eeePC

As my old laptop died, I've had to get a replacement. I work mainly via ssh to a quad-core development machine (fast compiling), so wasn't looking for a massively powerful device. I settled on an ASUS eeePC 901GO, partly because my little brother has been using a similar machine for a while and was quite happy with it.

I've had mine about a week now, and so far I'm very pleased. The installed Linpus Linux looked horrible and seemed a really bad use of the small (8.9 inch) screen, so I installed Mandriva 2009 without investigating Linpus. A network installation was amazingly easy. It involved a single command to copy a downloaded install image to a USB stick, some fiddling about with BIOS settings to get the machine to boot from the stick, and that was it. The Mandriva graphical installer ran, and Mandriva installed in about an hour (well, it did have to fetch everything over the network...)

The most impressive thing: everything just worked. The camera, screen resolution, wireless card were recognized without any input from me, and even the UMTS modem seems to work, though I don't have any way to test it yet.

It has 1GB of RAM, a dual-core Intel atom processor, and 16GB of Flash hard disk. It's responsive even when compiling Gnash, which is a massive improvement on my old laptop. It's small, light, and uses only 36W of power, so is pretty environmentally friendly too. So altogether, it seems to be the best computing purchase I've made.

The last test for it to pass is the robustness test. I'm not going to drop it off anything. It just has to be working as well in two years' time, and I'll be able to recommend it to anyone.

PS. Some shops advertise this eeePC version as having bluetooth built in. It doesn't, as various other reports suggested when I bought it.