Saturday, December 15, 2007

Asus Eee PC: A Little Wonder

I had read some of the accounts of Asus' new Eee PC, but until you actually hold one in your hand and play with it for a few minutes, do you realize what an amazing little computer, and I do mean computer, it is.

I had one of my adult students bring one of these into my classroom yesterday and I was BLOWN AWAY! This unit has the potential to make 1 to 1 computing in education a reality.

First, the unit uses a form of Linux as it's operating system and it's folder organization makes the user interface very friendly. There is no initial training necessary.

Secondly, it has preloaded many different applications to allow the user to many different things from the first boot. Open Office and Skype are pre loaded. There are links to the Google Applications, instant messaging, e-mail and Internet radio applications.

Third, the hardware necessary to be a cool global student is all there. There are stereo speakers, a web cam and a microphone built into the screen. There are two USB ports on the side to bring in additonal media or attach a mouse so you don't have to use the touch pad.. The image quality and color is very good, which makes the screen very readable. The other thing I liked was that it had external VGA , headphone and mic ports to allow for the connection of those devices. All of this is packed in a 7" unit weighing about 2 pounds. The smallness of the keyboard and touch pad are a little tough, but I was able to type on it with my large hands.

Check out this video (about 12 minutes!) that puts the EeePC through its paces...

I could see having an online or flash drive presentation ready to go and walking in with one of these units and connect to an LCD projector and speakers and be on the roll. The small size and portable nature of the device, will make it a favorite for students.

I like this unit so much, that I want to go and buy one now... and I just might depending on how Christmas goes. If there was someone I was considering a starter computer for... this would definintely be the unit I would recommend.


Josh said...

I would think the inclusion of useful (free) apps from the beginning is a big deal for IT and for teachers.

Anonymous said...

this is a really great device, thanks for you review very much

Steve Dickie said...

So, it looks like you've had the eee pc for at least a few months now. Do you still feel like it could be a useful 1 to 1 tool?