New Kit

Posted on Thursday 2nd July 2009 at 00:00
It's become something of a time honoured tradition on this blog that when I get a new piece of computer hardware, whether it be an iPod, a laptop or a mobile phone, one of the first things I do with it is write a blog post using it. I have to say, of all the times I've done this, today is definitely the easiest, on account of the magnificent hardware I'm using.

As many of you will know, I love my iPod, and I'm sufficiently fast at typing on it to make blogging a reasonable possibility, even if it couldn't be described as "ideal". The device I'm typing on at the moment, however, is in a completely different league.

That's right, it's a netbook.But not just any netbook. You see, I did my research this time and actually read some reviews, beforedeciding on the model I wanted to buy. Thanks to the recession killing off expensive price tags on consumer electronics, it's actually the highest rated netbook I've been able to find; the Asus EeePC 1000HE.

Those of you who are tech savvy will know that the first ever netbook to appear -?the catalyst that sparked off mini-laptop mania - was the original Asus Eee PC. It was so good that it convinced manufacturers and consumers alike that there was a future in ultra-portable computers. Since then, Asus have been back to the drawing board several times, eventually coming up with the gorgeous bit of kit on which I now type to you dear reader.

They really have pulled out all the stops on this model, with a faster processor than before, an easy to use keyboard and (best of all) a 9.5 hour battery life. No, I'm not even joking. Nine and a half hours on one battery.

I won't bother you with the technical spec, as I know many of you tend to tune out when that happens. Instead I'll be restrained and just tell you what an amazing machine it is.

It's a really amazing machine.

There you go. What, you want to know more? Ok, fair enough. The machine runs Windows XP, which, despite its age, remains the best operating system currently on the market. It's also the only one that will run on this machine, since Vista is so hardware greedy that I'd have to pay an awful lot of money for a machine that'd run that mess of code smoothly. The hard drive is 160Gb, which is the same as the Windows drive on my desktop computer, and plenty adequate enough for what I need, and the...oh sod it!

Look, if you want the technical spec then you can find it here:

If, on the other hand, you are asking what everyone I've shown it to has asked, ie "Apart from being small, what is it about this laptop that makes it half the price of a standard laptop?" then I shall tell you: it doesn't have an optical disc drive.

That's it.

No, seriously, that's the only thing it's lacking. Ok, ok, the hardware is slightly slower than you'd expect to find in a normal laptop, but so what? If it was using Vista it'd be a problem, but on XP it flies!

I think the thing that will make or break this machine for most people is whether it meets their needs or not. So, is this machine right for you? Well, if you are looking for a fully functional main computer that you can keep all your files on, watch DVDs, play the latest games and sync your iPod with then no. Granted, it'll do all of those things apart from the DVD playing, but there are much better machines on the market you can use.

If, on the other hand, you already have a workhorse machine to do all of those things but are looking for a portable computer that isn't going to run out of battery, break your back or disappoint you with a lack of ports, then absolutely this is the best machine you can get, and, at around 300 from Amazon, you'd be silly not to!

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