4.0 star rating

ASUS Eee PC 4G XP Review

$399.00
Pros: Solid performance; Bright display; Fast boot times;
Cons: Limited storage; Windows sizing problems;
The Verdict: It has a few flaws, but ASUS’ newest mini-notebook delivers the familiarity of Windows and good performance at a very low price.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

The first ASUS Eee PC took the world by storm because of its low price, ultra-light weight, fast performance, and easy-to-use, tabbed menu system. But while the Linux edition of this machine was fairly intuitive, consumers are simply more comfortable with Windows, which can run many more popular applications.

Article Continued Below

We got our hands on the much-anticipated Windows version, available for $399, and are happy to announce that the new Eee PC 4G XP delivers a good Windows XP experience without compromising on price or portability. We wish it had more storage space, and we have few other minor complaints, but we still recommend this mini-notebook as a take-anywhere secondary computer.

Same Eee PC Size and Weight

The Eee PC 4G XP uses the same exact chassis as the Linux/Xandros version and is offered in five color schemes (Galaxy Black, Pure White, Blush Pink, Sky Blue, and Lush Green). Our review system was done up in Pure White, which features a pearly, low-luster finish that is impervious to fingerprint smudges. Measuring 8.9 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches, the system easily fits in an oversized handbag or slim briefcase, and at 2 pounds you’ll hardly know its there.

The white keyboard keys are tiny, but the action is firm, and the touchpad is conveniently located in the center of the undersized palm rest. Cursor control was smooth, but the silver mouse buttons were not as responsive as we’d like.

Display and Audio Quality

The 7-inch display has a native resolution of 800 x 480 and is easy on the eyes. Although it delivered great colors and a bright image, the size couldn’t accommodate certain program windows that extended beyond the range of the screen. To help remedy the problem, ASUS provides a system tray utility that lets you switch up to an 800 x 600 viewing mode. You’ll have to scroll to view the entire desktop, but at least you can access vital command buttons. The integrated 0.3-megapixel webcam worked well with Windows Live Messenger, but as was the case with the Linux model, image quality was on the grainy side. To the left and right of the display is a pair of small stereo speakers that are quite loud despite their size, but they could use a bass boost.

Needs More Storage

The Eee PC 4G XP uses the same 900-MHz Intel Celeron processor as its Linux-based cousin, and it, too, comes with 512MB of RAM and a 4GB solid state hard drive. While we appreciate the speed and durability of the solid state drive, its 4GB capacity is just too small for an XP system, especially considering that the OS chews up almost half of the available storage.

This means that even though you have XP, you can’t install large programs—such as Microsoft Office—unliess you install it to a high-capacity memory card. (Microsoft Works is included, however.) We were able to install Apple iTunes and Yahoo Messenger to an 8GB card and run them with no difficulty. If you want to transfer pictures to the Eee PC’s SD Card slot, you’ll probably want to use a USB memory card reader or your camera’s USB cable; otherwise, you’ll temporarily lose access to certain programs.

Having 8GB of flash on board would have gone a long way toward avoiding this type of inconvenience, even if it meant paying a slight premium. ASUS will offer the Eee PC 4G XP with a 4GB SD Card bundle for $470, but you’re better off buying your own 8GB card, since it costs less than $50.

Connectivity ports include headphone and microphone jacks, an Ethernet connection, an SD/MMC card reader, and three USB ports. There’s also a VGA output for connecting to an external display.

Eee PC 4G XP Performance

The system required only 40 seconds to complete the Windows boot sequence. That may seem like a long time when compared with the Linux model (26 seconds), but it’s still shorter than the 60 seconds or more many Vista systems require. The Eee PC had no trouble running multiple applications, and programs loaded quickly even when we had several programs running in the background. We were able to listen to music, have a video conference with a friend, and surf the Web with no real hang-ups. Surprisingly, the 802.11b/g wireless adapter turned in relatively low throughput scores of 10.9 Mbps (15 feet) and 9.5 Mbps (50 feet). 

We managed to get 2 hours and 40 minutes of juice out of the battery before needing a charge. It’s important to note that we tested battery life with the power options set for maximum performance, so you can expect to see a significant increase in battery life using XP’s power-saving options. The Eee PC 4G XP comes with a two-year warranty covering parts and labor and six months for the battery.

Verdict

The Linux-powered ASUS Eee PC 4G starts faster and offers a friendlier interface, but it’s still a Linux machine, which means you’re limited in terms of which programs you can run. The Eee PC 4G XP offers the familiarity of Windows at an unbeatable price with only a few trade-offs. If you’ve been holding out for an affordable Windows-based mini-notebook, and you’re willing to put up with a small keyboard and run apps off of an SD Card, the 4G XP is a very good choice.

Tags: Asus Eee PC 4G XP, Asus Eee PC, netbook, Asus, Ultraportable Notebooks, notebooks, reviews, netbooks, laptops

Technical Specifications
ASUS Eee PC 4G XP
http://eeepc.asus.com/us/


The central processor unit, or CPU, is the brain of your notebook.
Learn More
CPU
900-MHz Intel Celeron
Operating SystemMS Windows XP Home
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
Learn More
RAM
512MB
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
Learn More
Hard Drive Size
4GB
Your notebook’s storage drive (hard drive or solid state drive) holds your operating system, your programs, and your data.
Learn More
Hard Drive Type
SSD Drive
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
Learn More
Display Size
7
The number of pxiels (wxh) displayed on your screen at once.
Learn More
Native Resolution
800x480
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
Learn More
Video Memory
64MB
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
Learn More
Wi-Fi
802.11b/g
Ports allow you to connect to external devices such as monitors, printers, MP3 players, and hard drivse.
Learn More
Ports (excluding USB)
Ethernet; Headphone; Microphone; VGA
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
Learn More
USB Ports
3
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
Learn More
Card Slots
MMC; SD memory reader
Warranty/SupportTwo-year parts and labor, 6-month battery/Toll-free phone
Size8.9 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
Weight2 pounds
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE