I just came from the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, where Asus held a rather intimate Press Launch for their Eee PC. I was lucky enough to be sent by my good friend, the Doodler, to the event and I was able to hold (or rather fondle) the Eee PC.
As expected, the units they had on display were running Linux but the casual user *may* not even know the difference considering that the default desktop of the Eee PC is configured like the Windows of yore (think Windows 3.x). Yes, it felt like playing with a computer from the mid 80's. But reading around the 'net, I know that there is an option to convert the desktop to a so-called "advanced" mode. In Advanced mode, the Eee PC will look and feel like the usual Linux computer... something that I'm pretty familiar and comfortable with. The unit available for sale starting November 18, 2007 is the variant with the 4 GB storage and 512Mb RAM. I asked them if it is possible to upgrade the RAM to at least 1GB and they said that it is possible only if done through the local authorized Asus repair center (whoopee!).
The presentation of the Eee PC was pretty comprehensive. They underscored how small and handy the unit is. As shown in the picture above, the Eee PC weighs less than a Harry Potter book. They even showed a video clip where the brought the the Eee PC to a pre-school and how the kids there *BUT* a quick search on the internet shows that the people who are most interested with the Eee PC are not kids (nor the harried housewives that they also show) but mostly adults who are sick of lugging around their heavy laptops. My unsolicited advice to the local Asus marketing team that's handling the Eee PC: take care of that segment!
I played with the Eee PC on display for a while and the more I played with it, the more I got I got convinced that I want one for myself. But I guess I'll have to wait because according to their marketing person, Nina, there is a queue waiting for the Eee PC.
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