It can also be used as the ultimate guidebook. Before you go away just fill it with all information for the places you are going. Either in text files or download websites, so you can view offline. Sit on the beach and plan where your going to go next. The uses are almost endless in my opinion. The eee pc chargers are like phone chargers and are not the big bulky things they used to be. The fact they don't have a dvd drive is not really a negative for me. They days of the dvd drive are pretty much over nowadays, it's just not needed now that compact media is so cheap and available in such large sizes.
I have an ASUS EEEPC but it's the slightly larger (10" screen) model. My other laptop died and I had to finish a semester of full-time study before heading out travelling, so needed something that was compact and light with decent battery life yet still with decent memory.
My first hurdle was the lack of CD drive, but SD cards and USB sticks can overcome this, and tbh I like the idea of using SD cards for storing movies/pics etc (much smaller than CDs, don't get scratched, larger memory), however wish they were as cheap as CDs!!
I'm on my last 2 assignments right now (procrastinating!) and it has been excellent (although a couple of 'sticky key' moments which are apparently common with ASUS). If I wasn't heading out travelling I would definitely get an external keyboard (I already have a plug in mouse) as I'm starting to feel the pain of the smaller keyboard, but that is after a term of pretty much constant use.
Although it's small (about the size of an A4 sheet of paper) and fits in my handbag, it is more of a burden than I anticipated and with travel looming I am wondering if I should have gone for the smaller version, but as I am planning 'slow' travel (ie stopping to work (teach) in various places) so the larger memory and keypad etc will probably pay off.
I'm slightly nervous about taking it travelling. The last time I travelled the most valuable thing I had was an old mobile (and it got stolen on the London Underground!) but I don't think you can blanket ban the idea of taking a laptop. Like sleeping bags, fanny packs or the old headtorch - some take, some don't. It depends on you and the type of travel you are going to be doing!