We've been full of praise for the Linux versions of the Eee PC – running Asus' ultraportable laptop with an open-source operating system keeps the cost down and frees up hard disk space.
But while Eee PC purists believe the Windows is unnecessary for this simple device, the Windows XP-based Eee PC 900 has just arrived at the office, and I've been enjoying one of the plus points of running a Microsoft OS on it – compatibility.
As the Eee PC is largely designed to be used on the move, it follows that many people will want to use it with a third-party 3G service from the likes of Vodafone, O2 or Three. And yet getting a 3G dongle to install on the Linux version was slightly cumbersome. However, I was up and running with 3G on the XP machine this morning in minutes, and that combination turns the system into the perfect device for staying connected on the move.
As we've said before, the Eee PC's small keyboard is not ideal for writing long documents or dealing with complex spreadsheets. But as a way to browse the web and type emails, it's a great portable companion (in areas with decent Wi-Fi or 3G coverage).
Furthermore, on first impressions XP doesn't seem to have a noticeable impact on performance (we'll provide full Worldbench and MobileMark results shortly), apart from forcing you to sacrifice considerable storage space.
Check back for our full review of the XP-based Eee PC.