Rethinking the Asus eee PC

An Asus eee PC is a tempting gadget. Its appeal is on its size and price. When it was announced, I was one of those who rejoiced, but the later price announcements were disappointing.

For example, an Asus 4G would cost around Php 16,999 at PC Corner, and the high-end Asus 8G is already pegged at Php 25,000. Here are the specs of an 8G (taken from Asus eee PC Web site):

Display: 7 in.
Processor: Intel 900 MHz
Disk capacity: 8 Gb
Memory: 1 Gb DDR2
Wi-Fi: Yes

And the Asus eee PC 16G, pegged at Php 29,999 has the following specs (speculation on the part of the retailer, as Asus has not made an official announcement):

Display: 10 in.
Processor: Intel 1.2 GHz
Disk capacity: 16 Gb
Memory: 1 Gb DDR2
Wi-Fi: Yes

I think it is ridiculously priced. Compare 16G with a cheap Acer Aspire 4310, priced at Php 29,700:

Display: 14.1 in.
Processor: Intel Celeron M 1.73 GHz
Disk capacity: 80 Gb
Memory: 512 MB DDR2
Wi-Fi: Yes

Asus eee PC wins in weight and size.

What stops me from getting an Asus eee PC? It’s a question of whether it will serve its purpose on my part.

* I am using Smart 3G for Internet connection at home, using Sony Ericsson P1i as modem. Now, SE’s PC Suite is Windows-only; the eee PC comes with Xandros Linux. While Windows XP can be installed, I will have to get an external DVD drive. Yes, DVD, because the Asus Rescue Disk is in DVD format. So, an external optical drive is additional expense, so add Php 4,000 to the total price. The price of the OS is not factored in yet.
* I can still use the phone as modem without the PC Suite, if I follow the steps here. I am not sure if the workaround will work, since Ubuntu and Debian-based Linux is needed.
* Storage is measly. That means I can install only a few applications. I intend to use it as home work computer, and let my brothers use the desktop PC at home.

So, as of now, I will not be getting an Asus eee PC. I have to think of my options first. Now, if only we have Black Fridays here…