[UK-CONTEST] Asus eee PC

Cooper, Stewart stewart.cooper at odl.co.uk
Fri Aug 8 06:48:48 EDT 2008

Hi Clive,
I've had one for a couple of months now. It's the 4G version. I installed a cut-down version of Windows XP and it runs WinTest very nicely. This requires a USB CD drive, which cost me £4.99 on Ebay. It is not possible or wise to install a full version of Windows. You need another PC and an XP CD to build the Windows installation CD. For WinTest, initially I thought the screen would be too small, but you can set the font to a smaller value within the WinTest windows, so I ended up configuring it to run just like the main shack screen. I use a USB to Serial convertor to do the CW keying. I have yet to use it in anger for a fully blown contest, but it has been tested and worked well. I have installed HRD and can remotely control my station remotely using it.
Although I use it to access work e-mail remotely, I bought it primarily for travelling and radio and for that it is ideal. The WiFi is very sensitive. Linux is fine if you're not wanting to install any new applications! The main drawback is the lack of battery longevity. Given that it is a small very portable PC, I would have thought that the manufacturers would give it a decent battery, but the best I get is about 2.5 hours. The battery also drains slowly even when it's not in use. I sometimes use a JVC Mini-note (similar size) and that can go for 6 hours with the extra battery. I have used a 2GB SD card which I leave installed and put the Windows paging file on that. The constant read/write of a Windows paging file to the internal flash drive will soon wear it out (they do have a finite life). I have no comment to make about the size of the keyboard. It's small, but like the screen it's as big as it can be. The touchpad works well too.
Installing Windows is a bit of a faf, but if you want to do it I can point you to some (lengthy) instructions. So what's bad...
- the screen is small, but it's a small PC
- the battery life is not good enough, but acceptable
- sadly I can't get it to work with a 3 Mobile Broadband dongle
- no Bluetooth (but you could use a USB dongle if necessary)
What's good...
- the price - £180 from Toys-R-Us I believe at the moment
- it's small and fairly light
- the screen is bright and clear even in strong ambient light
- it boots up and shuts down like a rocket (no moving parts like a hard drive!)
- it has 3 USB ports and an SD card reader slot
- WiFi and wired ethernet connectivity work well
- external video output on a standard 15pin D socket
There's a fairly active user community with a decent forum which has lots of information. I had heard that an 8G version with Windows XP pre-installed was in the pileline for July this year, but don't know if anything came of it.
Hope this helps,

-----Original Message-----
From: uk-contest-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:uk-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Clive Whelan
Sent: 08 August 2008 10:49
To: UK Contest Reflector
Subject: [UK-CONTEST] Asus eee PC

Hi list

Anyone using one of these for contest work?

If so would appreciate opinions : is the screen big enough; how about the keyboard; how big an HDD ( SDD?) to install XP; which model do you have?; anything else.


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