Sunday, July 13, 2008

Asus; the F9 that is, NOT the Eee, Eeee, Eeeeeeee whatever.

ASUS F9E-2P174(F9E-1B2P) (Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 2.1GHz, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, VGA Intel GMA X3100, 12.1 inch, PC DOS)

The Good thing: it came WITHOUT windoze, I didn't pay an unwanted license.
The bad thing: this model seems to exist only in Vietnam (bought it in Phnom Penh, since that's where I happen to live)... A copy? Are there fake, full-scale copies of laptops around?

No, it's not: the box was cluttered with the usual amount of fine-printed unusual warnings and other CE notices, this ought to be real.

The keyboard makes "springy" noises, Boing-boing style. It' so annoying I do not even want to write more.

With DualCoreDuo and 2.1Ghz engines on board, it's lightning-fast on my Fedora8 and eats up all its batteries, shutting down without notice, in two hours. Processors can't go underneath 800Mhz, so the two of them just sucks power faster than any useable necessity. I guess that's a side effect of vista. Vista is such a processing power ogre that any 'puter that plans on running it has to have guts. Balls-Burning big guts: It makes a lot of heat too. And the Asus website recommends vista. Pigs. 20 minutes of video at 20% brightness lowered the batteries from 98 to 72%, bang. When I neared 40, it just powered down, not shutted down, without warning.

When my wife saw it, she made "yikes, it's ugly". that's because this 1000USD piece is the final replacement for our 3-times-in-4-year Dead 2000usd 10.1 Vaio, Only one under warranty, for sure: GraphicCard in full short-circuit, thingie fozen, dead. At lest, the Asus has a TWO year warranty, but this keyboard really drives me nuts.

Fedora 8 went quite faultless though, and that merits a mention, both to the manufacturer for complying to current standards, well-established chipsets, and to the 2.6.25 kernel. As a quick list:>
-NO the WebCam DOES NOT work, for sure. What'D'ya think? You High or Something?
-Boot form CD/DVD yes, LiveDisk: Perfect (with that power + 1Gb ram, hey, has to "just work")
-Recognize HDD yes,
-USB yes
-WiFi YES, LAN too
-Correct screen size as soon as installed, 1280x800. Could have gained more in def, like in the 1340 range...
-Some switches fn+ works out of the box, namely Screen Brightness, not Sound though, but Ext Screen seems to work too! (Some really do have strange signs on them, I'd rather not touch them unless I get the near the Manual. The Manual is Home, amd I am some 9.000km away on holidays.

Sound was not working, but as usual a quick look on the UBUNTU forum gave me the solution: These 'newer' ac97 intel chips, the ones they call "HighDefinition" or "HD" needs the full ALSA bundle, and since ALSA is so good, why the heck isn't it the default choice in the first place? Installing Fedora8, I also new that PulseAudio was just giving more trouble than music, that's quite documented too.

I miss an external MuteSound button; there are two Power Buttons though, One for, I guess Suspend and the other for Shut/Down. What else? Keyboard noises sucks.