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Asus Eee PC 701 Review - Play Tab
Play Tab

(view large image)

Leaving the Games icon to the end of this section, first up in the Play tab is the Media Player, SMplayer. As SMplayer is a front-end to MPlayer it can play a huge variety of video and audio formats including Cinepak, DV, H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, HuffYUV, Indeo, MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, RealVideo, Sorenson, Theora, WMV, AAC, AC3, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, Intel Music Coder, Monkey's Audio, MP3, RealAudio, Shorten, Speex, Vorbis, and WMA. SMplayer can also play DVDs, providing that an external DVD drive is connected. The software has a variety of deinterlace modes, pan & scan, equalizer, and filters.

A few video files exhibited tearing when the picture panned horizontally, but in general SMplayer performs really well. There is another front-end to MPlayer installed (GMPlayer), which doesn't suffer from tearing, although it has a more minimalistic interface, and has to be launched from a console, or the file manager when using the 'Easy' interface.

Music Manager is the Amarok application, an audio player offering a large number of features, yet at the same time being intuitive to use. It can play media files in a number of formats including AAC, ALAC, FLAC, Ogg, MP3, Musepack, TTAm, WavPack, WAV, and WMA. Features include: support, MusicBrainz support, podcasts, and playlists.

Photo Manager is the Gwenview program, an easy to use image viewer. It can load and save all image formats that are supported by KDE. It has a full screen mode, slide show, as well as a raft of plugins to perform batch processing, calendars, MPEG slide shows, basic image processing, exporting to Flickr and Remote Gallery, as well as the ability to locate duplicate images.

Video Manager starts up the KDE File Manager, navigating to the /home/user/My Documents/My Videos/ directory.

The Webcam icon represents the UCView software, an easy to use video and audio capture application. It uses the Ogg Vorbis and Theora codecs. In good lighting video is viewed and recorded at 30 frames per second; in poor lighting this can drop to as low as 7.5 frames per second. UCView also takes snapshots.

The final application in the Play tab is Sound Recorder. This spartan program lets you record from the built-in Eee's microphone. Files are saved in the wav format.

Now let's go back to the Games icon.

(view large image)

Solitaire is the KPatience card game. It offers a wide variety of different card games: Klondike, Grandfather, Aces Up, Freecell, Napoleon's Tomb, Mod3, Calculation, Gypsy, Forty & Eight, Simple Simon, Yukon, Grandfather's Clock, Golf, Klondike (draw 3), and Spider (with 3 levels of difficulty).

Frozen Bubble is a fairly simple 3d game in which you attempt to shoot "bubbles" to knock the other "bubbles" down, clearing the board. It is a type of tetris game and features multiplayer play over the internet and internal networks. It has 100 levels, a level editor, great soundtracks, and sound effects. A simple but fun game.

Crack Attack! is an OpenGL puzzle game where you must keep a rising stack of blocks from reaching the top of the screen.

Penguin Racer is PlanetPenguin Racer, an OpenGL racing game featuring Tux, the Linux mascot. The goal of the game is to slide down a snow- and ice-covered mountain as quickly as possible. It features five cup modes, 22 courses, adjustable weather conditions, and a practice mode.

Sudoku is GNOME Sudoku, a simple sudoku generator and player. If you haven't heard of Sudoku (where have you been?), it's a neat Japanese logic puzzle. It comes with 32 easy, 19 medium, 17 hard, and 4 very hard puzzles, with a puzzle generator to generate oodles more.

Potato Guy is the KTuberling game, a potato editor intended to be played by small children. The purpose of this game is simply to make as funny a face on a potato man as possible.

The last game is LTris, a Tetris clone with nice effects, graphics, and sound. It has a menu, a highscore, a two player mode, and an advanced game mode in which you get a new figure in each level and later suddenly-appearing tiles and lines.

Settings & Favorites Tabs

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 @ 11:18 AM EST

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