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Unchain yourself from the desk with the latest in on-the-go computing

Best of all, your data is always safe. Even if your laptop gets lost or stolen, your cloud data is still safely tucked away on the internet.

Who wants to be stuck at a desk all day long? With highly portable computers like those in the ASUS Eee PC range, there really is no need to be tied to one location, particularly as a new range of internet services has made these mini laptops even more useful when you’re on the move. These types of services are called ‘cloud applications’, and they will let you do anything from checking your email to storing gigabytes of files that you can access using any internet connection.
Cloud applications bring a few important benefits to mini laptops. Since your applications and data are stored on the internet, you don’t need to take up valuable hard-disk space with programs and files. This also means you can access — and share — your data using any computer with an internet connection, which is great if you use both a desktop and a portable PC. Best of all, your data is always safe. Even if your laptop gets lost or stolen, your cloud data is still safely tucked away on the internet.
With mini-laptops like the Asus Eee PC 1000HE now offering long enough battery life to work all day away from mains power, having access to both your and other people’s data, wherever your travels may take you, is becoming more important than ever. Welcome to the Cloud!

12 top cloud applications – Unleash your laptop with our pick of the best Cloud applications


There are a number of free web-based email services, all offering varying amounts of storage space. Google Mail is perhaps the most flexible – it currently provides over 7GB of online storage for your messages and you can access them via a web browser, or an email client using POP or IMAP (so there’s no need to store anything on your PC).
Windows Live Hotmail offers 5GB of email storage and it too lets you use a web browser or an email client to access your messages. Like Google Mail, it also lets you consolidate other non-web mail accounts to one inbox, so you only have one account to check for new mail. And as with Google Mail, you can integrate your email with instant-messaging services.


Cloud calendars have the advantage of letting you share your plans with anyone over the web, making it easy to plan meetings and events with other people — plus, as long as you’re carrying your ASUS laptop, UMPC or Smartphone, you’ll always know where you should be.
Yahoo! Mail lets you manage appointments, reminders and regular events like birthdays, and send reminders by email or Yahoo! Messenger. MSN Calendar ties into your Hotmail web mail account and offers a variety of sophisticated functions, such as colour-coded appointments and calendar sharing. Similarly, Google Calendar links into a Google Mail account to offer much the same features, as well as Smartphone synchronisation.


While ASUS Eee PC models are capable of running office-suite software like Microsoft Office, it still needs to be installed on the hard disk of every computer you want to use them on. Cloud applications do not — you just need a web browser and an internet connection.
Zoho offers a full suite of free online productivity applications, including business tools like web conferencing, databases and project management. Since documents are stored online, Zoho is perfect when you need to collaborate with colleagues, wherever they may be.
Google offers a similarly useful way to work online with its free Google Docs service. It doesn’t have quite the same wide range of applications as Zoho, but it offers a good word processor, spreadsheet and presentation program. Docs allows you to create and store up to 10,000 documents, create PDFs of your work and upload other PDF files to create an online library.
Adobe has created some handy online tools too, including Buzzword – a word processor that is similar to those provided by Zoho and Google. Adobe has also produced an online version of its popular Photoshop image-editing software, which allows you to edit photos without installing a thing — perfect if you want to edit digital photos on your Eee PC before uploading them to a web site.


Recognising that not everyone wants to store their valuable data on their laptop, ASUS provides free online Eee Storage with Eee PC models. The amount of storage depends on the model, but you get at least 10GB that you can access from any computer.
If you need much more online storage, services like Humyo and DropBox charge a monthly or annual fee for up to 100GB of online storage. Whichever service you use, though, cloud-based storage makes it easy to share files with friends and colleagues — they can simply download them from your public online folder.

Internet anywhere

You can connect to the internet almost anywhere these days. There are Wi-Fi hotspots all over the place and 3G coverage in the UK is wide. All you need is a suitably equipped ASUS Eee PC or laptop.


Whether you use free hotspots or pay-as-you-go or subscription services, Wi-Fi is a good option for most people. All ASUS Eee PCs and laptops have either 802.11b/g or 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi and some models, like the Eee PC 1000HG, have WiMAX.

Mobile phone + Bluetooth

If you have a 3G mobile phone with Bluetooth, you can use it as a 3G modem via a Bluetooth connection to your Eee PC or ASUS laptop — just be sure to check that your phone’s terms and conditions allow it.

3G USB dongle

Mobile providers such as Orange and T-Mobile sell 3G USB adaptors (‘dongles’)that plug into an Eee PC and provide access to mobile broadband services.
Deals start at around £30 for the dongle, with £10 buying 1GB or more of data.

Onboard 3G

The ASUS Eee PC 1000H and Eee PC T91 have optional built-in 3G, so you don’t need a dongle, but you will still need a 3G SIM card. Orange offers the Eee PC 901 with built-in 3G for free with its mobile broadband tariff (

Offline access

Although cloud applications are stored on the internet, that doesn’t mean you need internet access to use them. Some offer an offline access mode that let you use productivity software, and read and write email, wherever you are. Your changes are saved on your computer and then synchronised with your online services when you next log on.

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