Itś Tuesday and I’ve declared it
Diva is my new 7 inch laptop from Asus.
Her formal name is Asus Eee PC 701 – but I have never been one for formality.
Here are a few pictures so you can get a sense of scale- sheś smaller than most magazines and half the size of an A4 sheet.
That’s Diva sitting on a magazine that’s A5!
Glad to see my lounge is tidy.
And here’s Diva lolling next to a sheet of A4 paper.
She may be small but she’s all style.
Her stats are pretty amazing:
- 4gig hardrive – can add more using an external hardrive or memory stick
- 3 usb ports
- microphone and headphone ports
- port to connect to a bigger screen
- a webcam fitted into the screen – scarey to see yourself on video
- weighs < 1kg. I carry heavier books.
- wifi enabled (although you need to know your WEP key to enable access)
Itś fully loaded with Linux Open Office software – faster than Windows and totally compatable with it – i.e you can move Open Office files to a PC using Windows and vice versa.
Linux is an open source operating system. And the Open Office software is also Open Source.
Stay with me folks – this is important info ….
Open Source means that literally thousand and thousands of people have developed the system or software – for free.
It’s collaborative and open and shared online – my kind of ethos.
You can download Linux and Open Office FOR FREE onto your computer – and never have to pay for Windows software again.
The operating system and all the applications for SKIL2 will be open source – because it’s free and value driven.
Back to Diva.
The computer starts in about 10 seconds or less which is heaps faster than Windows with all its bloatware. It takes me a few minutes to get to my Gmail on my other laptop (but I still love her too).
The whole setup is very intuitive and visual.
There are a few key areas that are at the top of the page –
Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings & Favourites
Technical aside – bet you’re wondering how I got these great shots.
Techies and designers will know but I bet Maggie is interested to know.
Have a look at your keyboard now ( yup and also keep reading this – you can multi task).
Look at the top of the keyboard where there are F keys. can you see Prt Sc on a key?
All you do is punch that key and then open a file (usually in photos) and Ctrl V or Paste. You have a screenshot.
That’s what I did for all these shots of Diva’s screen. You learnt 1 more thing today. Cool you.
Each of them open to a range of applications.
Internet opens a range of mail providers and has a few cool apps such as wikipedia and internet radio where you can listen to stations all around the world.
It’s also Skype enabled – that’s the online phone system.
Work holds key Open Office applications such as Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations & PDF Reader (that will turn your documents into a PDF in about 30 seconds – easy peasy.) – and they work just like Microsoft Office.
That’s the Documents application – easy to use.
Play has games (and about 3 dozen versions of patience) but I prefer to play away from the computer.
What it does have is very easy to use photo, video and music managers. The webcam is there as well.
Was thinking of taking a screenshot of me on the webcam …. nah …. way too scary.
Learn has games and quizzes for kids that cover maths, language, and a few others.
Settings has the usual stuff that you can play with to fine tune the system.
Favourites is where you can move any one of the applications you use a lot to this space.
I´ve been looking for a small laptop to pop in my bag when I travel.
When I take my usual laptop I can hear my back and shoulders groaning.
Until this laptop (and some of you may know about the 100 dollar laptop but that is not available other than through developing countries) most laptops of this size cost over 2000 euro.
Guess how much Diva cost?
Including VAT and delivery from the UK – 285 euro.
Yup – sheś cheap but not cheap – if you know what I mean.
I ordered her online through Pixmania. They accept credit cards as well as bank transfers and Diva was on my doorstep within a week or so of payment.
Pixmania give you a choice of Black, White, Pink (for the boys of course), Blue & Green.
Mine is green to match the SKIL2 colour branding.
Can you do me a favour please?
If you decide to buy one on the basis of hearing about it from me – let me know.
I want to approach Asus as a sponsor for SKIL2 and some evidence that I can affect their sales would be great.
Some of the reviews I read said that the keyboard was small – DUH – it’s a 7 inch laptop – genius.
I typed this post on Diva and the keyboard is just fine.
Diva will be coming with me to Paris next week to an international open source learning management systems (Sakai) conference – and I think she’ll create a bit of a stir – as will I. We are perfectly matched.
Asus have just brought out an 8 inch version but I’m just fine with the 7 inch at a price point under 300 euro.
I see the beginning of a long and happy relationship between Diva and moi.
Happy to answer any queries people have.
Take good care.
Liz & Diva