I will leave the accessories icon to last, as it represents a
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
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
you some idea of how much information can be viewed on the Eee PC's 7"
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
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
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 188.8.131.52 (version 184.108.40.206 is the latest available).
We have seen the File Manager before (in the Internet tab). It
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
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.
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
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).
lets you write the computer equivalent of sticky notes.
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
offers a range of mathematical functions including statistical
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
mail, scheduling, address book, and other PIM functionality. It can
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
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.
& Favorites Tabs
Last Updated Sunday, January 13 2008 @ 11:15 AM EST