In order to sync the Eee Note to your PC, you must attach it via USB. As soon as you plug in to a PC, you will get a menu on the tablet asking you how you would like to use your connection. Options are to install the Eee Note software (good for the first time you connect), enter sync mode, enter SD card reader mode, enter PC digitizer mode (for using your tablet as a Windows pointing device) or simply charge the device in Eee Note Mode.
Once you’ve installed the Eee Note Sync software and attached your Eee Note to your PC in sync mode, you can run the software to back up or restore either the entire contents of your Eee Note’s memory or individual files (photos, notes, memos, etc) you created. Either way the files get copied to a folder on your PC’s hard drive, which you designate.
If you choose backup, every page of every note file is saved as a separate GIF file, which in our view, is extremely lame not only because there’s no relationship between the pages, but also because GIF is a choppy image format. We’d prefer something better like PNG. As mentioned above, audio files end up in .arm format, which we were unable to play.
If you choose export, the note files end up getting stored as .nte files, another format we didn’t know what to do with. We really wish ASUS included software for viewing / playing the files it exports on your PC.
We also wish that ASUS would allow you to sync your notes over Wi-Fi or store them in the cloud, something the ASUS site claims is possible saying:
PC connectivity comes courtesy of USB, but built-in Evernote support (www.evernote.com) also makes two-way synchronisation with other computers in the cloud a cinch.
As it stands, the Wi-Fi connection only works with the rather useless web browser. The real benefit of having Internet connectivity would be to store your notes online, not view a few web pages in black and white. We assume this functionality is coming.
ASUS claims that the Eee Note’s 3700 mAH battery will get 10 hours of battery life with wireless on and 13.5 hours with it off–and we believe it. While we were unable to run an automated battery test on the device, it sipped power very slowly in our usage, lasting several hours even after we started at only 40 percent of charge.
The device is programmed to go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity (you can set the timeout in the settings) and we found that even after leaving it asleep overnight, the charge level was pretty much the same. In other words, if you use the Eee Note on a regular basis, you won’t necessarily need to power it off.
ASUS hasn’t published what processor it uses, but an earlier review by bit-tech states that it uses a 624-MHz Marvell ARM11 CPU. It has 4GB of internal memory and an microSD card reader that can handle cards up to 16GB in capacity.
Overall, the system provided decent responsiveness, but we were frustrated whenever we had to wait several seconds for an app to load. It seems like low-end Android phones open apps faster.
However, other than in the web browser (which is quite sluggish), the apps themselves worked smoothly. As we mentioned above, though, we did notice a line drawing maybe a fraction of a second after we touched the screen.
We really like the design and the concept behind the Eee Note EA800 and hope ASUS will take this product seriously enough to work on its flaws. If they could make the note-taking software syncable over Wi-Fi with a serious note-taking program on the PC or Web, give it OCR, and allow it to sync with audio recordings, they’d have a killer device for students and business users. They would also have to deal with the poor recording quality, which we’re not sure software can solve. Even in a world where sexy color tablets grab all the headlines, ASUS just needs to do some tweaking to create something really special.