Additional comments on the ASUS EePC: By Kyle Coker

Posted On July 28, 2009

I purchased one of these little honeys about 4 months ago to use specifically for astronomy and have been very impressed. I upgraded the RAM to 2GB and purchased an external SD/DVD burner. The upgrades totaled around $160. I was pleased to find out the unit ran on Windows XP which has always been reliable running astronomy software. The only shortcoming I Encountered was in installing peripherals. I suspect the windows version is scaled down to run on limited hard drive space by eliminating some of the more uncommon drivers. I don’t know this for sure. No matter though because everything I needed was available on the various product websites.

So what am I doing with it? I have a backyard observatory what I use for astroimaging. So far I have been able to connect my scope mount, RoboFosus, and CCD camera directly to the 3 USB ports, 2 of which run though USB to Serial adapters. I can run Maxim DL, FocusMAx, either the SKY or Starry Night Pro at the same time and have them all talk to each other without any problem. Since I have limited the installed programs molly to those I use in astronomy, the boot up time is still pretty quick.

The key features I was looking for in such a machine were;
1. Portability
2. Long battery life
3. At least 3 USB ports
(my mini Vaio only had 2)
4. Built in WiFi
5. Large hard drive
6. Upgradable RAM

The bonus was such a low price and Windows XP. I thought I would miss the built in CD /DVD drive but I like having it external more. That keeps the overall size, weight and battery consumption down.

The only complaint is the small screen. There is a ¾ inch border around the screen meaning the dimensions could accommodate an extra inch of screen diagonal. There are larger computers out there but typically you will pay twice as much and the larger screens burn up batteries faster.

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Kyle Coker