Our second Linux laptop has a real keyboard

Our second Linux laptop has a real keyboard

Summary: Since this is a blog, and not a column, thus interactive, I am hoping that you can suggest tests I might make with this unit that will make the coming reviews more relevant to you.


ASUS EeePC 1000, just out of the boxThe Linux laptop series has been enormously popular. Today we got our second review unit.

It's another EeePC, but this one has a slightly bigger screen (10 inches) and a much, much better keyboard. It's one I can probably touchtype on.

It's called the EeePC 1000 and was announced in May, just as the earlier model was hitting stores. I have seen what looks like an identical model selling for $580 at Buy.Com.

I plan on doing far more extensive tests with this unit. I hope to produce some of these posts on it. I intend to take it on vacation. I will put real data on it, and try to depend upon it.

As with the previous unit this runs a version of Xandros Linux along with a shell that gives point-and-click access to applications. (I would not be surprised if they eventually switch to the Linux Intel is doing through OpenedHand.)

Since this is a blog, and not a column, thus interactive, I am hoping that you can suggest tests I might make with this unit that will make the coming reviews more relevant to you.

I'm looking forward to trying them out. And if you're a hardware vendor not named Asus who would like a Linux laptop reviewed in this series, I am at your service.

Topics: Software, Laptops, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • Which hard drive do you have?

    The 1000 can come with either a regular platter hard drive or a SSD hard drive. It would be nice to see some speed and energy consumption comparisons between the two different configurations (the storage space difference of course is obvious). Maybe use MP3 or MP4 playback to see how well they play (skips, etc.) and compare how long the battery lasts.

    Also I notice that Flash video skips a bit on my EEE PC 900 (try YouTube or Hula), but that doesn't have an Atom processor. Does the 1000 perform better?
    Michael Kelly
    • You have what?

      [i]Also I notice that Flash video skips a bit on my EEE PC 900 (try YouTube or Hula), but that doesn't have an Atom processor. Does the 1000 perform better?[/i]

      I have a 701 with the same Celeron chip and eeebuntu 8.04 installed. With Compiz-Fusion installed and running I get no skipping with Youtube or Hulu. Now if I try to view the 480p videos then there is a problem with skipping.

      Did you try the Flash 10 Beta? It works much better than Flash 9 especially with full screen video. You only need to overwrite the libflashplayer.so file with the beta 10 version file.


      Almost forgot, on Flash Beta 10 disable the hardware acceleration in the settings tab for a smoother picture. Some video cards just don't like this setting.
  • Too funny

    Everyone was all a blather about how the EeePC was the next big
    thing and everyone should mini-me their machines. And yet, what
    is EeePC's trend? Toward larger laptops. Why? because
    miniaturization on devices intended for human use must be
    constrained by the physicality of human beings.
  • Xandros lite is OK ...

    For the average user the Xandros Lite OS is fine, but it does have some shortcomings:

    1) Asus for some reason has a ram limit compiled into the kernel of 1GB. The machine has a max limit of 2GB, but you need to install a custom kernel or a different distro to use it.

    2) The repositories of additional programs is pretty thin plus Asus is slow to get updates, even security updates. Other distos have them within a day or two, Asus takes about 2-3 weeks.

    3) Can't run ip-tables for the firewall. Asus once again did not compile the modules with the kernel, so a custom kernel or a different distro is needed.

    If you really want to exploit the full capability of the machine then you need to install either the full version of Xandros, Mandriva, or Ubuntu 8.10. All three have eeepc support baked right in, no need for additional configuration. :)


    Also with the full distros you can run Compiz-Fusion with almost all of the bells and whistles enabled. Mmmm ... eye candy. ;)
  • Laptops on the cheap

    While you can't beat that 'New Laptop Smell' - for ~$500, you can buy USED all day long.

    Example: HP Pavilion Laptops that were ~$2,000 a few years ago (x86_64) can be had for the same price as the Celeron based EEPc. Install Linux Mint, and you have a full-fledged computer with all the goodies and full multi-media support.

    I did this for my daughter (Pavilion was a hand-me-down) and she uses it as her sole computer while away at college. Wireless works, DVD's play. No malware to deal with, as she's a Linux Mint user. Her boyfriend (Grr!) is a Mac guy and has openly commented on how fast her machine is.
    • You emphasized that DVD & wireless works like its a miracle for a Linux

      PC. Then your daughter is lucky for having a working PC then.
      • Not a miracle...

        ... but certainly more than point and click. As an aside, I'm sure someone who installs/configures Linux all the time will find it amazingly easy to install the proper codecs to playback DVDs. As for wireless, I think it's getting better, but it is hit and miss, depending upon hardware support. If you're fortunate enough to have supported hardware, it is simple to configure and use.

        For your average Joe, Mint is as easy as it gets, because it really is point and click simple. I'm still learning Linux, so I'll take the simple solution for now. Suse for work, Mint for play!
  • RE: Our second Linux laptop has a real keyboard

    I can get a great Toshiba with 160g hdd NEW for $550, 15" screen dvd burner . . . need I say more?
  • Confess to me Dana whether you thrown away Windows?

    Get rid of Windows. Never use them again!
  • RE: Our second Linux laptop has a real keyboard

    My wife purchased a EeePC 1000, it came with LinDVD, which is a Legal DVD player that Linux manufactures have been using for several years. Other than maybe region code problems playing DVD's shouldn't be a issue. Google: LinDVD, Intervideo or Corel for more about LinDVD.

    Would I recommend the EeePC 1000. Yes! The screen is bright. Keyboard is 92% standard size and feels good. The battery really lasts 7 plus hours. Frankly I've been waiting a computer of this size, price and quality for 5 years, and its only probably because of the weakening of Microsoft that manufactures are finally making what they could have made years ago.

    One negative comment. I believe the computer has a 533 Mhz front side bus. On getting the purchase home we were disappointed to find out that they had used 400 Mhz DDR2. The models I had examined previously at local retailers had either 533 Mhz or 677 Mhz DDR2's. There does seem to be a 10% to 15% difference in speed when using 533 Mhz which would be more appropriate.

    Asus has not agreed to replace the out of date 400's with 533 or 677's. I'm still working on them.

    From Singapore
  • Suggestion

    Since you asked for suggestions --
    Find someone you know who has never used the Xandros version that the EeePC comes with. Heck, try to find someone that's not a techie at all. Ask around among other friends to get a list of the most common activities on a laptop and ask this first friend to try to complete the tasks with no training, only the manual the computer came with.

    I think that would be a good test of the system.

    On the other hand, Tom's-style benchmarks are always good.