ASUS Eee Top ET1602 - Touching your Eee

Exterior Peeks

Exterior Peeks

Like so many gadgets nowadays, glossy is the name of the game and you'll find the Eee Top ET1602 covered completely in shiny black gloss. We have to admit that it does look nice and the surface is surprisingly fingerprint resistant. We could get to slowly like products that feature pretty glossy surfaces which don't end up covered in smudges.

The screen didn't do too badly here either. Being a touchscreen, it was still smudged after use, but it was not that noticeable. Also, in keeping with the touch theme of the Eee Top, ASUS has included buttons for the volume control and screen brightness on the bottom left corner.

These buttons are conveniently placed just below the screen for you to adjust the volume and brightness settings of the Eee Top.

Form factor wise, the unit maintains a relatively slim profile, but this is subject to your definition of slim. It's not amazingly slim of course but it's not that much wider than a regular LCD monitor, so ASUS has gotten something right during the engineering. There's also no dock to hide the very slim keyboard and mouse, but we're guessing that despite its touchscreen capabilities, you'll still need to have both input devices around.

You will need the keyboard and mouse to navigate around and type with as the touchscreen doesn't quite cut it here.

Strangely enough, the ET1602 is running on Windows XP, but not a tablet-based version of the OS, which would have been more touch-friendly. Thankfully, ASUS has included a program featuring big friendly icons that are hard to miss even with pudgy fingers. This 'Easy Mode' program (last seen on their Xandros-based Eee PCs) has most of the commonly used applications pre-loaded as part of the touch interface, but for the life of us, we couldn't find a way to easily add or remove applications from the program. This is inferior to HP's TouchSmart series, which featured a customizable user interface.

The Easy Mode GUI with big touchable icons.

Sound quality was generally decent and we daresay you'll easily enjoy watching a movie or two on the Eee Top as long as you stay far away from 1080p HD movies which the system was unable to handle. 720p movies though, are fine and the ET1602's native resolution of 1366 x 768 is definitely sufficient for such needs.

The speakers feature surround sound technology from SRS and the speaker quality was also decent at max volume when we did a quick test.

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