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LAPTOP Magazine reviews the new Asus Eee PC 701

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Those lucky pants-wearing geeks over at LAPTOP got their grubby mitts on the new Asus Eee PC 701 and gave it a full review.

The verdict? Four out of five stars and an Editors’ Choice award. Not bad, huh?

There will be many who say that for $400 you could buy a full-sized basic laptop running Vista and that to spend the same amount of money on this thing would be downright foolish.

But the first three sentences of LAPTOP’s review say it all;

"This past weekend a circular advertised a Vista-powered laptop equipped with a Celeron processor, 14.1-inch display, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD drive for only $399. For the same price, the Asus Eee PC offers the same amount of RAM and Celeron processor but a smaller seven-inch display, a measly 4GB of storage space, and no DVD drive. And yet there’s no way we would give up this two-pound wonder for a ‘regular’ notebook."

I totally agree. Cheap laptops are no joke. I’ve lived with cheap laptops my whole life until I finally decided to throw down for a nice one and I can completely respect the decision to put $400 towards a device like the Eee over a traditional basic laptop.

LAPTOP says that the Eee is "ten times simpler to use than any Windows machine, starts up twice as fast (no crapware!), and is only about a fifth of the cost of other systems in its weight class." Amen, Bro-ham. Amen.

They liked the Linux-based interface, the small-but-not-too-small form factor, the included software applications, "snappy" performance, and peripheral support. They dinged the tiny device for feeling as though it had been rushed to market and cited finicky webcam usage, less-than-intuitive application installation and updates, a weird quirk where menus would sometimes be hidden behind the taskbar, and lack of support for mobile broadband as areas where they thought the Eee needed some improvement.

All in all, LAPTOP recommends this device as "an excellent secondary computer for households with children, and a very good primary computer for novice PC users who never had the time or patience to master an operating system." They liken it to a "new-and-improved version of the Internet appliance concept" and say that it "runs circles around UMPCs powered by Vista and XP in terms of performance, price, and easy of use, but not application support."

Granted, this might not necessarily appeal to the masses but if you’ve been waiting for something like this for a while, your ship may have finally come in.

Exclusive First Review: Asus Eee PC 701 [LAPTOP Magazine]

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