The Eee PC 1001P SeaShell is ASUS's new entry-level netbook offering the Intel Atom N450 processor and Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics. Designed closely after its higher-class brother, the 1005PE, the 1001P offers many of the same features, minus the Chiclet-style keyboard, larger battery, and larger hard drive. In this review, we see how the 1001P stacks up against other netbooks and if it holds a candle to the more expensive 1005PE.
ASUS Eee PC 1001P SeaShell Specifications:
Observant readers might notice that this review is similar to the Eee PC 1005PE's review. This is because the 1001P shares many of the same components with its predecessor.
The Eee PC 1001P is a lower-cost version of the 1005PE Seashell and features a similar clamshell chassis but offers different lid designs. Our 1001P model comes with a textured weave pattern imprinted on the screen cover. The 1001P lacks some of the 1005PE's glossy flair, and its stylish island keyboard, but overall still retains a simple yet modern look.
Screen and Speakers
The Eee PC 1001P uses a fairly standard LED-backlit display panel with a 1024 x 600 native resolution. Unlike the 1005PE, the 1001P offers a matte-finish display which isn't prone to glare or added reflections from brightly lit rooms. Even with its matte finish, the display offers excellent color saturation and contrast. The screen resolution is small at 1024 x 600, though I prefer a resolution of 1366 x 768. Obviously this might not be cost effective on a netbook priced under $300 but I can dream, right? Vertical viewing angles are average, with minimal color distortion when viewing from below and some overexposed colors when viewed from above. Horizontal viewing angles are better with colors staying accurate at extremely wide viewing angles with a little color wash out.
A slightly annoying feature we noticed on the 1001P is related to the low-end Starter edition of Windows 7. Microsoft locks the desktop background to a specific OEM image and prevents the user from changing it through the control panel. ASUS circumvents the problem with a utility in its docking bar that lets you change the background to another selected image.
The Eee PC 1001P's built-in speaker performance is pretty good for a 10-inch netbook. I'm not a fan of speakers' location on the bottom front edge of the 1001P, but the audio quality is better than what we typically hear from netbook speakers. The speakers produce good 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 fine. Still, the audio output from the headphone jack is free of obvious distortion and is better when paired with earphones or a good set of external speakers.
The 1001P has a comfortable keyboard and is easy to type on. ASUS returned to a standard keyboard design like the 1005HA's, instead of a Chiclet-style keyboard on the 1005PE. The keys are slightly smaller than what you find on a full-size notebook, but once you adjust your typing strokes, it isn't much of a problem. I am not sure I would recommend using the keyboard on a daily basis as your primary input method, but for traveling or completing work in the classroom, it's just fine.
The 1001P lacks a dedicated wireless on/off switch, but ASUS did include FN keyboard shortcuts for wireless, screen brightness, video output, volume, and Windows task manager.
Input and Output Ports
The 1001P offers the same port selection as the 1005PE. Namely, you get three USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 media card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, Ethernet port, and the return of a standard VGA out port. Here is a quick tour around the Eee PC 1001P:
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