Let's compare these $399 mobile computers head to head..
Let's start with external features.
Eee is 225/165/35 mm, so few mm smaller but thicker on battery side than Cloudbook with 230/171/30 mm. Cloudbook weighs just a little bit more being 950g where Eee is 920g.
As the screen (7" 800 x 480) and the keyboard are the same there isn't much difference. Both are extremely small and light.
Differences stars to appear when looking at the keyboard and mouse positioning. On Eee PC the keyboard is further back, giving room for bigger mouse pad, buttons and wrist rest area. Cloudbooks keyboard is more front, lacking wrist rest. Smaller mouse pad is on the top right side of the keyboard and mouse buttons are on the top left side. Cloudbooks mouse placement is designed for 2 handed use, with the possibility to "use while walking". Where Eee PCs mouse is easy to adopt, Cloudbook mouse can be awkward to some.
Comparing ports of both devices, you can see Eee PC with 3 x usb, VGA out, SD, ethernet and audio ports where Cloudbook has 2 x usb, DVI out, SD/MMC, ethernet and audio ports. Not much difference again. Both have basic webcam, speakers and mic.
Both have wifi, but Eee PC has stronger/better signal strenght.
Here is a short video showing the the ports, keyboard and mouse
Let's check the internal features.
Asus Eee PC has 900MHz Intel Celeron (running 630MHz), Intel GMA 900 and 512MB RAM (MAX 2GB)
Everex Cloudbook uses 1.2GHz VIA, VIA UniChrome Graphics and 512MB RAM (MAX 1GB)
As I have used both platforms daily I can compare them easily. Cloudbook is a bit faster on processor but Eee PC wins on graphics side. If you upgrade Eee with 1GB or 2GB RAM, it is overall faster. Updating Cloudbook is not easy as you can't access RAM module without taking it apart.
Even though the Eee PC has better graphics performance, it's not as good for videos, if you need to store them locally. Eee has far less storage space, 2GB/4GB or 8GB depending on model, where Cloudbook has 30GB. But there is a difference on the storage media too. Eee uses SSD ( Solid State Drive ) which is very durable and fast flash memory. The 30GB drive on Cloudbook is conventional 1.8" hd which can be broken easily if it's dropped while spinning. Both devices have a slot for SD cards, so expanding the storage is easy.
What about battery life..
Everex is telling us that Cloubbook has 5 hour battery life with it's 4 cell battery. We know it's not true in real life. Testing on sister models (Easynote/Nanobook/Etc) and on other devices using same hardware indicates 3.5 hours on normal use.
Asus has listed 3.5 hours for 4G and 8G models and 2.8 hours for surf/2G models. In normal use those figures are what you would get.
Asus will also sell a 6 cell battery which would give about 5.5 hours/charge. That battery will make Eee only 10mm bigger so it would be a good buy for someone needing better battery life.
They both have their own version of Linux with many applications. I can't really compare those as Cloudbooks final version is not public yet. My experience with Eees Xandros build is very positive.
You can install different Linux builds on both and you could install XP on both devices, all drivers are available. As there is bigger hd on Cloudbook, you could even have Vista on it, but with 512MB RAM, it would be very slow.
So which one to buy?
If you need more storage and you can live with that mouse, the Cloudbook could be better..
If you like different colors, better design and feel, Eee PC is for you.
You need DVI and don't want to use dongles, take Cloudbook.
If you want durable SSD and you are ok using SD for storage ( or paying 499 for 8G ) you should shoose Eee PC
If you don't care about storage and just wan't small and cheap, Asus Eee 2g is the cheapest. ( $299 )
If you are thinking having XP on it (without any tweeking), choose Cloudbook or Eee PC 8G.
I chose Eee for it's durable SSD and better looks/feel.
There is also one really important factor: Eee PC community is HUGE. You can get help really easily. New apps, tips and how-to pages are everywhere. Cloudbook will get it's own community too, but it will never be as big.
No matter which one you get, you will enjoy the new feeling of mobile computing, without paying a lot!
Asus Eee PC
Asus Eee PC Details and Links at UMPCPortal
Everex Cloudbook Details and Links at UMPCPortal
Wednesday, January 30, 2008