Thursday, October 29, 2009
A few months ago, I picked up an Eee PC 701SD from mwave.com for a scant $120 shipped. Yeah, it only has a 900 MHz CPU and a 8GB SSD, but it runs XP well. The price is not a bad deal for ANY complete PC, I'd say. But what to do with it? I already have a customized Eee PC 901 that I love. I take the 901 with me wherever and whenever I need to compute away from home. Since my mobile needs are already being met, I decided that this 701SD will be my project machine. The first mod I'd try would be a touchscreen. I found a nice one on DealExtreme.com for $35 with free shipping. The catch is that most items from this site ship from Hong Kong. That means that it took 3 1/2 weeks to arrive to me on the east coast of the US. A bit long for my liking, but oh well. What arrived was a 7" touchscreen and a combo USB hub and touch controller, along with various cables. No instructions or drivers were provided, but they were easy enough took look up on the net. It took me about 2 hours of total labor to install and configure. Basically plug and play.
I have to say that I'm rather impressed with what I recieved for $35. The touchscreen works as advertised, and the driver software has a nice config tool. It just works. A machine like this would cost hundreds if I bought it in a store. I built it for $155. The only cosmetic issue is that the bezel bulges slightly around the screen and on the side. No big deal. Also, using a stylus is better than your finger for precision computing. Having said that, this machine would do very well in any number of applications in home or workplace scenarios. Overall, I'm happy with it.