You’ll easily lose it if you’re trying to count the number of Eee PC variants available in the market. However, the newest entrant 1000HE, which launched a month back in India has distinct qualities that sets it apart from the rest of the Eee PC clan. First and foremost, Asus’ first Eee PC to sport Intel’s N280 Atom processor, secondly, the chiclet styled keyboard and third, its whopping battery life that claims up to 9.5 hours in a single charge.
Before we jump in the review, here are the official specs:
OS: Windows XP Home
Display: 10” LED Backlight WSVGA screen (1024×600)
CPU: Intel Atom N280
Memory: 1GB (DDR2)
Wireless Data Network: WLAN 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth2.1 + EDR
Storage: 160GB HDD + 10GB Eee Storage
Camera: 1.3M Pixel
Audio: Hi-Definition Audio CODEC, Stereo speaker and Mic
I/O ports: VGA Port, 3 USB 2.0, LAN RJ-45, 2 Audio Jacks (Head Phone / Mic-in)
Card Reader: MMC/ SD(SDHC)
Battery: 6-Cell Li-ion Battery
Dimensions: 266mm(W) x 191.2mm(D) x 28.5mm~ 38mm(H)
Colors: Pearl White, Black , Blue, Golden, Pink, Silver
The 1000HE is a smartly designed netbook. It tucks the high capacity battery nicely so you don’t see any protrusion at the back. Aesthetically, 1000HE is not a head turner but its high gloss lid with the palm rest supporting the glossiness and brushed aluminum click buttons make it look appealing. The I/O ports appear on both the sides of the netbook.
On the left side there is a single USB 2.0 port, RJ45, security lock and audio jacks. The other side is taken by 2 USB 2.0 ports, a card reader, VGA and charging slot.
The chicletized keyboard is a nice welcome to the Eee PC line. The keys are well spaced out enabling the user to make less typing errors. Overall, typing on a chiclet keyboard is good and does not take much time of the user to get used to it.
Another improvement you’ll notice is the placement of the right Shift key. Its taken more to the left which is a good thing but I feel a larger right Shift key would have been better instead of the big left one.
Good thing about the 1000HE trackpad is that it supports multitouch gestures. Multitouch supports up to 3 fingers and allows user to do a lot of things. For instance, scrolling two fingers lets the user scroll the page or swiping three fingers horizontally allows to switch between applications.
You need not be a rocket scientist to upgrade the 1000HE. Opening the two screws at the bottom reveals the HDD and one slot of RAM which can easily swapped with a high capacity component.
1000HE has a new N280 processor that helps to fare better than its N270 counterparts. However, the performance bump is substantial. It can nicely handle web browsing, editing/viewing office documents and image editing all at the same time.
The videos on the small 10-inch 1024X600 resolution screen work well but just don’t expect it to be your portable HD powerhouse. It manages to pull 720p without losing many frames but a 1080p video is a big no-no.
Super Hybrid Engine (SHE) – 1000HE’s extra ordinary battery life is contributed by Asus’ proprietary SHE software. It automatically helps to underclock or overclock the netbook by selecting three different modes – Super Performance, High Performance and Power Saving.
The Super Performance mode is the highest option the netbook offers and runs predominantly at a clock speed at around 1.1GHz but in demanding situations, it goes up to 1.7 – 1.72GHz.
High Performance is a balanced mode where the machine runs at around 1 – 1.1GHz but raises up to almost 1.66GHz when needed.
Lastly, the power saving option heavily underclocks the netbook. Its idle clock speed hovers around 750 – 800MHz while around a gig during crunch times.
Prolonged battery life is the USP of this netbook. But does it deliver? The stock 1000HE battery is a 6-cell one rated at 8700mAh 62Wh. We tested the battery with four applications running all the time (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Staroffice Writer), Wi-Fi on and display brightness set at 50%. These are the findings:
Super Performance – 5 hours 45 minutes
High Performance – 6 hours 30 minutes
Power Saving – 7 hours 35 minutes
As you can see, none of the modes came close to the promised 9.5 hours. However, with low brightness and less number of applications running in the background, I think it can easily reach the promised mark.
The netbook is priced Rs. 25,000 plus taxes in India or less than $400 in US, but whatever the price difference, Asus have got a winner in their hands. If you’re a sucker for productivity and want an equally good battery life, keyboard and design, 1000HE is the way to go.
Excellent Battery life
Chiclet styled keyboard
Glossy surface prone to fingerprints
Small right Shift Key