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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 15, 2008
This gadget was on my amazon wish list for a few weeks. I kept looking at the online information, and visited a local computer store which had a display of a few Eee models, in order to handle them and translate the written specs into 3D for myself.

Finally, the price here dropped a little and on the last day of a rebate offer, I ordered it. I've had my Eee 901 for a few days now and so far, so great! I got the black one, with Linux. Don't have any experience with Linux so I'm on a learning curve; I figured that if I really want Windows, I can always buy an XP OS and install it. But since I mostly will use this to access the Internet, blog, download photos and upload them to my online photo service, and to work with documents and spreadsheets, I think the Linux software preloaded on this sweet little machine will be just fine.

The reviews here prepared me for the small keyboard on the Eee, but I don't have large hands and I'm adjusting to it faster than I had expected. The touchpad is not so great, but I hate touchpads generally and I can't say I dislike it any more than any other touchpad I've used. Today I'm taking the Eee to my office where I left my USB notebook (small sized) mouse and will probably use that instead of the touchpad.

I just completed my first charge/discharge battery cycle, and was impressed by how long the battery lasted. I charged it up on Friday when I unboxed it, then unplugged it. I used it a bit on Saturday and a lot on Sunday, and finally the battery capacity dropped below 25% on Sunday night. All of that was with wireless enabled, which I understand drains the battery faster.

So far, this is a very portable (and cute, I have to say it) mini-notebook that boots up like lightning, has a user-friendly interface for this total Linux newbie, connects to wireless networks smoothly, and has a display that's big enough for serious internet browsing as well as working with documents and spreadsheets. I bought this to take with me when I travel, but I can see it's going with me around town as well.

Bottom line: if you are not a geek, but a reasonably informed PC user who doesn't need to run specialized software on it, don't be afraid to consider the Eee PC 901 with Linux. You'll get more GB of storage in the machine than comes with the Win XP version of the 901, and a user-friendly interface. Some things about Linux are different but not enough to make me regret this purchase. Not at all!

UPATED TO ADD: The outside surface of the lid is shiny black plastic, which shows smears and fingerprints, and collects scratches. I got this protective decal/skin for my 901: Cruising Design Asus Eee PC 901 Skin Decal Protective Sticker. It fits well, looks nice - no more smears - and protects the lid.

SECOND UPDATE: My Eee came with a cushy fabric slipcase. But the fabric assiduously collects lint, and as a slipcase it doesn't have a carry strap. I prefer carrying a shoulder bag and having my hands free. I've found two bags with shoulder straps which are good solutions for carrying my Eee and accessories, with room for other things as well:

1. The Sumdex MT-3 Series Vertical Messenger - which I have been carrying as my main handbag ever since I got it. It's big enough to be useful but still on the small side. It has a padded compartment with a side pocket into which the Eee 901 fits perfectly (and when my Eee isn't in it, my Kindle usually is).

2. The Asus Eee Pc 7-10 Inch Laptop Case by Case Logic, which I think is a good deal for the money and a nice solution for carrying the Eee and other necessities around in something handier than a standard sized laptop case or backpack.

FINAL UPDATE in December 2009: I'm still not sorry I bought this netbook, because it showed me how handy a really small computer can be. However, I have moved on now to a larger netbook. As much as I liked the concept of the solid state hard drive, the SSDs (there are actually two) in even the Linux-equipped 901 only have 20GB total capacity. I tried installing Win XP on my 901 after realizing I wanted to do more with the machine than I knew how to do with Linux (or had time to twiddle with learning about). That was great, but then I had to keep dealing with the 20GB limitations. And the deal breaker was that my aging fingers just didn't ever get happy with the 901's keyboard. Yet, I did anguish somewhat over giving up the 901, because I think it's a wonderful little package. Great form factor, wonderful set of features - a really classic machine. But since I don't aspire just to collect classic computers but want to own only what I use, I ended up selling it on an online auction. It's supposedly off on more world travels with its new owner, after visiting Thailand with me. I'm happy with my ASUS Eee PC 1000HE 10.1-Inch Blue Netbook - 9.5 Hour Battery Life and soon adjusted to its slightly bigger and heavier form factor, and appreciate its larger keyboard which is easier for me to use. It's bigger than the 901 but still well within tolerable size/weight for ease of carrying in my daily tote bag. Long live netbooks, in all their varied conformations!
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2008
With linux and without windows.

Twice the RAM and twice the disk space - duhh. But if you want to slow things down with Windows - buy this one - install windoze - and have the faster box.

Voice recognition is a lot of fun. And this linux package with office, mail, wifi, firefox and free patches and upgrades - means you quit paying after you buy it. But if you choose windows you are just beginning your buying spree.

I like the programming tools of perl, python, ruby and java - access to the command line with a ctl-alt-t sets up the terminal.

I plan to slip this into my backpack (2 pounds) and surf my way between large cities in europe by train. The small keyboard takes time - I am 6'3" have large hands, and am up to about 30 wpm.

What I really like is the 6+ hours batter life. I put this on my headboard and when I want the net, I just reach back and boot - about 30 seconds. With wifi I am up and surfing in a lot less than a minute. When I have done what I wanted, it will shut down in about 20 seconds.

It is about as easy as reaching for a book to read.

You can't go wrong with this little linux jewel - if you want everything - and have the ability to travel easily too - 5 stars *****
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2008
Having and loving an 8 GB Asus PC, I ordered a 901 a couple of months ago. I was impressed with the size of the larger keyboard; however, the keyboard functioning was a disappointment. Each key had to be pounded in order for a character to register. Additionally, the computer frequently froze, requiring the user to restart the machine. After trying to overcome these issues for a couple of weeks, I returned the 901 for another. Unfortunately, the same problems occurred with the replacement computer, and I had to return it also. I will be watching for a later version of the Asus, one superceding the 1000.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
Bottom Line Up Front:
Unless you use a computer for light tasks (net-surfing, email, school work, connecting to other computers, etc.), the 901 is NOT meant to be your only PC. If going back and forth between the two machines is a problem, learn how to make your 901 connect remotely to your main machine. That's one of it's strengths. Use it.

The 901 is a NETBOOK:
That means it's highly mobile--and highly-connected--enough to be either a "smart terminal" for work, or a basic "media station" for personal use. Although it may have the processing power to do more, it lacks the massive storage capacity. (You can use an external, USB Hard-Drive to overcome that).

Why I Purchased One:
Starting a month or two back, I actually had to be mobile at a moment's notice. That's when I realized my 3 year-old, 5-pound "luggable" laptop (I believe it was once called a "Desktop Replacement") was too cumbersome to be of use to me. So I purchased the 901, and all is well again.

The luggable still handles all of my heavier tasks. The 901 handles my software development and network-admin duties.

Your Concerns May Vary:
If you're truly concerned, try out one of these things before buying. (I bought mine sight unseen.) Initially, I was worried about the size of the keyboard. I even tried to "prepare" for that by typing on one of those small, folding keyboards for PDAs. At 8.5 inches x 3.25 inches, the 901's keyboard was even smaller by comparison. So much so that I almost sent the computer back without trying it, but I'm glad I didn't. I got used to typing on the thing inside of 10 minutes. Yes, the right-shift key is in the wrong place. (You can go to eeeuser.com for a remedy.) True, the right-control key is gone completely. (You're on your own for that one.)

Or to be completely fair, look into the competition. A friend of mine--also a computer professional--saw my netbook and liked the concept. However, he didn't like the keyboard. He purchased the Mini 910 from Dell. (It has nearly the same specs, and it's cheaper.) Meanwhile, my boss is looking at the Eee PC 1000, which has a 10-inch screen and a larger(?!), laptop-sized keyboard. Suddenly, every laptop manufacturer has at least one netBook model in its lineup. You've got a great selection to choose from.

On A Lighter Note(book):
If you're a guy, you might take exception with the pearl-based color options. Seeing pics did not prepare me for how "cute" the 901 looked in white. I certainly didn't enjoy my girlfriend's reaction. (Ow, my pride.) But, to my surprise, I quickly got used to the 901's apple-esque styling. (In fact, I consider this to be the Apple IIc I couldn't have back in high school. Shut up.)

One thing I will NOT suffer, however, is the included 901 "carrying case". Come on ASUS, that's not a case, it's a freakin' purse! (And a cheap-looking one at that.)

Here's my solution. Buy a book/Bible cover. It should immunize you from purse-snatchers and gay-bashers alike. But more importantly, you'll get better styling in a case that doesn't scream, "Hey! I'm carrying a NETBOOK! Please steal me!"

Yeah, I've used Amazon for years, but this is my first review. Take it for what its worth.

UPDATE:
Depending on how you use the 901, you may get tired of the default Xandros OS (even in its so-called "advanced mode"). That's when you'll want to switch to WinXP (I wouldn't be brave enough to install Vista), or a different flavor of GNU/Linux. In my case, I choose Ubuntu 8.04 -- Hardy Heron -- with the eee-optimized kernel from array.org

And I can't stress enough: When it comes to anything Eee PC, the forums at [...] will be your best friend.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2008
I was in NYC this summer with my girlfriend and a small portable notebook to occasionally surf the web, check my emails and quickly review & edit my photos is really a must have.
I bought a 901 because the MSI Wind was too big, the Aspire One lacked of autonomy and expandibility and so on.
The EEEPC 901 is a bit bulkier than his brother 900 and noticeably heavier, but the 6 cell battery boost your digital life with at least 5 hour of autonomy (60% brightness and wifi on). I've chosen the linux flavour to enjoy the 20gb of SSD (fast 4gb SSD dedicated to the OS and a slower 16gb slave), I usually work with linux so it's not a big deal, however I really can't honestly recommend to anyone: it's stable, easy and it simply works out of the box, but if something goes wrong, it'll be a real pain to find the problem and fix it if you are not an above average user.

Pros:
This EEEPC is rock solid and have a good glossy finger magnet finish on the top (white is much better than black), the Atom processor is just a tad slow compared to the Celeron 900, but in conjunction with the 6cell battery its autonomy is really awesome.
Cons:
The keyboard is small and crowded and flex a lot in the center.
The multitouch touchpad is a mess: there are no drivers under linux to make it work and, under windows, it feels sometimes clumsy, with the cursor jumping around. A fix from Asus or Elantech is really wellcomed.
The baby runs very hot under average load.

Conclusion:
I'm very happy with the 901, which is far from gaining a perfect score, but indeed it's the best selection among the current generation of netbooks.
It is expensive and overhyped, but with its recent price cut, you'll not regret buying it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2008
Have had the 901 in black for 4 days and have to say that it was worth the wait. Fast, simple interface - boots in 20-25 seconds. Bright screen; Great battery life - surfed for about 5.75 hours before we dropped to under 15%. The only downside whatsoever is the lack of management tools in this version of Linux.

In general, I would highly recommend this PC. Great job - ASUS!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2008
This a great full featured laptop that you can always carry with you wherever you go. I am an IT guy and I love it - it has everything I need. When my wife saw this laptop, she had a very positive emotional reaction. The next day I caught her using :-) and loving it. She liked it so much (especially being able to carry it in her purse) that I decided to get her another (white) Eee. She now takes it everywhere she goes. She even got herself a bluetooth phone so that she can get online where no Wi-Fi networks are available.

One piece of advice to novice/first-time buyers - get a Linux version (Asus 901 20G). No worries about viruses (no need to install a slow and resource eating anti-virus/anti-everything software). The boot time of Linux version is truly amazing. Works right out of the box.

I have another friend who got it as well. He does a lot of blogging, browsing and email. He loves it. He switched from a Windows laptop and does not regret a thing.

Just a week ago our family friends visited us, played with Eee PC and got two of them for their kids.

Of course, they are a few issues with the product, after all no product is ideal. The keyboard is a bit small, but after enough practice you will find yourself typing at normal speeds. The software that comes with it is not going to be enough for advanced users or developers (but there is Ubuntu EEE distro and other tweaks and kicks that you can install on EeePC free of charge ;-)).

This product is a leading laptop in the netbook family and I recommend it to anyone who wants a light-weight, always-with-you laptop.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2008
With linux and without windows - I got the black one.

Twice the RAM and twice the disk space - duhh. But if you want to slow things down with Windows - buy this one - install windoze - and have the faster box.

Voice recognition is a lot of fun. And this linux package with office, mail, wifi, firefox and free patches and upgrades - means you quit paying after you buy it. But if you choose windows you are just beginning your buying spree.

I like the programming tools of perl, python, ruby and java - access to the command line with a ctl-alt-t sets up the terminal.

I plan to slip this into my backpack (2 pounds) and surf my way between large cities in europe by train. The small keyboard takes time - I am 6'3" have large hands, and am up to about 30 wpm.

What I really like is the 6+ hours batter life. I put this on my headboard and when I want the net, I just reach back and boot - about 30 seconds. With wifi I am up and surfing in a lot less than a minute. When I have done what I wanted, it will shut down in about 20 seconds.

It is about as easy as reaching for a book to read.

You can't go wrong with this little linux jewel - if you want everything - and have the ability to travel easily too - 5 stars *****
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2009
I've been a Linux user for a year or so now, and that's why I went for the Linux version. I love Ubuntu Linux, and thought this one would be right up my alley, but I was wrong. The Xandros Linux that comes with this little jewel, is close to worthless. So I installed Eeebuntu (standard).

OMG! What a difference. Eeebuntu released more power in this tiny laptop than I thought was possible. Sporting all the bells and whistles, less cd and dvd burning, it has most of the functionality, and eye candy, that my desktop computer has. Compiz runs great, and after disabling hddtemp, it boots fairly fast. Performance wise, it has blown me away. It's incredible. I didn't know this until after I got it, but it has a dual core processor in it. Didn't see that coming. Nice little surprise.

If you're not comfortable installing a new OS, you might consider the XP version, but you can expect slightly reduced battery life. Still 3 hours (from reports I've read) is still incredible. I've gotten over 4-1/2 hours with Eeebuntu.

On the physical side, I have big hands, but I've had very little problems adjusting to the tiny keyboard. On the other hand, my wife, who has small hands, had more trouble with it than I did. So I guess, it just depends on the person. To be fair though, I use it much more than she does.

Even though the screen is small, it is very clear and readable.

Very portable, of course. it's tiny.

This has nothing to do with the computer itself, but you will probably want to buy a new carrying case. I don't like the material of the one that comes with it, and if you have pets, it collects hair, badly.

Bottom line: This computer shattered my expectations, and I would recommend it to anyone. I would buy it all over again.

P.S. I wrote this review on my Eee 901 ! It ROCKS ! ! !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2008
I was really excited to buy a netbook and did a whole bunch of research before I bought the Eee pc 901. I love this computer and I can't imagine how I got by without it, but there are a few things I would like to say about it.

The profile is really small, which is awesome; but I do have to say (just like everybody else) that the keyboard bothers me a little. Let me preface this by saying that I didn't think I would mind and that I've gotten pretty used to it, but it still is a little bothersome to type on and I would have counted it as a bigger negative for the 901.

My battery life is amazing (5 hours easily with full functionality); the wireless card gets great range; the multi-touch touchpad is awesome and I already try to 2-finger scroll on every laptop I use.

I bought the 20G Linux one and right away wiped Linux and installed XP. XP boots quickly (1 minute-ish) and overall the experience is snappy (I did put in 2 gigs of ram). When I'm running Firefox with a ton of tabs, sometimes it starts to drag a little.

I bought this right before the new Wind and the revision of the Acer Aspire One came out, and in hindsight I would have probably bought the Aspire One because the big negative when I bought my Eee PC was the lack of a 6 cell battery, which was fixed in the revision.

I very much enjoy my 901, but if I could do it again, I probably would have bought the Aspire One in order to save 150 bucks.
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