One of the biggest concerns I had when switching from the default Linux installation to Windows XP on my Eee PC 701 is that I’m moving from a world of relative security by obscurity to an operating system targeted by virus makers and hackers from all over the world. I had to look for a free anti-virus software that will be light enough and will not spam me with ads to upgrade to the paid version.
For more than three years, Avast! has been my anti-virus of choice. What’s not to love about it? It’s free and it has an amazing detection rate. It doesn’t even muck up my system, unlike some users of Norton and McAfee that I encountered before.
However, as any longtime Avast! user knows, everytime it updates its virus database, we get a slowdown before we hear the notification “Your virus database has been updated.”
Okay, for netbooks running on limited resources (particularly the Eee PC 701 – which I own) this slowdown could mean crashes. And it has happened way too often for me.
Fed up after a bad day when all my apps just kept on crashing one after the other, I went ahead and downloaded Panda Cloud Antivirus. I’ve been pretty much apprehensive of cloud applications. Especially when it means you have to entrust your entire security to a cloud-based app.
But I went and installed it anyway. The installation was pretty quick and painless, which was surprising for an anti-virus. The initial setup was pretty simple too: sign up for a Panda Cloud account, and log in to activate the anti-virus. There was a bit of a problem with the initial connection – it looked like Panda Cloud Antivirus took ages to connect (check out the screenshot on top) but somehow it was just a bug and the UI just didn’t refresh to display that it was already connected.
After a couple of hours testing this thing (doing scans, checking out my Panda account), my system was running way lighter than before. Now I haven’t done anything heavy duty yet. I’ll get to that in my next post. For now, all I can say is that I still won’t trust Panda Cloud Antivirus with my main system, but for netbooks it’s perfect.
If the title of this blog (and blog entry) doesn’t give away the answer yet (poor you), it would be the ASUS UL30A-A1.
It was stacked up against the Acer Aspire Timeline AS3810T-8737, HP Pavilion dm3, and Toshiba Satellite T135.
The ASUS UL30A-A1 is our number one pick for a 13-inch ULV based system. It is thin, light, and comfortable to use for its over 6 and a half hours of juice. The Acer keeps a close second to the ASUS with its long run time and sleek bod. The HP Pavillion dm3 and the Toshiba T135, while still affordable and adequate performers, simply aren’t the best.
I’ve been eyeing the 1101 HA to be my next netbook for some time now, and Brad of Liliputing’s review of the netbook only strengthened my conviction to buy it when Windows 7 comes out.
The Asus Eee PC 1101HA isn’t the fastest Intel Atom computer around. And in fact, it feels kind of sluggish at times, even with the CPU running at top speed. But by allowing users to overclock the processor to run at 1.73GHz, Asus has made the Eee PC 1101HA feel significantly faster than the Asus Eee PC T91, which features the same processor and a lower resolution display.
Hey guys, remember the Disney-branded netbooks Asus teased a few months back? Well, PC Magazine was able to get its hands on one of these babies, and… well, unless you’re below 12 or into these things, it’s probably not for you.
It features Disney themed lids, including a pink princess design and a blue Mickey design. Users can choose from a number of Disney themes for the Windows XP interface with options including Cars, Lilo & Stitch, and Hannah Montana. The kid-themed applications feature tight parental control software that let you limit how and when your child uses the computer.
Eee users, a little poll here: who else dropped Firefox after 3.5 turned out to be a bloated monster that crashed on underpowered computers every other minute? Sure, I disabled a lot of addons, but still it crashes like crazy. I’ve been using Chrome as my primary browser for a while now, and it’s been good to me so far. Heck, even the beta versions (yes, I took a big leap and installed a beta release; I lead an exciting life) even with their tendency to crash and being unpolished and well, being so beta-like, is even better than Firefox.
In my quest to find a better browser suited for netbooks, I saw Arora. This browser is:
a lightweight cross-platform web browser. It’s free (as in free speech and free beer). Arora runs on Linux, embedded Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Windows and any other platforms supported by the Qt toolkit.
This new browser also boasts of these features:
very fast startup
integration with desktop environments
smart location bar
flexible search engine management
WebInspector, a set of tools for web developers
However, this browser has serious stability issues, kind of like that creepy ex you dumped that one time. It won’t open the My Asus Eee PC homepage without crashing halfway through. Maybe it works on a stronger system, but I won’t be using Arora until it stabilizes. But an exciting project like this is worth keeping an eye on.
Asus’ first 11.6 inch netbook’s battery life is great, according to a review by Laptop Magazine. Come on, it can run for 8 hours and 44 minutes on a charge with the included 6 cell battery. How cool is that?
Well, not really. Because it runs on the 1.33HGz Intel Atom Z520 CPU and Intel GMA 500 graphics, you sacrifice a bit of computing power for longer battery life.
But really, if you don’t mind losing some juice for longer battery life, go ahead and get the 1101HA.
Brad of Liliputing has posted pictures and a review of the Asus Eee PC T91.
The netbook’s sluggish processor makes the Eee PC T91 too slow to perform some tasks like playing HD video or even viewing some web pages in Internet Explorer, which Asus has optimized for touchscreen navigation. Still, this netbook is one of the only tablet PCs you’re likely to find for under $499, so if you’re looking for a touchscreen on a budget, it might be worth checking out.