Hands-On With the Eee Box’s ExpressGate Instant-On OS

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Call it the week of Splashtop (see our Splashtop FAQ). Earlier this week we got some alone time with the Voodoo Envy's IOS environment powered by Splashtop. Today, an ASUS representative stopped by our offices with the Eee Box and we got some more alone time with a pre-Windows Splashtop based enviornment - ASUS' ExpressGate. Though the Voodoo and ASUS Splashtop interfaces have been customized, they work in the same way. When you first press the power button on the Eee PC it takes 11 seconds (4 more seconds than the Voodoo Envy) to launch the main page ExpressGate Splashtop page. This start page has four buttons across the page, including browser, photo viewer, Pidgin chat and Skype shortcuts. You have to click on one of those buttons to enter the real ExpressGate environment. In our testing, when we clicked on the browser button, it took an additional 25 (15 seconds more than the Voodoo Envy) seconds to launch the complete ExpressGate mode and the FireFox browser. So within 35 seconds ( a bit more than ASUS' touted 11 seconds) you are ready to start surfing the Web and chatting away. The applications in ASUS' ExpressGate were the same as those on the Voodoo. However, ASUS seems to be leaving out the music player. Nevertheless, the browser, photo gallery, chat and Skype clients looked and felt the same as on the Envy and worked as promised. We were similarly able to multi task on the Eee Box in the instant-on mode. We could minimize our chat windows and check GMail in the browser. After you are done in the ExpressGate environment, you can shut down or boot into Windows XP (which takes 55 seconds on the Eee Box by our count). Check out our video below for a tour of ExpressGate. We should also mention that the Eee Box was speced out with a 80GB hard drive, 1 GB of RAM and an Intel Atom processor. It was running Windows XP and will be packaged with some software including MS Works and the Star Office Suite.
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  • Janux Says:

    qwertzguy : Well, maybe in Europe you will get this cheaper that that $400 dolars hardware.. what you say is pointless if you want to comment about what HF said. Again, its the Eee Box, low hardware, it will load Vista in several minutes instead of this Expressgate OS. Lets be fair and also get some specs before do any criticism. It is a good utility, and its an extra without cost.

  • qwertzguy Says:

    @HF: I don't know about in USA, but here in Europe for $400 you can get a intel core 2 duo with 2gb ram, dvd burner, memory reader, 320gb hdd. So this eee Box is way too expensive for what it is... People should buy a PDA for this price, I boots intantanously (with Windows Mobile) and you can load a complete web browser in less than 10 sec, and at least it fits in your pocket (which is much more useful for a crap pc like this).

  • Derek Buranen Says:

    Awesome device. Who says "maw-zilla" as opposed to "firefox" though?
    http://getfirefox.com :)

  • then again... Says:

    loading up www.asus.com as default page isn't exactly the best standard of measurement.

  • Andrea Says:

    can believe you guys??
    they dun have the slightest idea what they're comparing to,
    a quad core processor would cost just as much as this machine,
    and not to mention the almost 2k Mac Book..
    its like comparing airplanes with cars..

  • Wizzard Says:

    I have an XP box which boots faster than that :-D Bam!

    I think current motherboard/PC mnfg need to get their acts straight- Any OS can be tailored to boot extremely fast, but so many times, the area of improvement never seen improved is the 10 sec BIOS routine, before the OS!

  • HF Says:

    This computer is in a totally different class than the computers you guys are trying to compare it to. It's not a $2k Macbook or some 3GHz quad core machine. This is a $300, low power, Intel Atom based computer and you can't expect it to perform like a high performance gaming machine. I guarantee it would take any other OS running on this hardware a lot longer to boot.

  • Y V SAI MADHAV Says:

    I have been reading a lot about Splashtop. I have read somewhere that it is possible to have Splashtop on a PCI mounted card. I am very much interested in such a device that would be of extreme help in case my Windows powered system ever crashes.

  • kyle Says:

    Just time it (not including the talking during that splash screen) and it took 52 seconds. It was the browser that took ages to load as well.

  • kyle Says:

    wow, that really isn't that fast. My brothers Mac can get in the browser just as fast, and also launch itunes and all his other apps at the same time and isn't restricted to 4 apps... I expected this to be instant, as in withint the second. Not half a minute. Sorry but I find this really bad.

  • creig99 Says:

    if the video start up is any measure of the OS then when i clicked the video to start it began with 1-2 seconds after i started it which is new to me .previously having to wait for the video to load and watch the same round circle moving around, like on the OS featured here, for 10-30-however long it took. it's fast if the video is any measure of the OS.

  • MichalT Says:

    Also: "So within 35 seconds [..] you are ready to start surfing the Web and chatting away." No, actually after 36 seconds you are ready to start surfing the Web OR chatting away because, as we all saw in the video, to do both you have to wait yet another 10 seconds for the chat program to load.

  • MichalT Says:

    How can anyone find this "feature" anything but ridiculously pointless? Also, is Joanna getting paid by Asus? "It loads really quickly" -- nervously said Joanna, as she searched the screen for anything vaguely interesting to talk about during the 30 very long seconds of instant loading.

  • Gohlool Says:

    Vista is much faster than this ExpressGate shit.
    The time it takes to start the browser I would be in Vista for ages.....
    well I hope the next generation would be really "EXPRESS"

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