Lappy $386

This summer I will replace my venerable PogoLinux workstation with a laptop. The Eee PCs appeal quite a bit to me: flash storage, light, cheap. (The tasteful initials don’t hurt, either.) Tari wrote a helpful review. I talked to Charlie about his Eee quite a bit at CCCC, and got to hack on his a while.

Soon to be released models offer a larger screen and more RAM and disk space. But that might move the Eee out of the light and cheap range that makes it appeal to me. Erin was sent a Dell Latitude D430 this week as part of her new gig, and I think I’d be happy with something similar, if not for the $2,000 price tag. Same goes for the MacBook Air. (Though please, let’s not whine about the lack of an optical drive; it’s 2008, okay?)

Anyway, I can wait a month or so to see these new offerings from Asus and others eager to jump in the ultraportable fray. I welcome feedback from anyone currently using an Eee.

Update 04/22: Hrm, why buy in May when it looks like Asus is releasing a better version of the Eee in June?

Update 04/25: Here’s a roundup of about 15 ultraportables.

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7 Responses to Lappy $386

  1. erich says:

    Well, the new EEEs will have a 9″ screen and cost $550. That’s still a hell of a lot smaller and cheaper than the other options you’re looking at. I’ve played with the current model, and find the screen too small for real work. I think that the 9″ may be just right, though.

  2. Lanette says:

    I got to play a little with Charlie’s Eee PC at the Cs also and ended up getting a 4G one instead of the iPhone I had been thinking about. It’s working great so far. The only difficulty is due to my university’s security settings and how they do wireless for faculty. I went to see faculty IT support, and after they scuffled a bit to see who got to help (they all loved the Eee–I have one of two on campus, the other owned by their boss) , one of the Linux guys determined that the best thing to do would be to change over to Ubuntu on the 24th when the 3-year support version comes out. I was more than fine with that since I had been reading the forums on and suspected that was the way to go. So, I’ll hand it over on Thursday and Matthew the Linux dude will install Ubuntu and add the right driver for logging in to our wireless system. Other than that it’s been a dream–light, has Open Office, and great for those daily time-tracking tasks.

  3. cbd says:

    I agree, Erich, it’s too small for day to day use. But with an external monitor and keyboard, no sweat. Asus was smart enough to set up the Eee so users can configure it to stay on if the lid is closed, so it’s easy to work with it sitting in front of a monitor.

    Lanette, I too will be using Ubuntu if I get an Eee, though I’ll probably take the time to figure out how to make it do encrypted wireless.

  4. Chuck says:

    I’ve decided to hold off on a new laptop till WWDC. I’m praying Jobs has something up his sleeve but not holding my breath like I did for MW.

  5. cbd says:

    I don’t see Apple pushing out an ultraportable that fits my price point.

  6. matt davis says:

    I went the other direction — the 17″ MacBook Pro. Lovin’ every minute of it.

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