ASUS EEE - anyone out there using it?
Thread poster: Ioanna Orfanoudaki

Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:17
French to Greek
+ ...
Mar 20, 2008

As my laptop is showing signs of ageing and suffering from various symptoms, I am considering looking into something light and easy to carry around - especially when travelling abroad. I have heard of (and seen) ASUS EEE, a very VERY compact model running on Linux, but with the possibility of making it run on Windows, which, to me, makes it sound even more interesting ...
Does anyone have experience with it from a professional point of view, especially using it with a CAT tool and do you have any advice or any comments for or against it you would like to share? I understand that it comes with little memory capacity, but there are ways of working around that. I'd like to be able to use Wordfast, an internet browser, MS Office, i.e. the basics, as I'd only use it when travelling, potentially to allow me not to miss jobs when out of office, without me having to visit cyber cafés..!

Thanks for your help!
Ioanna


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:17
English
Hardware Perspective Mar 20, 2008

Ioanna,

I purchased a ASUS Eee PC 4G back in January and sold it earlier this week as I was under utilizing it. Unfortunately, I don't have experience with using a CAT tool or Windows on it, but I'll give you my perspective on the unit itself.

I would recommend getting a 2GB memory upgrade (2GB DDR2 667MHz), as the 512 MB that it comes with is a bit low, especially for Windows.

It comes with a flimsy foam fold-over case; I purchased a 10" Philips Step Up DVD Player Bag, and it fit the unit quite well along with the power adapter (very small).

The default operating system (a custom version of Xandros, a Debian branch) works well for the everyday user with a very friendly interface. I replaced it within a day with eeeXubuntu (basically, a customized Ubuntu installer) for greater flexibility.

I felt it was quite sturdy for its size. The screen was quite bright, albeit a bit small (800x480).

You may find yourself getting frustrated with the small hard drive (4GB on my model, up to 8GB for the next model up). Check the Windows XP tutorial at the bottom for more information on how to save space.

The integrated camera worked well with Skype video chat, full motion full screen video in decent quality considering the size. The built-in microphone worked well as well for chatting.

The integrated wireless was great, I had no problems with it. Battery life was impressive; between 2-3 hours on average with wireless, less if you had a USB hard drive.

From a user interface perspective, I felt the keyboard was too cramped for my tastes, but my fingers are pretty long. The touchpad worked fine. When at home, I was happiest when I plugged in a full-size keyboard and mouse into it, along with an external monitor (supports up to 1600x1280).

User sites:

http://eeepcworld.wordpress.com/
http://www.eeeuser.com/

Community guide:

http://wiki.eeeuser.com/

Tutorial for installing Windows XP

Let me know if you have any other questions about the hardware itself.

Best regards,
Jon
ProZ.com Staff Developer


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 06:17
English to Indonesian
+ ...
asus eee + omegat Mar 23, 2008

asus eee is interesting cause:
- small, less than 10" = high portability
- 'very' inexpensive at usd399

i'm considering to buy a used one, as i already have a working laptop. therefore, i don't have any actual experience. i have different approach though, as i'm thinking of using it, i.e., xandros os, with omegat. it already has openoffice.org, so i think as soon as you install omegat, you're ready to go.


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Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:17
French to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks! Mar 27, 2008

Thank you for your comments; Jon, your input and links were particularly helpful!
Given the lack of reactions from CAT tool users, I presume there are few translators using such a tool for their daily or even occasional business, which I find preoccupying if I want to be able to work with ASUS EEE when travelling.
I think I will need to look into it a bit more before deciding whether it'll be a few hundred Euros well invested or well wasted for my intended use.

Thanks again!


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
I'm afraid it's waiste of money for CAT tool use Mar 27, 2008

Not only is the hardware week (narrow storage possibilities, slow processor, bad operating system, if we speak about "adult" CAT tools), but also is the quality of manufacturing of this PC not the best, according to tests I read in European magazines.
Of course is the price for the machine very low. But OTOH you can find other brands with slighlty bigger screen and still very light, weighing less than 2 kilograms.
Laptop is IMHO an investment not for one year, so I would really consider to pay more and to get an "adult" product.

Regards
Jerzy


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phalos
Japanese to English
Do any CAT Tools run better than others on EEE? Mar 27, 2008

I'm quite interested in the EEE.

Does anyone know if any certain CAT Tools run on the XP version better than others?
(DVX・OmegaT・Wordfast・etc)

Thanks,


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:17
English
Asus Eee PC 4G-X, Windows XP Unboxing Preview Mar 31, 2008

hothardware.com has a preview of the upcoming 4G-X package:

http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/Asus_Eee_PC_4GX_Windows_XP_Unboxing_Preview/

...With an expected MSRP of $399, we think the Asus Eee PC is a stand-out product in the world of affordable, ultra-portable notebooks. With its included software bundle for general use and office applications, along with its 4G SD card and mouse upgrades, its actually a solid value for end users not comfortable delving into the world of Linux distros. We'll be diving deeper into Windows XP-based Eee PC performance and functionality in the weeks ahead, so stick around. In the mean time, if you're so inclined, Eee PCs with Windows XP will be hitting store shelves any day, so you can check one out for yourself.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
German to English
+ ...
Eee user May 12, 2008

I recently bought an Eee PC 4G. I can confirm both that OmegaT will run on it, and that it is quite possible to work on it.

The main thing to consider is that it is NOT a substitute for a laptop. I already have a laptop, but I bought the Eee for those occasions when I don't want to carry it around with me. If you think 2 kg is "light", try carrying it around a trade fair all day! The Eee will go in your handbag or the smallest of daysacks. (For colleagues who translate to/from technical German, the Eee's dimensions and weight are very similar to those of the '98 Siemens Bezner dictionary. See the 'net for exact specs.)

Whether you are willing (or, like me, prefer) to work on Linux is also an issue. Windows not only adds substantial licence costs to the price, but also has quite different hardware requirements.

More appropriate alternatives to the Eee IMO are the HP 2133 or MSI Wind, both slightly larger and heavier than the Eee according to my information. The new Eee 900, only very slightly larger than the PC 4G but with a significantly bigger screen, is also worth serious consideration for the extra 100 euro or so.

Marc


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:17
English to German
+ ...
Lightweight addition, not a replacement May 12, 2008

Agree with Marc:

The main thing to consider is that it is NOT a substitute for a laptop. I already have a laptop, but I bought the Eee for those occasions when I don't want to carry it around with me.

Quite.
I'm using an EEE 4G with WinXP - even with MS Outlook (the size of my Outlook file is not an issue, considering the size of SD cards available). But I would never consider working on it, just because of the keyboard size. But it's great to take along on a cycling tour. If I need to be able to do some work, I take an FSC Lifebook P on the road.

Best, Ralf


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Sawal  Identity Verified
Senegal
Local time: 23:17
English to French
extended battery life Oct 18, 2008

What makes the EEE PC attractive is the low price and extended battery life (8h).

It would be great if you could take advantage of it during long travels.

It's a pity that it's not so powerful to host big CAT tools like Trados or Wordfast.

May be for battery life we'll need to look for new laptops of 19h battery life


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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
Italian to English
+ ...
A few months later Nov 1, 2008

A week is a long time in politics, its even longer in the world of IT.

Since this posting first appeared, there are now a whole range of low cost ultraportables on the market (Acer aspire one to mention just one of them) and I wonder if anyone has returned to the question of using them to run XP/Vista with office and Trados (or similar CAT tool).

I have an ASUS G1s which is a very powerful laptop and I take that with me if I know I'm going to be working, but its still quite substantial if it has to be carried around and the weight restrictions on Ryanair are getting tighter and tighter.

I have a BlackBerry which allows me to read and reply to all my email (and even open most attachments) and has pretty good internet access, but it would still be nice, although not exactly essential for life, if there was something in between the BB and my laptop. However, as previous posters have mentioned, it would have to run the usual professional WP and CAT applications.

The reason I'm worried about this is that my previous laptop (IBM thinkpad T41) would run all the above applications, but it really struggled if you were translating a word document with lots of graphics (such as you might find in a manual or a report) and especially if using Trados at the same time.

If the ultraportables have performances along the lines of this, then they are pretty much useless for the applications I have in mind.

Considering this is a very rapidly developing field, it would be great to hear the opinions of users as the new gadgets come onto the market.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:17
English to German
+ ...
Performance ok - but keyboard to small Nov 2, 2008

Hi,
I'm using an EEE occasionally - so far, performance doesn't appear to be an issue (except that I need to maintain my outlook.pst on an SD card, which slows things down a bit). The problem is the keyboard: it's ok for responding to a few e-mails, but pretty unusable for real work.

In contrast, an 11-inch model (such as a Fujitsu-Siemens P7010) lets you do work, even in a crammed environment.

Best, Ralf


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Good compromise Nov 2, 2008

makes my Dell Vostro 1310.
I'm not speaking about the brand here, but it's specs.
It has a 13-inches screen, an almost normal sized keyboard and a good (big) touchpad.
Performance is not an issue - a DualCore 2 GHz and 3 GB of RAM, combined with a 250 GB HDD do make the PC very useful.
Together with its weight (less than 2 kg) it is pretty mobile and convenient to work.
If you look in this segment (called in Poland "subnotebooks"), you'll find also powerful models with a weight of approx. 1,2 kg - making them extremly mobile and nice. However, those are not that cheap - and this was a reason for me to chose the Dell.
If I would buy now again I wouldn't buy this Dell machine - overall performance is good, but the quality of the screen is more than bad. Extremly narrow viewing angles and poor picture.

As always, the decision involves to many factors to be made based on the opinion of other users. But after I tried to take such small PC in my hand I consider it not to be something for me. It would limit me to do only some things with it - presentations for example. But they are not suitable for work.


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Nilton Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:17
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
EEE PC Feb 20, 2009

First of all, I am sorry for reviving this old thread.

I got an Asus EEE PC 4 GB used a few days ago and I couldn't get Trados to install on it because of disk space. I tried installing it directly to the SD card, but then the installation simply stopped.
I am going to make a few more attempts whenever I have time.

I tried the Wordfast demo and it worked like a charm.


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