So now that I’ve had my EEE PC for a couple weeks I figured I’d write a review of it. I’m also going to post this on the Amazon.com page for it.
Here are the basic features of the 1000HE:
- 10” Display
- 1.66Hhz Intel Atom N280
- 1GB Ram (which I upgraded to 2GB for about $20)
- 160GB Hard Drive (not sure of the speed)
- Bluetooth, 1.3Mp Camera, 3.2 lbs
- 9.5 Hours battery life
So here goes the review:
I’d spent about a month searching for the perfect netbook. I’m working on a novel and I want something I can easily carry with me anywhere, and if I lost/broke it I wouldn’t be either out a lot of $ or lose data. I had a few requirements: low price (< $400), XP, and a SSD. Unfortunately the SSD option put every available netbook out of my price range. I also like the Dell Mini 10 but it hadn’t shipped yet. I also looked hard at the netbooks with built-in 3G but I balked at the $60 for 24-months additional cost. The reason I wanted a SSD is because I’m considering taking the machine on bike rides or hikes and I wanted the durability. When I finally gave up on the idea, everything fell into place quickly. The feature that finally made me pull the trigger was when I discovered that this machine claims to have 9.5 hours of battery life. That made my quest for SSD moot. After all, if I kill the hard drive, I can always buy a SSD replacement drive.
My first impression of the machine is that it’s very capable. In terms of speed it seems no different than any other laptop, in fact sometimes it seems a bit faster. I haven’t downloaded anything to it which I think helps. The only thing I’ve put on there is Chrome, IE8, disk encryption software, and the Windows Live suite. No instant messagers, no media players, nothing that’s going to hog CPU/memory/disk access. I don’t have anti-virus on it…because I don’t plan to download anything. This has kept it running smoothly. The screen is bright without any pixel issues, and the case is actually pretty nice. Everything I use is online: email, word processor, spreadsheet, even music.
I did add the 2GB memory upgrade for $20 but given what I’m running I don’t even know if it was necessary. I use Chrome for almost everything since it has a small memory footprint and it’s faster than any other browser out there. The keyboard is a little small but it only took a day to get used to. I really love the touch pad. It has gestures similar to what I had with the MacBook Pro I used on my last job. I turned off the magnify because it had weird results, and now it's great. The net card seems good and I haven’t had any connection issues at home or at hot spots. It’s hard to know if you really get 9.5 hours of battery because I’ve never used it that long but I bet it’s pretty close.
I’ve only had a couple issues so far. First of all, the charger is extremely weak. It seems to give up the ghost if you’re changing and running at the same time. The solution is to unplug the charger for a while then re-plug it in. I’m going to request a replacement from ASUS just in case this one is actually faulty. The other issue is that if you’re running on battery, you have to turn up the processor to high-performance to view online videos. I wish it would do that automatically.
I’m really happy with it and I’d recommend it highly for anyone looking for a take-anywhere internet machine.