- Eight hours of battery life
- Durable chassis
- Matte-finish display
- Four hours less battery than 1005PE
Low-cost netbook that breaks the eight-hour battery mark.
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:
- Windows 7 Starter Edition (32-bit)
- 10.1-inch diagonal WSVGA (1024 x 600, matte finish)
- Intel Atom N450 Processor 1.66GHz (667MHz FSB, 512KB Cache)
- 1GB DDR2 SDRAM (800MHz)
- Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics
- 160GB Seagate 5400.6 SATA HD
- Atheros AR2427 BGN Wi-Fi, Atheros AR8132 10/100 LAN
- 4-in-1 media card slot
- Dimensions: (H x W x D): 0.89-1.40 x 10.2 x 6.9 inches
- 2.81 pounds (not including weight of AC adapter)
- 6-cell lithium-ion battery (4400mAh, 48Wh)
- One-year standard warranty
- MSRP: $299.99
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.
Build and Design
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.
At the top of the 1001P, it’s easy to see the “SeaShell” heritage, and thankfully it manages to retain some solid build quality for a budget netbook. The matte black plastic isn’t prone to flex and the keyboard is very firm, two things you usually don’t see on budget notebooks. The various parts of the chassis come together with tight build tolerance, like a higher-priced laptop. This isn’t the most rugged netbook we’ve ever seen, but ASUS gave the 1001P a pretty solid build for $299.
A nice improvement on the netbook compared to the last Seashell is the return of an easy-access RAM cover. If you want to upgrade the RAM in your 1001P, just remove one screw on the access panel on the bottom of the netbook. I would have also liked to see an easy-access panel for the hard drive, but most netbook buyers aren’t going to mess with the hard drive.
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.
Keyboard and Touchpad
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 Synaptics touchpad used on the 1001P is likewise identical to the gesture-enabled model on the 1005PE. It allows you to use multi-figure gestures such as “pinching” your fingers together or “pulling” your fingers apart to zoom in or out. You can also use a “three-finger tap” as an alternative to a right click on a mouse. The Synaptics control panel in Windows also allows you to customize the gestures. The touchpad surface is covered in dots that provide a clear indication of the edges of the touchpad, but it also makes the touchpad surface too rough for quick finger movement. The left and right touchpad buttons are located beneath a single rocker-style button, but there’s no separation between the left and right side, so it’s easy to accidentally press the middle of the touchpad button. The touchpad buttons have extremely shallow feedback, so it’s sometimes hard to feel whether or not you’re pressing a button.
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: