Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Desireable laptop, weak website

My buddy Slag would have words with the designers of the ASUS computer company: their website is 'toopid when it comes to providing a potential customer (me!) with the information I want.

I read in the weekly "technology" section of the local newspaper about this laptop that's supposed to be available in AU around December. It's the ''Eee PC'', made by ASUS. It's priced at AU$500 (dunno what the US version costs, but based on the usual exchange rate, probably 85% of that), uses flash memory (like yer USB key has) instead of a hard drive (quieter, and less power consumption), and runs on Linux (although Windows Vista is available, if you wanna pay extra).

The article includes the website ( for more info -- so I go and check it out. However, the info is not yet posted on the company's Aussie site: a major oversight, given that they're clearly sending out press releases. (I even use the webpage's ''search'' function. No dice.)

So, I Google it -- which results in the main (U.S.) corporate site. I find the page (as linked to above) -- but darned if I can find the specs like the hard drive (or flash drive, I suppose) capacity, the RAM, or the processor speed. Or even what ''flavor'' of Linux they're using: one of the standard distros, or one they've built themselves.

Way to dampen my enthusiasm for your product!!!

I'm still interested: but 30% less jazzed about it.


Addendum: Just after I posted this, I went back to the page. Earlier, I'd been hovering the mouse pointer over the ''Specification'' (shouldn't that be plural? ''Specs'', not ''Spec'') button , but the ''hand'' hadn't appeared, which indicated to me that it wasn't an actual link. This time, on a whim I clicked on it, and it does indeed take me to a page with technical info.

That said, it's pretty limited. Says the OS is Linux -- but not what distro. 512MB of RAM. 4GB of ''SSD'' (Solid-State Disk). 7 inch display. Estimated 3.5 hour battery life (which, given the lack of a HD seems a little low: my wife's laptop already does that, and that's without an optional second battery. And it gives the weight (0.92kg), but not the dimensions (how hard would that have been? Just one more row in the ''Specs'' table.)

So, still not impressed. Lacklustre.

Addendum #2: Oh, even BETTER! Under the link for "downloads", I also found a tree with additional specs. According to the tree (under Linux: others), it says "
Debain 4.0". Gar. To you non-Linux folks, that's like calling it ''Windows Vister''. (I think they mean ''Debian"...)


Addendum #3: In my attempt to be a nice guy, I tried the ''contact us'' link at the bottom of the page. I chose to contact the web team. I clicked on the link -- and got this error message.

There's a certain irony in the "contact the webmaster regarding errors" link... of an I.T. company's website -- to have an error.



At November 28, 2007 12:57 PM, Blogger slag said...

It is a cool laptop--I think. You're right about it being difficult to tell. I think this:
"* All specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check with your supplier for exact offers. Products may not be available in all markets."
is the reason they don't give specs on the site. But the weird thing is that the site appears to be somewhat defunct, which is odd for what seems like a new product.


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