Asus (or AsusTek), are famous for their range of computer motherboards (the big circuit board in a PC). Nowadays, they've broadened their range to other computing items such as flat screen monitors, PDAs and even laptops. Now, speaking of laptops, Asus released their Eee PC range of laptops and these were the first 'netbooks' on the market. A netbook is a laptop (or notebook) but smaller and cheaper than a standard laptop. It's always been the case of, the smaller the laptop, the higher the price tag, since they would usually be classed as 'Ultra Mobile' laptops and would be just as powerful if not more powerful than normal laptops, but Asus changed all that by introducing the Eee PC. There are various flavours of the Eee PC with price tags ranging from around £180 and screen sizes from 7" up to 10" odd. The main reason for having such a small laptop is for the portability. As the name suggests, these laptops' main purpose is to let people surf the 'net' while they're on the go so they were not made to particularly powerful.
The Eee PC comes in black, and even white so they have that elegant 'Mac' look. There are even a few other colours now. They are available with Linux as the operating system
instead of Microsoft Windows but there are many versions with Windows XP
now. There are also two different hard drive
technologies to choose from. They can come with SSD (Solid State Drive
) or a HDD (Hard Disk Drive
). A SSD is a drive much like what you would find in a USB flash drive
(one those small USB memory
stick thingies). These don't have moving parts so do not wear down and are less vulnerable to drops, and are in theory, faster than normal hard drives
. HDD is a drive containing a spinning disk much like PCs and most laptops. SSD storage is more expensive and so most of these versions have a lot less space than the HDD versions. i.e. 2GB up to a maximum of 40GB, with the Eee PCs.
REASON FOR CHOICE
The one I bought is the Eee PC 1000H, which is the 10.2", 80GB hard disk
version with Windows XP Home
pre-installed. I chose this one because I wanted a Windows version for compatibility, more space, longer battery life
and comfortable screen size with an acceptable screen resolution. Although Linux is supposedly faster and more stable than Windows, I opted for Windows so that I can install more software on the machine. There may be programs that I want to install on the laptop in the future that will not run on a Linux operating system
. I am a heavy Internet user so I do require a fair bit of space sometimes for my downloading, hence I wanted a larger hard drive, hence the choice for the HDD version.
I feel that a long battery life
is necessary for such a product as the whole purpose is to take the thing out with you, and more often than not, there won't be a mains plug to charge up the device when you're out. Lastly, as the device is meant for surfing the web, having a small screen and a low resolution does not make the web surfing experience particularly enjoyable. This version has a 10.2" screen, which is quite big compared to the 7" versions but I did not want a smaller screen if it meant that I couldn't at least get a 1024 x 600
screen resolution. Any lower would mean that I would have to keep scrolling left and right to view web pages because many pages would not fit into the screen. On top of that, the keyboard would be difficult to type with and funnily enough, battery life is worse because the battery would be smaller.
Not only that, but I also saw some YouTube videos with comparisons between the SSD and HDD version. The SSD, although in theory should be faster, the HDD version out performed the SSD version (People say Asus uses cheap SSD drives to keep the cost down) so performance was another factor that got me to choose this particular model in the range. The 1GB of RAM also seemed appropriate.
At first, I thought it looked pretty cool but on closer inspection, I've concluded that it's not the prettiest thing in the world despite having mine in a nice pearl white colour. For a start, the Eee logo on the top of the lid is rather ugly and spoils it a bit. Secondly, the frame around the screen is pretty wide, making it lose that bit of elegance. The pearl white is nice though and the keyboard area looks quite nice.
Although it is a small laptop, I found typing to be satisfactory. It's not as comfortable to type with than a large keyboard but I can still touch type with it, although my hands aren't that big, which probably helps. The left Ctrl key is at the very bottom right, where it should be so that's good as I hate laptops where they've put the Fn key there. The right Shift key is a bit harder to reach as it's a bit far to the right but is soon gotten used to.
One thing I have noticed is that when doing stuff, I do notice the hard disk is quite noisy. I also feel the performance could be better as it just doesn't seem 'smooth' when navigating. The tasks that I used it for were not particularly demanding but I can always hear the drive working away, which I can do without when I'm not really doing anything intensive. I don't know if it's because Asus used cheap drives again but with 1GB of RAM, I expected a little bit better.
I like the wireless connectivity capabilities of this laptop, as it has Bluetooth as well as Wireless (WiFi) connectivity. Bluetooth is useful to me as I sometimes have photos on my phone that I need to load onto a computer to email or upload somewhere. This saves me having to install software and plug a cable to my phone to get the pictures onto the computer. I also have the ability to connect to the Internet on my phone and then share the Internet with a computer to to enable Internet access via the phone's connection. This can be achieved over the Bluetooth as well if I don't have the phone cable, so again, very useful.
Although wireless connectivity is very standard in laptops these days, having the Draft-N wireless standard in this laptop means that the wireless network can have a longer range and faster transfer speeds. I have a wireless N router
at home and download speeds have been excellent when downloading from the Internet. I also seem to be able to make use of the Wireless N
speeds of 100Mbits upwards. I have also managed to connect to Wireless G
(54Mbits) networks without any problems so I am pleased with the connectivity.
It has a built-in SD Card reader
, which is nice to have and although SD Cards
are probably the most common type of memory card
, many people have digital cameras
that use other types of memory cards
. It's a nice option but I would have preferred for Asus to have put support for a few more different types of cards.
It is nice that it has a webcam built into the bezel of the screen but the picture quality is not very good, especially in low light. Although this is more of a gimmick, I'm still not too impressed with this particular feature, as there are similar spec'ed machines with better webcams.
The lack of an optical drive (normal with smaller laptops) means that you do need an external USB drive
, which needs to be purchased separately. I have one so that's not a problem but it does mean an extra expense of around £50 if you do not have one already or if you can't get the software over the Internet or over a network. Asus have included a Windows XP system restore
DVD, which obviously can't be used unelss you have an external drive
It does come with Star Office pre-installed, which is a nice touch as it saves me having to download and install Open Office. I've not really used it much but it can create and open MS Office
documents (except for Office 2007
I find that the battery life is no where near the 7 hours quoted if using it normally. It's more like 4 hours, which is still pretty good but I do find that the battery life drops quite quickly if using the laptop constantly. This all depends on the tasks I'm performing but in general, I feel the battery life is okay.
It came with a lint-free cloth and black slip case (with zip), which I thought was pretty good. When buying a laptop, I would not expect to receive either of these accessories.
- Wireless N Draft 2 wireless card
- Decent screen Resolution
- Good Battery Life (they quote 7 hrs)
- Comes with a slip case and cloth
- Can pick up finger prints quite easily but white version makes it less noticeable
- Multiple specifications available
- Relatively low cost
- Has built in webcam
- A bit ugly (especially compared to the Samsung nc10
- Not the lightest 10" netbook
on the market
- Touchpad lacks scrolling function
- SSD version slower than HDD version. HDD a bit noisy in HDD version.
- Lacks CD/DVD drive
(but very normal with netbooks)
- Webcam picture quality not very good
The specification of the 1000H is good and it does the job but there are better looking and better performing ones out there now so my advice is to look at the other ones. I originally paid £303 for mine but you can get that for around £270 now. Even Asus have released some slimmer versions of this netbook so those may be worth looking into. I have replaced my Eee PC 1000H with a Samsung nc10 now so would recommend that one instead.
Thanks for reading.
Atom 1.6GHz processor
10.2" Screen (1024 x 600 resolution)
Wireless N Draft 2.0 Wireless