Netbooks have reached the markets some time ago, starting with models such as the EEE 2G. But, believe it or not, compared to the EEE 1000HE – these seem more like toys than actual computers.

The 1000HE is a revolutionary device. Sure, in that price-class you can get a real (low-end) “laptop”. But they are bigger and heavier, and their batteries don’t last even closely that long. That’s why the 1000HE is considered a netbook. It’s tiny, portable, and can work for almost a whole day. Let’s take a closer look:

Design/Quality

8.5/10

The 1000HE definitely does a good job at looking stylish. Sure, it’s a subjective topic, though compared to other EEEs this netbook is on the better half. Also the manufacturing quality is high, I had no troubles with anything getting loose or stuff like that. So be assured you won’t run into bad surprises with this one.

Keyboard

10/10

Awesome. Just awesome. You can type on the keyboard, which they claim to be about 92% of a full-sized keyboard, just as fast as on a normal one. The keys have spaces between them, which makes typing very accurate. You can compare the keyboard to a MacBook. I also tried out a EEE 901. Absolutely horrible. After using it for a while, keys might start getting loose, and pressing one side of the keyboard makes the opposite side go down. Nothing like that on the 1000HE. Actually, I’m typing this whole review on the 1000HE! Once you get into typing on that keyboard, you’ll be able to slide from one key to a neighboring one, bringing your typing to astronomical speeds.

Camera

8/10

An integrated webcam is a good thing by itself, and the 1000HE gives you a whole 1,3 Mpix resolution – far more than the 0,3 of older models. The camera does its job just as any other would do. Sometimes you can experience lags (when recording, it CAN even go down to 1fps), but this is rather on the software-side than on the hardware one. For Skype and similar activities it’s just perfect.

Battery life

6/10

Asus promises you 9.5h, but using Linux (Easy Peasy, which is the Ubuntu Netbook Remix) I’ve never gotten that far. Some users claim to even get 10.5 hours on a regular basis, but I usually get around 5h 50min with everything turned off. This is still far more than other netbooks can get you, even with or without Linux, though it’s less than what it said it would give you. I’ve charged it overnight, and I’m able to use it almost the whole day without having to worry about recharging.

Card Reader

10/10

Does what it’s supposed to do, nothing special here. The 1000HE has a SD-card reader on board.

Connectivity

9/10

The 1000HE comes with three USB ports, an wired network port, Video out and a microphone and headphone jack (+ a Kingston Lock). What people might miss is a Firewire connection, though I can live without it. I like that none of the connections are on the back, so no cables will break in case you lift up your laptop by the front.

Touchpad

7/10

Eh, it’s not that of a nightmare. Yeah, I actually started using command line applications more often than before, just to avoid having to use the touchpad. But after a while, you get used to it, and don’t notice it that much anymore. At home, i got a little USB mouse I connect, and even than it’s kind of awkward navigating on such a small screen. But you should be fine.

Wireless/Bluetooth

10/10

Works just fine, no issues here. Not even software-wise when installing Linux.

Weight

8/10

You might be a little surprised that the 1000HE actually has some substantial weight, but it’s not really impairing anything so it should be alright.

Case

9.5/10

Very nice idea to include that in the box, perfect if you want to carry your EEE in a backpack without it getting scratched. It’s not a hardcase, but perfect for most of us.

RAM/HDD

8/10

Comes preloaded with 1GB of RAM, and while people sometimes replace it with 2GB – I’ve never had any problems with just one. The 160GB are really great compared to other netbooks, as some of these only have 4GB SSDs. I’m sure a SSD is faster and more reliable, but what beats taking your whole music library with you everywhere you go?

Screen

8/10

Screen looks pretty fine, though has an awkward resolution of 1024×600. You’ll get used to that pretty quickly though. The screen does not incredibly well outside, but is still definitely readable. Browsing on such a small screen might be a little bit difficult, even in full screen mode, but it works.

Noise

9.5/10

Perfectly fine, almost never ever hear anything. Perfect for e.g. school, or meetings. Only occasionally you might notice it’s on.

Software

Now this is the best part – I personally have nothing again Windows, but I installed Easy Peasy, which is a Ubuntu-based EEE-optimized Linux distribution.

It works perfectly fine. The boot time might be a little high, after installing a lot of stuff – between 1-2 minutes. But since I usually just put it to sleep rather than turn it off completely, this is not an issue for me.

The Netbook Remix Launcher is a good idea, though I find myself using the standard mode on a day-to-day basis. I’m sure it just depends on the kind of stuff you want to do on your laptop.

I recommend the following applications:

- Dropbox: An awesome way of syncing your files, especially useful on a device like that.
– Tomboy: You’re netbook is everywhere with you, and you want to be able to take notes quickly.
– Gnome Do: Interesting approach of doing stuff. With this you’re able to accomplish tasks very quickly.

Of course this list could go on and on, like about which music player, instant messenger or web browser to use. (I use Banshee, Pidgin and Firefox.) This is all up to everybody’s own opinion.

Conclusion

Let me point out what the 1000HE can and can’t do:

Pros/Ways to use

- Awesome keyboard
– Writing, taking notes, …
– Listening to music
– Watching videos
– Browsing the web (quickly)
– Internet (video) calls
– Email, IM, …
– Organizing photographs (the card reader is a blessing, now you can take the EEE with you whenever you go out taking lots of pictures and archive them on the 160GB harddrive)

Neither really good nor really bad

- Battery life
– Screen
– Speakers

Cons/Things you can’t do

- Run software that requires a big screen
– Advanced gaming: Can’t do much more than some basic chess and so on games

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