The Eee Note isn't a tablet PC in the sense you might expect. It's not a direct competitor to the iPad, the PlayBook, the Samsung Galaxy or the myriad of other devices that are rushing late to the party. Instead, the Eee Note tries to carve out a niche by being part e-reader and part smartphone on steroids.
Originally called the 'Eee Tablet', the recently renamed Eee Note is essentially a versatile, digital notepad, complete with stylus. It's aimed quite squarely at business folk, writers and students, to the extent that, if you aren't one of the above, you may as well stop reading. When we asked Asus about its very specific marketing it made no apologies, instead pointing to it's other tablet PCs due out next year which should offer a more broad appeal.
It's better to aim at doing one thing right than ten things half arsed, we suppose. Although inevitably this begs the question of whether Asus has actually achieved it's singular aim correctly.
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Eee Note EA800 Specifications:
20.3cm (8") Display, 139 x 222.4 x 11 mm (5.5"x 8.8" x 0.4") Device,
Display Resolution: XGA, 768x1024 (3:4), 64 levels of grayscale
Anti-Glare covering on glass display, 3H pencil hardness
Touch pen: 256 levels of pressure detection
Resolution: 0.01mm (2540dpi)
Accuracy: ±0.4mm with pen vertical / ±3mm with pen tilt 50 degree
4GB internal SSD (3.2GB usable) with up to 16GB expansion via microSD card
802.11b/g wireless LAN
2M Pixel webcam, mono-speaker, high-gain mono-microphone, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, micro USB port for PC connection and charging
3700mAh battery with 10-13.5 hours battery (depending on WiFi use), with 10 day standby.
PC Tool conversion to PDF/ePub for txt, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx
624MHz Marvell ARM11 CPU (XScale derivative)
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The Eee Note construction uses a very solid 1mm thick, brushed aluminium, that feels nicely crisp and cold in the hand. At just over half a kilo it's not that heavy - about the same as the 9.7in Kindle DX.
The front actually uses tempered glass, but it's underneath a plastic anti-glare coating. While we understand that this protection is a benefit, it's still a shame to lose the elegance of glass. At the bottom there are eight touch-sensitive buttons, four of which are context sensitive depending on where you are in the OS. To save you from having your fat palm rubbing over them while you're writing, they can easily be turned off using an option in the OS.
At the top, the stylus is kept in its soft plastic housing and pops out easily with a flick of the finger, while in the base there's a mini-USB port, microSD slot, mono-speaker vent, 3.5mm stereo jack and slightly indented power button.