Mini laptop affordable choice for charities

It comes with all the hardware features one might expect from a laptop computer:

  • Stereo speakers
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • 3 USB ports
  • A card reader which takes SD cards (which serves as a way to expand the Eee's storage capacity)
  • Video output, so you could use an external monitor or projector
  • Integrated WIFI
  • Microphone
  • Webcam

The machine runs a 900mhz Intel processor, which in today's world of blisteringly fast quad core monsters is not anything to shout about, but it does not need much power and is more than powerful enough to run the machine because of Asus' stroke of genius: it runs the lightweight Linux operating system instead of heavyweight Microsoft Windows.  Linux is an open source operating system, which makes it free to distribute.  This version also takes far less resources to run than Windows XP, for example.  This means that the Eee can quite comfortably run with its little processor.

The Eee PC 4G comes with a 4GB solid state hard drive.  Solid state means no moving parts, which is always an advantage for a laptop which could be subject to knocks and harm, but also means faster start up time.  This means that the Eee boots up in about 15 seconds, with no lenghty wait, staring idly at the Windows logo or the ubiquitous egg timer.  Again, it's Linux operating system suits the Eee perfectly, as its small size leaves plenty of space - over 2 GB -  for storage.  This storage space is expandable, as mentioned above through the card reader in the side of the unit.  The capacity of SD cards is always growing, but up to 8GB are readily available, thereby trebling the storage space on the unit.
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Unlike traditional Windows based computers, the Eee comes with all the software you need pre-installed at no extra cost:

  • Firefox for internet browsing
  • Thunderbird for email
  • Open Office for word processing, spread sheet, database, presentations
  • Adobe reader for opening PDFs
  • Skype for voice or video calls over the internet.

It even comes with its own anti-virus package, with free virus definition updates.

This little unit offers Irish charities an affordable and realistic choice for their computing needs.

 

The user interface - the operating system is also ground breakingly easy to use.  With a clever tabbed design, all of the colourful icons are broken down into the following categories:

  • internet
  • work
  • learn
  • play
  • settings
  • favourites

 

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It really is very easy to use.

Available for circa €300 from Laptops Direct, Dixons, Komplett, Carphone Warehouse and many more.

You can also get Eee PCs with slightly larger screens, larger hard disks and even Eee PCs with Windows XP.  This little unit offers Irish charities an affordable and realistic choice for their computing needs.