run

O RLY?

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csharpdeveloper (author)PKM2008-06-20

I happily stand corrected!

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PKM (author)csharpdeveloper2008-06-20

I know that's a bit of a cheat, it's using the EEE as a "thin client" and streaming the controls and graphics between it and a proper gaming rig, but still...

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PKM (author)2008-06-19

The EEE will have OpenOffice that uses open document format (ODF). You can get OpenOffice on windows, and there are murmurings of MS Office moving to open document as well, so the short answer is yes. I believe OpenOffice can open word documents, and possibly even save as them, although that will presumably be reverse engineered so might not work 100%- you'd probably be best off installing OO on yoru desktop for the best interoperability.

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whatsisface (author)PKM2008-06-19

OpenOffice does Word documents perfectly to my knowledge, and I think there's even a plugin for Office 2007 support.

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-30

I'm not a fan of them, but go for it!

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guyfrom7up (author)Labot20012008-04-30

you just responded -34 seconds ago LOL

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Labot2001 (author)guyfrom7up2008-04-30

Didn't you know that I'm perfectly capable of creating rips in the space-time continuum?

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tech-king (author)Labot20012008-04-30

stop that. your creating confusion, and tampering with nature.

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Labot2001 (author)tech-king2008-05-01

Nature was created to be tampered with.

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tech-king (author)Labot20012008-05-01

no, thats school rules. the time/space police will come after you if you dont stop.

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ll.13 (author)2008-04-30

I would maybe go for an IBM Thinkpad 600e.... then again, you're stuck with a sub-xp version of windows (if you're not into installing linux)

-Yes, they're cool, but also check out the HP mini (aka the 2133 mini-note)
also there's an MSI wind sub notebook :)

there's also a 9 & 11 eee version coming out.

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CameronSS (author)2008-04-30

I'm trying to figure out where to get a used one.

I think that I would benefit from a small, bare-bones laptop-where "bare-bones" means enough for word processing, basic Internet, graphics display (not editing), and perhaps solitaire. I wrote up a list of the basic requirements I would need (Wi-fi capable, small size, USB-capable, etc.), and when I learned about the Eee PC, it fits my list perfectly. I had considered just getting an old cheap laptop, but then I run into issues with being massive, dead batteries, etc.

Then again, I have a desktop with a 250GB HDD, 1GB of RAM, a DVD burner, a GeForce graphics card, and a wireless-G card. When it becomes obsolete, I can install Ubuntu and make it top-of-the-line again. I won't have any real need for a laptop until college, and that'll be a while.
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tech-king (author)2008-04-30

way to early. keep up to date, but you cannot decide what to get 2 years in advance.

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Labot2001 (author)2008-04-30

Personally, I'd recommend getting a *slightly* used Windows XP machine, could find something on craigs for around $3-400 USD

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NachoMahma (author)2008-04-30

. I'm with skate6566: if you won't be making the purchase for a year or two, it's too early to be choosing which one he wants/needs. For now, start saving and keeping abreast of what's available.
. I don't see Linux vs. Windows as being a big deal. Most Linux apps will save files in standard Windows formats and NTFS access will probably be built-in to Linux by the time you buy (it's an easy install now, from what I read in the March 2008 PC Magazine).

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-30

I certainly wasn't planning to buy yet, just thinking about a target for him to aim for.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-30

. The specs on the Eee are respectable, especially for a $300 laptop. I think I would try to save ~500 USD (~400 for computer + 100 for games and accys). Who wants to get the bottom of the line?

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xACIDITYx (author)2008-04-30

In my opinion, if he won't need it for a couple of years then don't make any final decisions. I would bet that this is just the beginning of a new genre of laptops. But to answer your question, I read the Cnet article and looked into it. It looks like a safe bet, except for the linux. I believe they came out with an XP version, though. That might be better, seeing as how your whole house is Windows. I want to see HP's competition to this as well as Dell's competitor in the Netbook category. We will see who fares best. But yeah, it looks good. You may also consider getting a 4GB SD card to double the HDD space. But on Cnet it says that they are closer to 400 bucks. I don't know how it is over the pond.

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Kiteman (author)xACIDITYx2008-04-30

(The 150GBP may be the bulk-purchase price...)

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guyfrom7up (author)xACIDITYx2008-04-30

they look like a descent laptop for all basic work (anything the school would want you to do) and surfing the net. Supposedly they arn't bad for gaming either. You can run XP on it, I just think it takes some skill/time. I here that a new, bigger screen version is suppose to come out this year (I think 11" compared to the current 7" with the black stuff around it)

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