I would like to find out what others who are using the ASUS mini laptops think of them. My school is purchasing a classroom set for each Middle School team for next year. To prepare for the transition I have been piloting 5 of the laptops in my class this spring and I have run into some problems recently. I think most of the problems are infrastructure issues, but I would like to know what other teachers think of them (good and/or bad).

Tags: ASUS, laptops

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I haven't had a chance to use a set with kids, but I do own one myself. It's a 7 inch model running Windows XP. Generally I find it pretty capable, although the lack of storage can be an issue and the screen size is a bit small. It's not even so much the size of the screen, but rather the fact that it's only 800 px wide and so most modern websites don't render very nicely on the screen, and usually require sideways scolling. The new 9 inch models with the 1024 px wide screens should be much better as well as a bit easier to look at)
The wifi works well, and it all functions fine - in fact it's quite fast as the OS sits in flash memory rather than a hard drive, but it can feel a little underpowered at times.
I use it mainly for web apps and web2.0 stuff that can be done via a browser. I haven't tried running Photoshop or something a little heavier duty on it and I suspect it would get very wheezy even trying to do an serious digital media creation. I must say that the clarity of image from the built-in camera is awesome... very crisp.
However, i really like the form factor... the keyboard takes a little getting used to after my Macbook Pro, but it's not terrible, just a little smaller. For kids in middle school it would probably be fine. It's just the right size to use in class, have on a desk, carry between school and home.
I think if the 9 inch model ever adds tablet/pen touch ability, and the memory specs come up a little, we could be close to the perfect student machine.
Chris
I appreciate your detailed response. I do agree that the size is nice for classroom use even if it may take a little getting use to. My concern has to do with the size of the screen (we currently have the 7in. model, but I hope we purchase the 9in. model). The scrolling can be very frustrating for many of the more engaging websites. On the other hand the small size makes it very nice to use on a desk and transport from class to class. Memory seems to be an issue as well. Only about 3 students can currently sign on to 3 computers at a time. This may be an infrastructure issue, but it prevents classroom use. I am sure our tech people have a solution for this issue. Another issue recently is that there seems to be a couple of computers that are unable to get on the internet at any given time.
I haven't tried to load photoshop or other large software but I can only imagine that the little puppies will have trouble. I you know know of any teachers who have used them I would love to hear what they are able to do with them. Thanks.
Art
Hi Art
I don't have access to one myself, but there is a discussion about them going on here http://groups.diigo.com/groups/k12asuseee. Hope it helps.

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