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Asus Eee PC Initial Impressions

Asus Eee PC Initial Impressions Just when I had given up purchasing an Asus Eee PC after being duped by Buy.com, the phone rang. It was my brother in law, Rory: “I, uh, found one of those computers that you were looking for over here at Best Buy.” “What? I called them on the phone [...]

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Asus Eee PC Initial Impressions

Just when I had given up purchasing an Asus Eee PC after being duped by Buy.com, the phone rang.

It was my brother in law, Rory:

“I, uh, found one of those computers that you were looking for over here at Best Buy.”

“What? I called them on the phone and went in there and they told me that they did not have any Asus computers in the entire Rochester area,” I replied a touch skeptically.

“Well, they only have the floor model. Do you want me to try to pick it up for you?”

I thought about it for a second. The Asus Eee PC that we were talking about was the older version that only has 4 gigs of internal memory. I needed to quickly do some math.

“Do you think it has enough room to download Front Page on it?” I asked.

Rory fiddled round with the computer while we were talking:

“There is a lot of junk on it that we can get rid of; yes, I think you could do it.”

Ok, buy it.”

He tried.

Wade from
Vagabond Journey.com
in Upstate New York, USA- June 1, 2008
Song of the Open Road Travel Photos

“They won’t sell it to me,” said Rory after coming back to the phone, “they say that it is a floor model and they don’t want to sell it.”

“What!?! So they just have it sitting out with a price tag on it to fool you?”

“Yeah, that is what I told them,” Rory replied, “I think it is just sitting out here playing pretend.”

The Asus Eee PC sitting next to the Dell Laptop that I traveled with for over two years for size comparison. The Asus makes my Dell seem like a giant.

No, that is not right, I think to myself. Best Buy is a store, and stores sell things, they do not just have items sitting out as if they are in a catalog. “Ask to talk to a manager and make him sell it to you. Call me back and let me know how you make out.”

We hung up the phone and I laughed at the ebbs and turns that I have been going through it my effort to buy the Asus Eee PC. I am trying to spend a big wad of money, and I could never have imagined it being this difficult to spend hundreds of dollars. I once thought that money talks in the USA; that you can get what you want if you are willing to pay for it. I was then beginning to doubt this old adage.

Another photo which shows the small size of the Asus Eee PC in relation to my standard size Dell laptop that I have previously traveled with.

I did not think that the deal was going to go through. Rory mentioned that there were three other people in Best Buy who were also trying to talk the sales people into selling them the floor model of the Asus. Rory is not the kind of guy who is going to throw down in a store to get a darn computer, but I also know that he will do anything for me. He is my friend; he is my sister’s husband. I knew that he would do anything that he could to get me this computer, as he knew that this was my last chance to get it before going traveling in Eastern Europe.

Rory called me back.

I answered the phone without much wishful thinking.

“So they wouldn’t sell it to you?” I lead into the conversation.

“No, I have it,” Rory replied, “I pushed them into selling it to me.”

I was impressed.

Rory became my hero.

So now I am sitting here writing on a new Asus Eee PC, and using it is showing to be a big adjustment. It took Front Page and a few other small programs on its 4 gig internal hard drive without a struggle, and there is a slot for an SD card and three USB ports that can take flash drives. In point, storage space is not really an issue. But its small size, which is its main attribute, is also its main problem. It is not impossible to use, but getting use to it will take some time: the screen is very small and demands plenty of scrolling, its keys are miniature and tend to get caught up under my fingers, and its screen resolution is not really set up for that of the modern Internet. In point, it is not the easiest computer to use. But I think that it will be far easier to get use to the Asus than it has been lugging around my eight pound, 14″ Dell monster of a laptop. I think that the obvious setbacks with Asus computer are pretty superficial, when compared against the fact that it is ultimately a tool that is designed for a particular purpose – which is to be a fully portable and fully usable laptop computer – and is not for general use. The Asus Eee PC is small, light, well made, durable, and is designed to be transported. This is why I purchased it.

For what I do – travel around the world writing articles and publishing on the internet- it is perfect. But I would not recommend it for everyday home use.

This computer is meant to do a specific job – to be a fully functioning laptop that is easy to transport – and it seems to be able to do it well. From where I now stand, it seems as if the Asus Eee PC is the ultimate traveling computer. I willl continue writing about how well it keeps up on the Road, as this little guy has the potential to revolutionize the gear setup of the traveler/ writer.

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Filed under: Electronics, Technology, Travel Gear

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3720 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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