Software and Applications
This first thing you'll notice, when firing up the Eee PC for the first time, is that the machine comes loaded with enough applications, tools, utilities and extra software, that you pretty much have anything you need to get started and then some. Next we'll step you through some of the major software components of this new ultra-portal, ultra cost-efficient PC from Asus.
As we noted earlier, the Asus Eee PC comes loaded with a custom-built tab-based user interface from KDE that is built on Linux. The machine actually takes about 15 - 20 seconds to boot and shuts down in even less time. You can see in the above top right shot, that the OS and various applications take up a solid 2.3 Gig of the total available 4G (in round numbers) of storage. This leaves something on the order of 1.5 - 1.7 Gigs of space for files etc but we'd suggest going with a high density USB flash drive.
Also, there are various standard utilities available to manage various functions, like task manager and a BIOS updater. In addition, Asus bundled anti-virus software that can be routinely updated with virus definitions via the on board WiFi or 10/100 Ethernet connections through the internet.
The Eee PC's built-in diags software show us that the machine is built on an Intel Mobile processor with 512MB of RAM and on-board Intel Graphics capable of 24-bit color depth. The on-board 4GB Flash drive on board is built by Silicon Motion. Finally, the system also comes with a pre-built system health check utility for testing all the major functionalities of the machine.
Again, the Eee PC comes pre-loaded with lots of "stuff", so much so that we can't possibly cover each and every application in detail in one article. We will however, cover the major software features and functionality.
The primary tabbed functional categories of the Eee PC are Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings and Favorites. Think of favorites as bookmark shortcuts for your favorite applications that you can bring out on that tab specifically. There is also a built-in file manager, similar to Windows Explorer. As you can see, our Corsair Voyager USB flash drive was detected correctly and is shown as an available storage volume. The bottom toolbar allows for intuitive management and alerts for things like battery life, WiFi connectivity, date and time, and even caps or num-lock status.
Finally, you can see there are some basic office-like functions available, like web mail and sticky notes for example. The web mail interface is basically a collection of short-cuts to Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL service page. There is an installation of Mozilla Thunderbird however, if you'd prefer to setup a POP or IMAP-based email account.