ASUS Eee PC 1000HA Review

by Kevin O'Brien Reads (225,352)

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:

  • Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor
  • 160GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive (Seagate 5400.4)
  • 1GB of DDR2 RAM (667MHz)
  • Windows XP operating system
  • 10” WSVGA LED-Backlit 1024 x 600 LCD
  • Ports: 3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA monitor out, headphone jack, microphone input, SD card reader (SDHC compatible), Kensington lock slot, Ethernet 10/100
  • Webcam (1.3 MP)
  • Battery: 7.4v 6600mAh 6-cell battery
  • Wireless: 802.11b/g
  • One-year warranty
  • Size: 10.47 (W) x 7.53 (D) x 1.12 ~ 1.50 (H)
  • Weight: 3lbs 2.5oz, 3lbs 11oz with AC adapter

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.

Display

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.

Performance and Benchmarks

System performance overall was great. Applications opened without lag and behaved as if they were running on a full-size computer. In certain instances the 1000HA showed some lag under processor intensive activities such as smoothly scrolling a webpage, where the Intel Atom processor spiked upwards of 60%. Boot and shutdown times were very good, letting you break out the netbook and quickly have it up and running when you need to do something. Gaming is out of the question on these small notebooks unless you heavily tweak the game, operating at the lowest resolutions and lowest settings.

PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

Notebook PCMark05 Score
ASUS Eee PC 1000HA (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 1,527 PCMarks
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 1,446 PCMarks
Acer Aspire One (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950)  1,555 PCMarks
ASUS Eee PC 901 (1.60GHz Intel Atom)  746 PCMarks
MSI Wind (1.60GHz Intel Atom)  N/A
ASUS Eee PC 900 (900MHz Intel Celeron M ULV) 1,172 PCMarks
HP 2133 Mini-Note (1.6GHz VIA C7-M ULV) 801 PCMarks
HTC Shift (800MHz Intel A110) 891 PCMarks
ASUS Eee PC 4G (630MHz Intel Celeron M ULV) 908 PCMarks
ASUS Eee PC 4G (900MHz Intel Celeron M ULV) 1,132 PCMarks
Everex CloudBook (1.2GHz VIA C7-M ULV) 612 PCMarks
Sony VAIO TZ (1.20GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7600) 2,446 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook P7230 (1.2GHz Intel Core Solo U1400) 1,152 PCMarks
Sony VAIO VGN-G11XN/B (1.33GHz Core Solo U1500) 1,554 PCMarks
Toshiba Portege R500 (1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7600) 1,839 PCMarks

 

wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):

Notebook / CPU wPrime 32M time
ASUS Eee PC 1000HA (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 117.577 seconds
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 (Intel Atom @ 1.60GHz) 127.172 seconds
Acer Aspire One (Intel Atom @ 1.60GHz)  125.812 seconds
ASUS Eee PC 901 (Intel Atom @ 1.60GHz) 123.437 seconds
MSI Wind (Intel Atom @ 1.60GHz) 124.656 seconds  
ASUS Eee PC 900 (Intel Celeron M ULV @ 900MHz) 203.734 seconds
HP 2133 Mini-Note (Via CV7-M ULV @ 1.6GHz) 168.697 seconds
ASUS Eee PC 4G (Intel Celeron M ULV @ 630MHz) 289.156 seconds
ASUS Eee PC 4G (Intel Celeron M ULV @ 900MHz) 200.968 seconds
Everex CloudBook (VIA C7-M ULV @ 1.2GHz) 248.705 seconds
Fujitsu U810 Tablet PC (Intel A110 @ 800MHz) 209.980 seconds
Sony VAIO VGN-G11XN/B (Core Solo U1500 @ 1.33GHz) 124.581 seconds
Sony VAIO TZ (Core 2 Duo U7600 @ 1.2GHz) 76.240 seconds
Dell Inspiron 2650 (Pentium 4 Mobile @ 1.6GHz) 231.714 seconds

 

3DMark06 comparison results:

Notebook 3DMark06 Score
ASUS Eee PC 1000HA (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 95 3DMarks
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) N/A
Acer Aspire One (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 122 3DMarks
Sony VAIO TZ (1.20GHz Core 2 Duo U7600, Intel GMA 950) 122 3DMarks
HP dv2500t (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 1,055 3DMarks
Sony VAIO FZ (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 532 3DMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16 GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 827 3DMarks

 

3DMark03 Graphics Performance Benchmark (higher scores indicate better performance):

Notebook 3DMark03 Results
ASUS Eee PC 1000HA (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 788 3DMarks
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 569 3DMarks
Acer Aspire One (1.60GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 751 3DMarks
MSI Wind (1.6GHz Intel Atom, Intel GMA 950) 589 3DMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T4400, ATI X1400 128MB) 4,622 3DMarks

 

HDTune for built-in Hard drive:

We also decided to try out the Intel X25-M SSD inside the Asus Eee PC 1000HA to test out its capabilities inside a Vista environment. It turns out the system operated more smoothly through day to day tasks, and even oddities such as the touchpad lag were gone. With only 1GB of memory the system happily allowed Aero to be turned on and still ran flawlessly. Performance benchmarks increased as well, with PCMark05 jumping from 1527 to 2020, and 3DMark06 going from 95 to 133.

 

Speakers and Audio

The speakers in the ASUS Eee PC 1000HA lack all bass and midrange, and really shouldn’t be used for much other than listening to YouTube videos or the occasional movie. The small size and speaker placement really don’t work out too well in normal use, leaving you to the trusty headphone jack that gives you better volume, better audio quality, and above all else private listening.

Ports and Features

Port selection is normal for a netbook, with the biggest constraint being available real estate along the sides. You get three USB ports, one LAN, headphone/mic, VGA, an SDHC-compatible reader, as well as a Kensington lock slot.

Front: Activity lights

Rear: Battery

Left: Kensington lock slot, LAN, 1 USB, Headphone/Mic

Right: Multi-Card Reader, 2 USB, VGA, AC-power

Heat and Noise

Heat and noise is minimal under normal conditions such as web browsing or typing documents. The palmrest and plastic bezel surrounding the keyboard stay cool to the touch and without the blinking LEDs you might not even realize it was on. The bottom of the netbook is only warm in a few spots, mostly centered on the access panel which covers the hard drive, RAM, and wireless card. When the Eee PC was under more stress, the fan noise became more apparent, and overall system temperatures increased across the board.

Battery Life

Battery life with the 6-cell battery was average, lasting for 4 hours and 28 minutes before it went into standby mode at 5% remaining. This test was performed with the screen brightness set to about 60%, wireless enabled, and the processor working in dynamic switching mode. This was average for netbooks with similar configurations.


Conclusion

The ASUS Eee PC 1000HA held up quite well in our testing and turned out to be a worthwhile contender for those shopping for an affordable netbook model. Offering most of the same features as the more expensive netbooks, including the sought-after 6-cell battery, consumers aren’t missing much when choosing this budget model. While the touchpad was a disappointment during use, it was the only big negative mark on the notebook. Some of it can be attributed to user preference and as always, it is best to try out one of these models in a retail store if it is at all possible before making your final decision.

Pros:

  • “Budget” Intel Atom model that includes a 6-cell battery
  • Comfortably sized keyboard
  • Great screen
  • Easy access to upgradeable system components

Cons:

  • Laggy touchpad


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