Last year ASUS had christened the Eee PC as a cost-effective but well built sub-notebook that ended up being extremely popular with more people than just computer enthusiasts. The original Eee PC 700 series had shipped with Intel Celeron hardware, a solid-state drive, and a Xandros-based Linux distribution. These units have been selling extremely well but back in June ASUS had unveiled the Eee 901 as well as the Eee 1000 series. These newer models now use Intel Diamondville-based Atom CPUs, which we have been quite fond of for their technological advances. In this article we are providing our first look at the Eee PC 901 along with a few bits of information and sharing some of our plans for the Eee Linux testing in the near future.
BTW, do you know that Mandriva, from 2008 Spring release and up, has added support for all the Eee's hardware, and using Metisse, can resize windows for the Eee's screen.
That's I found from the Mandriva section at eeeusers.com
You might want to give it a try.
Great. I'm considering buying an Eee 1000 (or maybe Lenovo's netbook) so I would be interested in what you mentioned like the performance of running an encrypted system, power-saving and running programs compiled for the Atom. I have gotten the impression that the Atom is sufficiently different from other processors to perhaps make that worthwhile.
I have a original Asus EEEPC. My workmates liked it so much that they went out and bought their own.
They like those so much that they then went out and bought 3 1000HD models with the 80gig mechanical drive.
They came with Windows pre-installed and all had their OSes wiped out. 2 had a custom Windows XP pro install done, while the other had a Fedora 9 installed.
The Wifi is a bit different. The orignal used a Atheros unit, while these 1000HD use a Ralink rt2860sta USB 802.11n processors. The newest drivers you can get for it are from the Ralink website and they need some patching to make work with very new kernels. But the changes are not substantial.
My workmates were a little dissapointed in the fact that the 1000HD was larger then the original EEPCs. They are not 'big' per-say, but they do feel and weight enough that it's a bit off-putting when your used to the size of the originals.
I think if I had to buy another one It would be the 901 with the 12gig SSD drive.
I've only used the 1000HD long enough to modify the ralink source code and compile the kernel module, but the general feel of the thing is that it's faster then the original. The 801 had some performance issues with playing flash, but the faster GMA 950 graphics and faster 1.6 Atom (vs underclocked-to-630mhz celeron-ulv) should make it easier to play larger files. Youtube would run fine, but with other sites that used higher resolution or less optimized players it could get choppy.
I think that I would prefer the 901 over the 1000 series. The screen resolution is the same, but it's a smaller screen. (even though the quality of the 1000 screen is very good) and smaller size means it's much more mobile.
If you want to use the EEEPC as a main mobile laptop then I'd get the larger one. This small of a form-factor does not lend itself to constant use. The smaller keyboard means you work somewhat slower. But I have a larger laptop already, so I want the EEEPC as a knock-around machine.
The one major downside of the 1000HD's keyboard is the placement of the right shift key leaves very much to be desired.
I used a encrypted home directory on the 801 EEEPC. The performance is ok. With 1gig of RAM most of your file system that you use often is going to get loaded into file system cache.. so the performance for most activities is not affected by it. That is, of course, if your using a lightweight system.. a full fedora system would use more I/O (for example) and thus be impacted more by the encrypted drive. The atom processor should cope with encryption better, of course, then the old underclocked celeron-ulv.
Another positive thing about the atom is the thing doesn't get hot anymore.. while with the 801 the bottom can get quite toasty with prolonged use and the fan can be annoying in very quiet settings.
I've been using Eeebuntu NBR on a 2G Surf for a few days and would never go back to the outdated, Xandros-based cruft that came on it. I do miss suspend/hibernate, especially with a minute load time instead of 20 seconds, but I'll deal.
I have a question about the battery life. I see that the XP version specs is less SDD space, but 8 hour battery life. For the Linux version it is some more SDD space, but the battery life is listed to 6 hours. Is this because there is a difference in the battery pack, or is it the xandros that isn't powersaving? I don't see why linux should be more power hungry than XP unless you don't know how to set it up?
I'm looking to buy the Asus 901, and want to have as long battey life as possible... I'm going to use ubuntu on the laptop