I have belatedly discovered Defender of the Ancients or, as it is more commonly called, DOTA. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that it is a scenario map of Warcraft III. In the scenario map, you and the other players play heroes against each other. To aid in this pursuit, you have available weapons, armor, potions, and other items that enhance you abilities. Sort of like a It’s like a role-playing game in a nutshell.
Previously, I’ve only been playing Starcraft as that’s about the only good game I can play on my old IBM Thinkpad X22. However, when I got my Asus EEE PC, I found out I can actually play Warcraft III, and consequently DOTA, reasonably well. So now, after almost 5 years I’m finally playing it.
Better late than never.
Two months and a big price drop later, I have finally upgraded the memory of my Asus EEE PC 1000H from the 1GB it came with to the full 2GB. It was pretty straightforward unlike in some other netbooks. First, you’ll need to buy a full 2GB DDR2-667 SODIMM as there is only one memory slot on the machine and it’s occupied by the old memory module. Unplug the adapter, remove the battery, and unscrew the access panel at the back and lift it up gently to reveal the expansion bay. Take out the old module by releasing the tabs on the sides of the module and gently lifting the module up and then out of the slot. Put in the new module by inserting the connector edge into the slot, pressing it in then pressing it down until the tabs click into place. Replace the access panel, the battery, and plug in the adapter. That’s it!
After a lot of dilly-dallying, I finally pulled the trigger on the Asus EEE PC 1000H. As I mentioned on my comparison, it seemed to me that it is the best of the current crop of netbooks.
The Asus EEE PC 1000H is definitely bigger than your typical netbook. But it brings with it a bigger display, keyboard (majorly sucky wrongly-placed itsy bitsy right shift key), and battery. Although these lead to less portability, these definitely improved usability and coupled with the bigger memory and disk space brings it up almost to the level of ultraportable notebooks but without the hefty price tag. The sleek black case even reminds me of the Fujitsu P7020 that I was lusting for a long time ago.
It booted up straight out of the box and, with the input of some personalization and localization information, was almost ready for use.
The wired network worked fine. It let me get my wireless network’s security details which I then keyed in, unplugged the network cable and I was wireless in a snap.
The 80gb hard disk provides a comfortable amount of space but is partitioned in two. Not very flexible. So merged the two with the freely downloadable EASEUS Partition Manager. As with most netbooks (and some ultraportables), there is no built-in optical drive. So I had to use my USB to SATA/IDE adapter to copy my backup files from my external drive and install software from their CD installers.
And that was it. It seemed snappy with Firefox 3.0, Yahoo! Messenger, Open Office 3.0 beta 2, and Eclipse. Movies and music played smoothly with VLC. I’ll also be running Tomcat and MySQL servers but maybe after a 1Gb memory upgrade.
I’ve been waiting for the Asus EEE PC 901. I’ve decided that it has the best combination of features that I want. Unfortunately, it seems that Asus is not planning to release it here so I figured the best compromise would be the Asus EEE PC 1000H which has almost the same specifications but in a slightly larger package. It has however a tough competitor in the MSI Wind U100. So I made the following comparison:
|Asus EEE PC 1000H
||MSI Wind U100
|Intel Atom 1.6GHz
||Intel Atom 1.6GHz
|WiFi B/G/N, Bluetooth
||WiFi B/G, Bluetooth
|6 cells (7 hours)
||3 cells (2-3 hours)
At first, the two netbooks seem to be evenly matched until you see that the Asus has a much longer battery life, very important for devices like these, as well as Wi-Fi N. Of course, it pays for this by being larger and heavier but it’s still quite manageable. In terms of price, the Asus might look too expensive but it actually is the better deal with its 12 months installment payment term (unless you really have nothing else to do with your money). So it looks like the Asus wins unless the MSI goes down in price and/or gets a better battery (there’s supposed to be a 6-cell battery available).
Finally, the Asus EEE PC 900 has been launched. Yay! It is initially priced at P24,995. Way better than the rumored P33,900 before the launch. Some would say the price is still high especially since some full-featured notebooks are already within that range. But remember that the Asus EEE PC is way smaller and lighter (and cuter!) than these budget notebooks. Besides, you can be sure prices will slide down after a month or two.