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Asus Eee PC 701 Review - Work Tab
Work Tab


(view large image)

I will leave the accessories icon to last, as it represents a link to separate sofware applications, and warrants its own screenshot.

The Documents, Spreadsheet, and Presentations icons start up Writer, Calc, and Impress - a fully featured wordprocessor, spreadsheet, and multimedia presentation tool respectively. These applications are 3 components of the award winning and enormously popular office suite, OpenOffice.org. The menu font in each application has been slightly scaled down to enlarge the viewing area. With full screen mode enabled, you can view 21 rows in Writer, and 28 rows 11 columns in Calc, which gives you some idea of how much information can be viewed on the Eee PC's 7" screen.

OpenOffice.org includes other components besides Writer, Calc and Impress. Although hidden from the graphical 'Easy' interface, they can be easily started by starting up a terminal windows (ctrl-alt-t) and typing openoffice. This enables you to access the remaining components including Math (an equation editor), Draw (a powerful graphics package), and Base (for creating databases and manipulating database data).

The PDF Reader is in fact Adobe Reader, proprietary software which allows you to open and read PDF documents, offers real-time zooming and panning. Version 7.0 of the software is supplied. I would have liked version 8 to have been included, especially as it offers a maximised work area, removing interface elements to maximise space.

Clicking the Mail Icon takes you to Thunderbird, a popular free, e-mail, RSS and newsgroup client which supports multiple identities within accounts. It has virtual folders, advanced message filtering, message grouping, quick search and much more. This is powerful but yet simple software to use. Asus have given us version 2.0.0.6 (version 2.0.0.9 is the latest available).

We have seen the File Manager before (in the Internet tab). It is proprietary software developed by Xandros themselves. As you would expect, File Manager lets you display and navigate through the files and folders on your local system, and remote systems. It performs everything you would expect from a competent file manager, and has a similar appearence to the Windows file manager. It can also view web pages, transfer files using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), download/view pictures from most digital cameras, as well as creating links to launch applications at boot up. It is by far the easiest to use file manager available for Linux.

The Dictionary icon offers the renowned Longman Dictionary. This is one of the few applications which takes some time to start (22 seconds), which is in part due to initialising its large database of 85,000 words. Asus has been a bit sloppy with this application. First off, the dictionary tabs, pop up notes and help files are all in Chinese! Secondly, you have to click the Eng - Eng icon to get the definition of a word in English, else the definition of a word is output in Chinese. Finally, when exiting the application the dialogue box asks for your Conformation (sic). Apart from these idosyncrancies, the application works.

The Add/Remove software application (in the Settings tab) offers an upgrade for the Longman Dictionary. Installing this package increased the database to 100,000 words but did not remove the Chinese text problems. In fact, it made the situation worse by displaying the text in dialog boxes in Chinese too.

The final application in this tab is Notes, which is one component of the Personal Information Manager (more on that below). KNotes lets you write the computer equivalent of sticky notes.


(view large image)

As shown in the above screenshot, there are 3 icons in Accessories. The first application is KCalc 1.8.1, a scientific calculator for KDE which offers a range of mathematical functions including statistical calculations.

The next icon is the Personal Information Manager (PIM), which is the popular Kontact application (version 1.1.2). Kontact is mature software which combines popular KDE applications such as KMail, KOrganiser, KAddressbook, and KNotes into a single interface to provide access to mail, scheduling, address book, and other PIM functionality. It can also be configured to run as a groupware client, for use in corporate networks. There is a high degree of integration between each of the components of Kontact. KMail is a mature, easy to use mail client offering IMAP, POP3 and SMTP support, signing and encrypting of emails, reads HTML, spell checking, anti-spam functionality, and lots more. The other components of Kontact have also been in development for many years.

The final application in the Work tab is KSnapshot, a screen capture utility. This is a simple applet for taking screenshots, and can capture the whole desktop, a single window, or a selected region. It also offers snapshot delay, which helped me to capture the software screenshots in this review.

Learn Tab

Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Components - Part 1
3. Components - Part 2
4. General Operation
5. Software Introduction
6. Internet Tab
7. Work Tab
8. Learn Tab
9. Play Tab
10. Settings & Favorites Tabs
11. Additional Software
12. Final thoughts
13. Additional Screenshots
14. Appendix


Last Updated Sunday, January 13 2008 @ 11:15 AM EST


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