Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Asus Eee PC and Everex Cloudbook. Which one is for you?


Let's compare these $399 mobile computers head to head..

Continue reading..

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.


Software/operating systems

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.


Bottom line

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

Everex Cloudbook


Asus Eee PC Details and Links at UMPCPortal

Everex Cloudbook Details and Links at UMPCPortal






Related News:

27 comments:

ilox said...

jkk, great comparison report. Liked the balanced view of each machine's strengths and weaknesses.
I use my e3 for editing Word documents and I am having trouble pointing the cursor to the right letter or character. That trackpad on the Cloudbook, it looks too small to be useful for anything other than gross selection of icons. Just how useful is the trackpad on the Cloudbook?

JAmerican said...

You forgot to mention the camera on the Cloudbook is better. It's 1.3MP. The Cloudbook was built to run Windows XP as the reference design runs XP. Also the Cloudbook has Bluetooth and the SD card slot is not only SD but SD and Memory Stick. Are you sure you used this device? You missed out on some key details of it and I haven't even used it.

As for apps and hacks, in time the Cloudbook community will grow. It's not like the device is an ARM based machine. Its an x86 machine meaning if its running Windows, it can run a Windows app that isn't too demanding. I don't see where the fear of a smaller community would fit into this. Seems irrelevant.

I think the Cloudbook is the better machine. I haven't used it but for what the EEE is offering, Cloudbook gives you more for the same price. Also, the fact that the Cloudbook has a smaller battery mAh rating and the same batt life shows how much more efficient the device is over the Celeron based EEE. If anyone were to replace the HDD, the batt life would improve much more.

JKK said...

Everex site say: .3MP Webcam... for me, both are basic.

I know Nanobook etc. have bluetooth, but Everex has not included that to specs.

I said SD/MMC .. MMC is not Memory Stick, only sony uses it ;)

I have based my post to Easynote model and others with same hardware

Eee PC looks to sell over 100 times more, so community will be bigger. Eee is also available many more contries..

Cloudbook commutiny will grow, but will never be as big.

Like i said, some will like Eee and some will like Cloudbook. I think it's really good that you find it good device for you!

btw. SSD would make battery life about 7% to 10% better.. about 20 mins.. I have SSD on my T770, 1,2GHz via..
but they cost still way too much..

.. i didn't say Eee is better.. it's better for me.

JAmerican said...

Everex either changed it last minute or made a typo.

There press release states the camera is 1.3MP and their Product specs state that the card reader supports Memory Stick Pro (and MMC which means MultiMedia Card) as well as SD...

http://www.everex.com/press/Everex%20CloudBook%20CE1200V%20Detailed%20Specification-v1.1.pdf

http://www.everex.com/press/press_release_everex_cloudbook.doc

That's why its called a 4-in-1 card reader and not SD card reader.

They did not include the Camera to their official product specs but it does exist.

As for the community again, I would be worried if this device was like a PSP and the PSP modding community didn't flourish but this is a x86 device so that's not as big of a deal.

JAmerican said...

As for Bluetooth, if you check the FCC listing for the Cloudbook as well as the keyboard for the Cloudbook, pressing Fn + F2 enables Bluetooth.

https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=633777&fcc_id='EUNCE261A'

http://www.everex.com/press/everex_cloudbook_CE1200V_photo4_ss.jpg

Look at the F2 button in the pic above and below...

http://www.mobilecomputermag.co.uk//images/stories/reviews/2007/11/easynote-xs/keyboard/4-easynote-keyboard.jpg

Even though this is the Packard Bell model, you can clearly see the BT image on the F2 key in both pics.

Trust me, I've done my research with this thing and almost know it inside out.

JKK said...

I trust you ;)

Could you trust me too, I have it all here at my site too.

Nanobook

I hope it will have bluetooth, but as they don't have it on their specs it's hard to tell..

JAmerican said...

I trust you. I really liked your touchscreen mod. Gave me the inspiration to get a UMPC. I just know that I can fill 4GB in not even a week.

I just wanted to straighten some things from your review. I agree that Everex has been putting me and other Cloudbookers into a loop with the changing release dates and the confusion regarding Camera quality, and BT.

Phen said...

quote - "I just know that I can fill 4GB in not even a week."

With what? movies? songs?
What im trying to say is that if you're buying this thing to use day-in, day-out it's probably not a good choice

This is a super-portable device for text editing (notes in class, etc) and surfing the web etc.

I'm just curious what you'd be putting on this computer that would take so much space. Of course i'd say that 95% of the EEE community have 4 - 8GB SDHC cards expanding the memory to a level that's plenty for the intended use of this product.
and yes, i have an EEE and enjoy it, but along with the whole 'community' issue i really dont see alot of support moving towards cloudbook's linux build and other builds/kernels/driver hacks that take time and people who know their sh!t.

anyways, no name calling here, but i'll take an SSD over spinning hdd anytime (did i mention the heat putout by a regular hdd? meaning fans etc.. )

lschiedel said...

I am curious as to how you would compare these two machines against the Archos PMPs especially the 7" model 705.
The 705 with a 30GB drive is about the same price but has touchscreen instead of a clam-shell with keyboard and has an ARM CPU with a DSP to speed up video playback.
How would the Cloudbook compare as a portable video player plus WIFI internet browser plus the occasional Flash game to the 705?
My biggest concern is video playback speed/smoothness as well as how this machine is for holding while standing (say at a bus stop or while on train). Weight/size could also be an issue.
For internet browsing the keyboard seems a good plus, but how does the little touchpad compare in mobile use to a 7" touchscreen.
For games and other software this seems to kill the 705.

turn_self_off said...

hmm, that small mouse of the couldbook could force people to learn more hotkeys ;)

Anonymous said...

it's good to have a greater choice in this rather newly emerged market for CLUMPCs.

both machines have their advantages, however, i'm very disappointed that 'real world' tests don't even remotely match the advertised 5 hrs battery life. one of the strongest sales arguments turns out to be a hoax?

30 GB disk space is nice alright, but personally i prefer the robustness and superior performance of an SSD over a hard disc in a UMPC.

if i were to compete with ASUS i'd try to beat them on battery life and screen size.

so, as of now, my vote goes to the ASUS eee PC.

Anonymous said...

Great comparison minus the grammatical errors. Thanks a lot JKK.

HGomez said...

Great comparison! I really had to do my own comparison a while back as well and came to the same conclusion. IMHO, the trackpad, non-SSD, and wifi quality were the keypoints for me.

JAmerican said...

A lot of people mention performance but performance for what? Without a lot of SSD space, the only performance you'll be looking at is opening Word or OpenOffice. Most people have external HDDs with isn't very portable and goes against the whole anti-HDD mentality that people keep pushing when referencing the EEE PC. I still think its too early to use SSD. The last time I used such little storage space was with my 3GB Windows 95 Machine back in the days of dial-up.

Lewis said...

@Jamerican yes the ssd drive is small but what you are forgetting is that it has a sd slot so you can use a couple 16gb sd cards with it and get more than enough storage, I dont think many ppl are gonna use this as their machine. I know im not,this will supplement my desktop for when im out and about eg at my mums or uni where i maybe want to surf, write up reports or watch maybe a movie or 2. I also have my ipod on me 24/7 so it can hook up and i have a mini entertainment center! Damn i cant wait to get mine :)

lewis said...

whoops meant "main machine" really need to proof check postings!

brie987 said...

I think this was the best comparison of the two machines I have read thus far! Really great and the contribution of comments really, really help with my choice. Ill be getting Asus 8gb bump it up to 2gb ram and 16gb card. I'm new to this site and jkk I definitely will be back. Again fantastic review!! One question, there was some comments I have read about the Asus getting pretty hot, is this true and if it does is it really uncomfortable? Thanks.

weld3z said...

im confused between them i think i will wait for the 8gb

Bungle said...

JAmerican, I see a lot of people modding the EEE to include further internal storage to prevent the need to have an external drive.

I myself have 36GB of storage in my EEE - yes it is mods that cost money, etc, and I've only done it 'because I can', however either way it breaks the storage limits and I can now dual boot XP and Xubuntu, run Office 2007, Open Office et al without the need for external storage.

All that said, I haven't used a Cloudbook so can't compare overall.

Christian said...

great review
thinking of picking up an asus eee next month :)
wish it had a bigger screen, but i can live with the 7 inch :P

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when the 8GB Galaxy black ePC will be available?

mary said...

Thank you for doing an even-handed review of the two subnotebooks. I've been going back and forth over which one to purchase. Unfortunately, a lot of the initial reviews are waay out of my scope -- I have no intention of playing Halo or installing Windows on a tiny portable! Based on my computer needs, which were affirmed in the last part of your review I will stick with the 4G EeePC. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks kkk. This is so far the best comparison of the Cloudbook and the Eee PC on the web including videos of Asia and English-Europe.

CC

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I just want to use an ASUS eee purely for writing; only storing a few text files and surfing the internet. What do you guys think the cheapest model I can use is? Do I need to get the extra 8gb when I buy it or can I get it later if needed? Thanks!

Gab said...

you are being soooooo unfair, everything on the eee is perfect, and the cloudbook sucks?
What was that bull with the battery life? "we know that it's really 3 hrs while the eee doesn't get owned?

Anonymous said...

Wow thats great review. Could i be able to run Warcraft3 or maybe Warcraft2 on these babys?

Andreya said...

Hi Nice Blog .Setting the backlight to “always on” will significantly reduce your ipod battery life. Only use the backlight when necessary.

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