Pricing, Conclusions and Final Thoughts
ASUS Eee PC 4G Hardware

The small size of the Asus Eee PC 4G is either going to be its main selling point for you or its main drawback.  As I already discussed, typing on it can be a bit cumbersome but after just a few documents of practice I grew more comfortable typing on its small keyboard.  Writing a thesis on it might not be the best idea but I can see making a good rough draft out line of it on the Eee PC without much issue.

Despite the keyboard the size of the Asus Eee PC wasn’t anything but a blessing in most instances.  I tried replacing my 15″ notebook with it in my bag and walking around for a while with it on my shoulders and as you’d expect there was a lot less strain.  If anyone else has the pleasure of carrying around a notebook while walking around Taipei and/or Las Vegas during trade shows, you will undoubtedly love the advantages the Eee PC’s weight and size give you. 

ASUS Eee PC 4G-X Windows XP Review - Eee PC for All - Mobile 31
STILL cheap enough to let your kids play on it!

The rest of the hardware on the unit worked as expected — the USB drives work just as you would expect on Windows machine as I plugged in my iPod, USB keys and more without any issues.  The integrated webcam was good enough quality to do basic still shots or movies as well Skype-based video conferencing.   The screen was adequately bright and didn’t cause me any eyestrain in my time with it though of course we did have to do more scrolling than normal around websites to see the whole picture.

Heat was not an issue either, as we would expect with a system that had a max power draw of around 20 watts.  Sitting the Eee PC on the table didn’t create any hot spots around where you would be using a mouse and even setting it on my lap didn’t cause any discomfort on the legs as I have had previous notebooks do even when they weren’t doing gaming.  The battery life if good at 2.5 to 3.0 hours but I honestly expected more out of it based on the other features of size and weight.  Still, you should be able to use it throughout a full day with minimal start up and shut down times. 

The Asus Eee PC does lack an optical drive as well as a PCMCIA (PC Card) slot that most other notebooks will have but I don’t think they’ll be overly missed on a unit of this size.

The Inclusion of Windows XP

Despite our acceptance of the Linux operating system on the original ASUS Eee PC, the move to Windows XP is a welcome one for me.  Before I get any hate mail from Linux fans, let me again reiterate: I had NO problems with the Linux OS that ASUS originally included but the ability to run most standard Windows applications on this machine extend its functionality and usability by an order of magnitude.  Sure, had ASUS openly allowed users to add Linux application on the Xandros OS this argument could go both ways but the fact is that the original OS restrictive.  Windows is Windows is Windows – throw in an internet connection, downloadable apps and you’ll feel just like you’re at a very tiny desktop PC monitor. 

While the 2.7GB of the 4GB hard drive is taken up by the Windows OS and the MS Works 9.0 software suite, that damage is pretty similar to the 2.5GB that was occupied by the original ASUS Eee PC with the Linux OS.  So in terms of hard drive space, the Windows XP version of the Eee PC is not worse off – that doesn’t mean the situation is GOOD with a 4GB primary drive however. 

Pricing and Availability

Here’s where it gets interesting for me: ASUS will be selling two versions of the ASUS Eee PC with Windows XP.  One of them will come with the 4GB SDHC card effectively upping the storage space of the unit to 8GB: 4GB solid state and the 4GB SD card.  However, if you don’t need that card, can find one cheaper or already have one, ASUS will also be selling a version WITHOUT the SDHC card that will sell for $399.  That’s right; the Windows XP and Linux Xandros versions of the Eee PC will sell for the same exact price.  This puts the “value” argument of Linux, at least in this particular instance, in the gutter.  And ASUS even included Microsoft Works 9.0 to complete the package against Linux + OpenOffice. 

The version that we received from ASUS for review that includes the 4GB SDHC card will retail for $469 – a $70 premium for convenience of the included SD card.  While that isn’t the lowest price on a 4GB SDHC card, it’s not exactly a rip off as you might see with Dell up-charging for DDR2 memory or what have you. 

ASUS Eee PC 4G-X Windows XP Review - Eee PC for All - Mobile 32

Starting today you should be able to find one or both of these versions of the new Windows XP based Eee PC at various places including  Both the white version and the black version are available on the website but you should be able to find the black version in a store near you.  This is not the first ASUS notebook to see its way into Best Buy but this is still a big opportunity for ASUS as a company to get such a (r)evolutionary machine into the view of so many new customers. 

Not to worry though, your favorite online e-tailers like very soon.  We’ll keep you updated here as the links come in…

Final Thoughts

Our opinion on the ASUS Eee PC has actually gone UP with this release – we are Windows junkies and as much as we are pushed or persuaded, moving to Linux, especially in the form that ASUS installed on the initial Eee PC just isn’t what I want.  In fact, one even has to wonder why the Linux version of the Eee PC will continue with the new 9″ screen update of the Eee PC just around the corner; carrying two SKUs for the same product where the only difference is the OS seems unlikely, though ASUS could always allow users to download and install the Xandros OS if they want…

In the end, ASUS has increased the usability of the Eee PC 4G for MOST buyers while keeping the price the same – an easy win.

ASUS Eee PC 4G-X Windows XP Review - Eee PC for All - Mobile 33

Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best prices on the Asus notebooks, and anything else you may want to buy!


« PreviousNext »