0Samsung Galaxy S3Samsung Galaxy S3 ‘v’ Asus eeePC 901

There are plenty of reviews out there com­par­ing the latest phones, the latest tab­lets and the latest note­books, but very few ever ref­er­ence some­thing more than 18 months old.  Most people don’t upgrade their kit any­where near that fre­quently which makes the com­par­is­ons rather use­less.  In the 4–5 year time­frame which is a more typ­ic­al upgrade cycle for most people there have been huge changes to the com­put­ing power avail­able.

In June 2008 I was asked for help to choose a device for a fam­ily mem­ber which would meet basic online and app needs whilst being as port­able as pos­sible.  The Asus eeePC 700 had been released a year earli­er and the new 901 with the new Intel Atom pro­cessor had just become avail­able.  It did everything required — cap­able of run­ning Win­dows XP, with wire­less-n and at around 1Kg it was just power­ful enough, and impress­ively port­able.  Bat­tery life was way bey­ond any­thing else com­par­able and could only be matched by spend­ing an order of mag­nitude more.

Jump to June 2012 — a scant 4 years later and my mobile phone con­tract expires.  After long delib­er­a­tions I even­tu­ally opted for the Sam­sung Galaxy S3 over the HTC One X.  Hav­ing spet con­sid­er­able time look­ing at specs it dawned on me that super­fi­cially it had specs not all that dis­sim­il­ar to the good old eeePC.  Always inter­ested in the pro­gress of these things I did a quick com­par­is­on

Asus eeePC 901Sam­sung Galaxy S3
Date of releaseJun-08May-12
Screen res­ol­u­tion1024×600720×1280
RAM1Gb1Gb
Stor­age20Gb16–64Gb
CPUDual­Thread 1.6GHzQuad­Core 1.4GHz
Wire­less802.11n (draft)802.11n
weight1140g133g
dimen­sions225 x 165 x 35137 x 71 x 9
HDMI out­putNoYes
Cam­era1.3mpix8mpix

The specs speak for them­selves. The phone is much thin­ner, light­er and more power­ful. It comes with com­par­able stor­age and RAM and has bet­ter con­nectiv­ity and a bet­ter cam­era. The eeePC is of course still much more suit­able for work­ing on word or excel doc­u­ments, but it isn’t all that great for that itself.

I sus­pect that most eeePC’s were, like the one in my case, bought for basic inter­net access. Mod­ern smart­phones have made this func­tion com­pletely redund­ant. People need­ing to do ser­i­ous doc­u­ment work aren’t likely to opt for a net­book either — an ultra­book or sim­il­ar note­book is far more likely to be deemed suit­able because you just can’t get away from need­ing a good size phys­ic­al screen and real key­board. Whilst the demise of the net­book due to tab­lets was much exag­ger­ated, I believe the mod­ern smart­phone really will put an end to the net­book mar­ket almost com­pletely.

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