Monday, 26 July 2010 11:23

Asus Eee PC 1001P signals end of an era


The Asus Eee PC 1001P is more than just a very cheap netbook computer. It very much signals the end of an era of portable PC computing that Asus single-handedly revolutionised in 2007.

When relatively small player Asus released its Linux based Eee PC 701 three years ago, it created a sensation that had rival PC makers scurrying back to their electronic drawing boards.

Despite its shortcomings - a tiny 7-inch screen, an undersized barely usable keyboard, and the limitations of its operating system - the Eee PC 701 had obviously caught a wave of public sentiment. Consumers wanted a light, portable, easy to use and very cheap internet computer and Asus delivered just that.

Eyeing the success of Asus enviously, competitors churned out the copies quick and fast - Acer, Dell, HP and others did their best to undercut the upstart. Acer in particular did a pretty fair job at that, although the Asus market share has been maintained at a respectable 30% plus.

Now, after a succession of interations, with price drops, bigger screens, more usable keyboards, the Intel Atom processor and the move to Windows XP (yes still XP), we arrive at the $333 Asus Eee PC 1001P.

There is absolutely nothing revolutionary about this machine at all. It's certainly cheap enough and, at 1.27kg, it's light enough. With 1GB RAM, the Atom N450, the power and battery life are pretty good under normal net browsing and computing tasks. The 160GB hard drive is more than enough for any netbook.

Then of course there is Windows XP, which Microsoft keeps telling us it will no longer support. Yet, for a netbook - unless you want to get into the Linux thing - it's really the only Windows operating system worth using.

In other words, the 1001P is the sort of netbook computer you would buy when the one you bought two years ago is clapped out or perhaps you just wanted a cheap very portable PC to take away with you.

However, if it's portable net browsing you want, comparing the 1001P with the iPad - well there is no comparison. We are really talking two different eras - one era involves computers that can also be used as internet devices and the other era is all about internet devices.

If you still live in the era where you need a small portable very cheap computer, then the Asus 1001P could be just the thing for you. However, if it is a portable internet device you want, then be aware that the Eee PC style of netbook is an era that is now at the end of the road.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.





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