Eee PC and Linux pre-installed Laptops

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Eee PC and Linux pre-installed Laptops

Postby TheWizardofOdds » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:44 pm

I've got a maximum of £200 to spend and I was thinking about getting an Eee PC. All I need it for is surfing in general.

Are the Eee PCs any good? I know Argos have them but I think they come with a Windows starter. I would like the Linux one. Is it possible to install Linux on these as they won't have an optical drive? I read one review and it was slated for being really slow, does anyone here have one? As I say, I'll only use it for surfing Internet at work/emails etc.

Would I be better with a Tablet? Are there any decent ones for sub £200?
Last edited by TheWizardofOdds on Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby guy » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:06 pm

Asus based their original Eee PC on linux. Later models had bigger screens and were Windows based but you could install Linux if you were that way inclined. All a bit dated now, there are better netbooks around, some with Linux pre-loaded.

I have a tablet, and bought a protective cover with built-in USB keyboard. Assembled, it is effectively a netbook.

Google's Android OS is a flavour of Linux, and is far more popular for mobile devices than the GNU/Linux most people think of as Linux (in fact it's way the most popular mobile OS in the world today). But beware old versions of Android, they were designed mainly for phones and their handling of text documents such as long emails sucks worse than an Eee PC with Windows. The latest release, "Jelly Bean", is great but only slowly working its way onto the market.

Top of my Christmas list is the Asus Nexus 7, a 7" tablet with Jelly Bean, that I can swap for the old tablet to create one cutting-edge netbook and a digital photo frame.

Or, consider the Samsung Chromebook. This uses Google's other OS, ChromeOS, and with its bigger screen is perhaps closer to a lightweight laptop. It keeps all your apps and stuff in the cloud so is physically simple and cheap. When connected via fast broadband it's said to be fantastic, the future arrived today, but when it loses its connection it gets badly crippled.

HTH.
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Postby heiowge » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:58 pm

I have 3 eeepcs - 2g Surf (700 series), 904HA (8.9" screen, 160GB hard drive and 16GHz processor) and the one I'm typing this on (specs in my signature).

The first is running Ubuntu Server with XFCE desktop. The latter 2 are running Mint 11. This one came with windows 7 starter. I never loaded it. I just wiped it and installed Mint from a stick. It was no hassle and works great.

For a new one, I'd try Mint 14 MATE. Cinnamon might be a touch heavy for it.

I also upgraded the RAM to 2GB. It only cost me about a tenner from ebuyer. I recommend doing this. It wasn't hard and I can tell you how if you can't do it or can't find your own tutorials on youtube.
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Postby leke » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:29 am

I have the old 2G 700 series Eeepc and I still love it. I'm currently running Bodhi on it. Of course, anything you buy now will probably be able to run pretty much any current distro you can throw at it, but if it's just for surfing and stuff, you may also want to consider Bodhi.

Tablets are ok, as long as you aren’t too attached to your keyboard ;)
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Postby heiowge » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:15 am

leke wrote:I have the old 2G 700 series Eeepc and I still love it. I'm currently running Bodhi on it.


How did you shoehorn bodhi on there?
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Postby TheWizardofOdds » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:52 am

Thanks for the replies, all good stuff.

I think I want to go for the Eee that Argos sell as I'm going to shops today, think they, and toys r us sell them.

To download say, Mint, do I buy a miniature USB flash drive, start up the Eee with the Windows go to the mint site and download on to the flash then reboot and install? I don't have any other access at the moment to Internet. I've never downloaded anything with the flash drive, I always use the mag disks.

Thanks.
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Postby towy71 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:06 am

have a look at unetbootin it will fill your usb stick or sd card with Linux goodness :D :wink:
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Postby TheWizardofOdds » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:46 pm

Excellent thanks.

What size USB wotsit do I need for an small distro for the Eee?
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Postby towy71 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:00 pm

I think you'll struggle to find smaller than 2gig now, I would buy as a one as you can afford then you can back up stuff etc., on it :D
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Postby leke » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:16 pm

heiowge wrote:
leke wrote:I have the old 2G 700 series Eeepc and I still love it. I'm currently running Bodhi on it.


How did you shoehorn bodhi on there?

Download the Bodhi .iso
Use UnetBootin to make Bodhi from the .iso onto a USB stick.
Boot Bodhi and click the install icon on the desktop.
:P
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Postby heiowge » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:42 pm

Bohdi says it needs 2.5GB install size. The 2G Surf only comes with 2GB. Therein lies the problem...

As for USB installs... You got online to type the post, so hopefully you can get hold of an iso file for Mint. Check if your eeepc is 32 or 64 bit. Get the correct one. If you're not sure, go 32. It won't make much difference on an eeepc.

As for stick size, I'd go 8GB. I use a 16, but thats just because thats what I have spare. It cost me about a tenner more than 18 months ago. I can't see an 8 setting you back more than that even if you buy it from a shop.
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Postby leke » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:58 am

heiowge wrote:Bohdi says it needs 2.5GB install size. The 2G Surf only comes with 2GB. Therein lies the problem...
Sorry, I thought I had the 2G when it was actually the 4G. I just realised the G stands for gigabyte.

Does your 2G have an SD card slot? I guess you could stick in a big SD card and install it to that drive perhaps.
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Postby heiowge » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:16 am

Yeah, that's normally what I do, but I'm always on the lookout for a decent enough distro that actually fits on the SSD.
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Postby TheWizardofOdds » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:00 pm

I went to Argos yesterday in the pre-Christmas madness and the Eee PC that I was going for was £200. It was dearer in the store than on-line. I decided against it and am hanging fire just now.

I've had a look on Ebay and there are squillions available. I'm not sure which would be best for me, the reviews seem to be really positive for these PCs. I'm not expecting the world, just to be able to surf, Emails, one that I can take to work. I think the battery is the issue as its understandably small, maybe an hour and a half to two hours real world figure. They're really cool though and I'm looking forward to looking into Mint, Bhodi, Ubuntu to see which distro I should install.

I suppose for a bit more money I could get a used Laptop with Linux on. It's a possibility.
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Postby leke » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:21 pm

The January sales are close. :wink:
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