We were one of the first to bring you a review of the thin and light Eee PC 1008HA "Seashell" netbook. We decided to take a second look at this popular ultraportable now that ASUS has re-released it with Windows 7 Home Premium. Can a new operating system turn a netbook into a completely new machine? Keep reading to find out.
Our ASUS Eee PC 1008HA features the following specifications:
Build and Design
Nothing has changed in terms of the build or design between the original Eee PC 1008HA Seashell and this update. Like the "seashell" name implies, the chassis shape is inspired by the curves of a seashell. The clamshell-like design gives the 1008HA a very clean and distinct appearance. Every port from Ethernet to USB is covered with plastic doors which are probably more decorative than they are protective. ASUS claims this version of the Eee PC is just one inch thick at its thickest point, but that doesn't include the feet on the bottom of the netbook. We measured the maximum thickness at more than one inch, but the 1008HA is still remarkably thin and light.
Screen and Speakers
The new Eee PC 1008HA Seashell uses a fairly standard LED-backlit display panel with a 1024x600 native resolution. The glossy screen surface helps to improve color and contrast, but glare and reflections indoors under strong lights or outdoors under direct sunlight can be a problem. Although the 1024x600 resolution is far superior to the old 800x480 screen resolution on the original Eee PC, I was a little disappointed that ASUS didn't use a higher resolution display on the Eee PC 1008HA. Considering that several other manufacturers such as HP and Dell are offering netbooks with 1366x768 screens the display on this netbook just seems a little underwhelming. Vertical viewing angles are average with some color distortion when viewing from below and some over-exposed colors when viewed from above. Horizontal viewing angles are better with colors staying accurate at extremely wide viewing angles; you won't have trouble sharing a YouTube video with friends using this display.
The built-in speaker performance on the Eee PC 1008HA is extremely good for a 10-inch netbook. I'm not a fan of the location of the built-in speakers since they're located on the bottom front edge of the 1008HA, but the audio quality is quite good. The speakers produce excellent volume (enough to fill a small room) and there is minimal distortion even at higher volume levels. The speakers lack much bass, but the range of highs and midtones are perfectly enjoyable.
Granted, most audiophiles will want to use external speakers or headphones for a better listening experience ... but the built-in speakers work well in a pinch. The audio output from the headphone jack is free of any obvious distortion and worked fine with the earphones and external speakers I used during the testing.
As previously mentioned, the 1008HA update uses the same keyboard that is 92% of full size. The keys are slightly smaller than the keys on an average notebook but the spacing between the keys is quite limited. If you prefer the shape and feel of traditional keys then you'll probably like the new keyboard. That said, I personally prefer the "Chiclet" style keyboard used on the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE since there is more space between the keys to prevent me from accidentally hitting the wrong key. Still, the keyboard on this netbook is quite usable and should be perfectly fine for typing quick emails or editing documents while traveling.
ASUS also included a number of dedicated buttons and keyboard shortcuts to make life easier. There's a dedicated wireless on/off button, touchpad on/off, as well as FN keyboard shortcuts for screen brightness, video output, volume, and Windows task manager.
Input and Output Ports
In terms of port selection the Eee PC 1008HA remains pretty basic. You get two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 media card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, and a special collapsible Ethernet port. The curved door on the right hand side of the netbook flips down to allow a standard Ethernet cable to be connected to the netbook.
Here is a quick tour around the Eee PC 1008HA:
In case you're wondering how that proprietary VGA port works, it's very simple and similar to the USB-to-video out ports on digital cameras. In order to make the 1008HA Seashell as thin as possible ASUS had to remove the standard VGA monitor output. As a result the VGA adapter is stored in a convenient slot in the bottom of the netbook ... there when you need it and hidden away when you don't. While we're talking about small ports, it's also worth mentioning that the Eee PC 1008HA uses the weakest power adapter plug we've seen on any netbook. We've included an image below showing the Eee PC's tiny power adapter plug next to the power adapter plug from a Dell Inspiron 11z. As you can see, this isn't a very rugged connection.
more than 100 focused websites providing quick access to a deep store of
news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and processes crucial
to the jobs of IT pros.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2000 - 2013, TechTarget | Read our Privacy Statement