Asus – Eee PC 1000HE review

Eee PC netbook with a new processor and great battery life
Photo of Asus – Eee PC 1000HE
£330

Asus was responsible for launching the Eee PC phenomenon onto the world, and the company has not stopped trying to innovate. The Eee PC 1000HE comes with a purported 9.5 hours of battery life, which is a stunning claim indeed.

In fact, we found it to be somewhat doubtful. We ran the Battery Eater benchmarking software and found that the battery managed 6 hours 35 minutes on its Classic test and 7 hours 33 minute when we switched to the less battery-intensive Reader’s test. These are good benchmark results for a netbook, but nowhere near the 9.5 hours claimed by Asus.

However, the battery claim is not the only thing of note with regard to this netbook. Importantly, it runs Intel’s new netbook-specific processor, the Atom N280. This has slightly improved specifications when compared to the currently ubiquitous N270, specifically a 1.66Ghz clock speed and 667Mhz frontside bus as compared to the N270′s 1.6Ghz and 533Mhz. It ensures that the Eee PC 1000HE runs that little bit more smoothly than the current competition.

Usability is important for any computer and netbooks often fall over in this regard thanks to their small keyboard. Overall the keyboard here is 92 percent the size of generic notebook keyboards and this should help people touch-type with relative ease.

Also, Asus has chosen to use an isolated key design, so that individual keys are separated from each other. This gives the keyboard a stylish look and also helps with typing accuracy. Our main quibble is that there is a fair amount of flex in the keybed, which the heavier-handed in particular may not like.

This is a shame, as the rest of the build quality is very good. The Eee PC 1000HE is available in both black and white. Our white sample had the usual Eee PC shiny finish and rounded edges, making it distinctive to look at. And, keyboard aside, the build is solid.

The screen is a standard 10-inch affair, with 1024 x 600 pixels on offer. Its viewing angles are fine and it is sharp and bright. There’s nothing exceptional about the ports and connectors, which are netbook standard fare: three USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, VGA out, microphone and headset and an SD card port.

The 160GB hard drive is a healthy size, though. Windows XP Home ran smoothly enough thanks to 1GB of RAM, and 802.11 a, b, g and N WiFi is here as well as Bluetooth. A 1.3-megapixel webcam sits above the screen.

Above the keyboard are four shortcut buttons. One toggles the screen on and off, another changes its resolution and the remaining two can be configured to launch applications of your choice.

Company: Asus


Verdict
Asus is proving that there is plenty of life in the Eee PC format yet. The 1000HE is pricey but its specifications are high end. We just wish Asus had been a little more realistic with its battery life claim, which we found good but not as great as suggested.