The Eee PC 1000HE is the latest netbook refresh from ASUS that offers a revamped chicklet style keyboard and the new Intel Atom N280 processor. The exterior and interior look nearly identical to the 1000HA and 901, so if you liked the old style you will love this. The biggest change users will find on this new model is the extended 9.5 hour battery life, thanks to a battery 30% larger and improved power management. Just how well does this new netbook live up to its advertised claims? Read our review to find out.
ASUS Eee PC 1000HE Specifications:
Build and Design
The ASUS Eee PC 1000HE keeps the same outside look of the 901 and 1000HA, with no noticeable difference until you look at the bottom or open up the display. Inside the new keyboard blends in with the rest of the glossy body, with the same gloss black paint used between all of the keys. Compared to the older Eee PC models this really adds another level of class and style to this netbook.
Build quality is very good with strong, durable plastics used throughout the body that help keep panels flex-free and the creaks to a minimum. The 1000HE holds its own ground inside a backpack, even against other heavy objects competing for space (like other laptops or books). For the average user this means you won’t find oily key impressions on the screen after you wedge this Eee PC into a backpack full of books on your way to class.
The 10” LED-backlit display found on the Eee PC 1000HE is easy on the eyes and a real treat to view for hours on end. Whites are clear, colors are vibrant, and backlight 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 than screen found on larger notebooks. Vertical viewing angles which tend to quickly invert colors on full-size notebooks stay accurate longer on the display found on the 1000HE. 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 (1024 x 600), which 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 new Sony/Macbook style keyboard that ASUS has switched to for the 1000HE is a huge improvement in terms of ease of typing and tactile feel. The keys don’t feel as cramped since there is more space between them and even the key action feels smoother than before. One change that I personally love is the new key layout with the better placement of the right shift key and the larger control key on the bottom right. What this means is if you normally hit the up arrow while typing on the old keyboard (like I always did) you will now finally get the uppercase letter you originally intended to type. Taking the place of the old shift key is a second function key, for one-handed page up and page down movements. The new keyboard comes very close to tipping the scales against the HP Mini 1000 and 2140 but it would probably have to be a tie for best netbook keyboard.
ASUS uses an Elantech touchpad on the 1000HE for its multitouch capabilities, which works great if you want dual finger control, but not so great if you want fast response and sensitivity. I found that it had some lag during quick movement and didn’t have the nice high sensitivity of similar Synaptics models. One problem we noticed after a few hours of use was the touchpad surface slowly peeling up on one side like a loose sticker, but after pressing it back down it didn’t come up again. It may have just been a manufacturing flaw where it was not seated correctly during assembly. The touchpad buttons were large enough for easy triggering by the side of thumb and worked great if you hit them dead center or on the very edge. Feedback was minimal with a very shallow click when pressed.
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