by Kevin O'Brien
The new Eee PC 1000HA is the latest budget netbook model to hit the ASUS lineup. It offers similar features to the already popular Eee PC 1000H, but at a lower retail price of $429. For $50 under the 1000H consumers lose the N-capable wireless card and Bluetooth module, but gain extra padding in their wallet, which is an easy compromise for those on a budget.
ASUS Eee PC 1000HA Specifications:
Build and Design
The Eee PC 1000HA has a much newer look compared to the original Eee PC 701, with better looking glossy painted surfaces and smoother edges. The overall color pattern is very consistent, with the keyboard and touchpad matching the body color, and brushed metal trim all around the netbook. Compared to other netbooks such as the MSI Wind, the Eee PC 1000HA feels chunky, but some of that is related to the stock 6-cell battery.
Build quality is excellent, with solid plastic making up the body of the 1000HA. It feels rugged enough to withstand the abuse of day to day use, but the glossy finish will show minor scratches and fingerprints. The screen cover does a good job with protecting the LCD panel and with a strong squeeze the panel only shows small area of distortion. Flex in the palmrest is almost nonexistent, but this is quite common on small notebooks since the inside s are packed tight.
For user-serviceable components the ASUS Eee PC 1000HA is very upgrade friendly. A single panel houses the hard drive, wireless card, and single ram slot, making the process of swapping out the parts as painless as possible. Another item worth mentioning is the lack of “Warranty void if removed” sticker on that panel.
The 10” LED-backlit display found on the Eee PC 1000HA is easy on the eyes, and a real treat to view for hours on end. Whites are clear, colors are vibrant, and backlit levels are very bright and consistent. While many netbooks get the short end of the stick for some components such as processing power, they easily make up for it in screen quality. The panels found on most netbooks offer better viewing angles and brighter backlight levels. Vertical viewing angles which tend to quickly invert colors on full-size notebooks stay accurate longer on the display found on the 1000HA. Horizontal angles are the same way, allowing the user to easily share a movie with a passenger on either side.
The only real downfall these smaller screens have is limited resolution, which can often causes problems with some applications that require minimum resolutions for menu screens. You can get past this with scaling or screen scrolling, but it is just a downside to the limited screen size in general.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is comfortable to type on, but more cramped than one found on a full-size notebook. Key spacing is average for a 10” subnotebook and listed as 95% the size of generic keyboard. Once you get the hang of the layout it doesn’t take long to type at a good pace. Key action is smooth with just a little pressure required to trigger a key. Key wiggle is minimal, meaning the keys stay planted in one place even if you move your fingers side to side on the key pads.
The touchpad is an Elantech model which presented a few quirks in the Windows XP environment. The cursor movement had a bit of lag between the time when your finger moved on the touchpad surface and the cursor started to move on the screen. Another problem that got old very quick is the multitouch surface incorrectly sensing pressure from my palm and fingertip at the same time, causing multitouch features to activate. While good in theory, the notebook lagged when scrolling or zooming webpages in IE, so each time one of these features activated the notebook would freeze until it completed its motion.
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