My Asus 3e PC unit has arrived. In fact it arrived at my tropical island lair looking like a forklift skid had been driven clean through the shipping box. Said skid then severely maimed the box the Asus unit was in, but managed to miss the unit itself, thankfully.
I’ll do a full review in a few days, but a few frist impressions:
-Very nice build quality, looks and feels expensive and well put together
-It’s small, very small, but stylish (mine is black) and you can tell it was put together by people who have been building laptops for a long time and keep a list of what works and what doesn’t for port layout etc
-The touchpad properly supports double tapping
-Keyboard is too small for my regular sized man hands
-It had a nice little “first run” wizard, but didn’t seem to save my WiFi encryption key (however I was able to easily pull it off a flash key
-Screen is nice but 800 x 480 quickly becomes a problem, but its perfect for quick “on the go” tasks
-Boot time is incredible, Zonbu would learn something from what is under the hood
-Built in web cam is wonderful but Skype is only 1.4 so not sure how to use it other than with web recording app
-Flash performance is wonderful, even video on http://www.TheStreet.com plays smoothly (which it does not on the Zonbu)
Zonbu needs to take an honest look at an integrated Intel chipset/platform and compare the performance against the Via chip, it appears to be really holding them back even though the Intel chip is rated at only 900 Mhz. The whole unit feels snappier.
The product is not a direct competitor to the Zonbu, but is instead an interesting benchmark at a similar price point. The larger screen of the Zonbu is a definite must for adult use, but the chipset and tactile elements of the 3e PC provide a number of things to think about.
I remain very concerned about Zonbu sticking just with Via for hardware and I think it may quickly unravel on them as devices like the Asus take hold, if they don’t offer an Intel or AMD based product with more mature graphics support.