I’ve had my new Eee PC 1000HE for a week now and have a some first impressions to share. First off, it was well packaged and came with a small power adapter and a decent wetsuit style slip case. Unfortunately, the slip case needs to be a bit larger to accommodate the power adapter and the Eee PC. Asus could also do something similar to Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro power adapters and offer both a long power cable from the adapter to the wall in addition to a smaller, right-angle plug-in adapter to save on space when packing this unit up in tight spaces.
I powered on the unit with the included Windows XP Home OS installed and the first thing that I noticed is that Windows XP is not optimized for netbook use. While the screen is more than adequate to display the XP interface, XP just seemed to not be up to the task. Additionally, XP certainly was showing signs of age and just felt old fashioned. I next rebooted and upgraded the 1000HE to Ubuntu’s 9.04 Netbook Remix (UNR). I was very pleased with the Netbook Remix additions to the Gnome desktop provided by Ubuntu and found that their new application launcher just made sense on a netbook device. Another feature of UNR is piece of software that auto-maximizes every app that you run. This coupled with the fact that UNR minimizes the number of widgets and window decorations yielding an efficient GUI. Switching to other tasks is very easy and does not take a lot of space due to UNR’s approach to the application switcher. Instead of displaying the icon + name for each running application, it just displays the icon thereby minimizing the amount of precious screen real estate used on the 10″ display.
The 1000HE is on UNR’s Tier 1 list of supported Netbooks. Some have reported issues with pulse audio, but I have not encountered any trouble…yet. Getting connected to wireless has been a snap and UNR 9.04 includes a very nice Growl-like notification system to let you know when you are both connected and disconnected from your network interfaces.
So far, so good. Next on the list is to install Skype and test the audio/video conferencing capabilities of this little unit.