Asus Eee PC 1000H review

£343
Price when reviewed

Another month, another Eee PC, and we reach what must surely be the brand’s peak size. The 1000H’s 10in screen brings it in line with the MSI Wind U100 and Advent 4211 – in our view the best two mini-laptops so far. But it also makes it the most expensive Eee PC yet, a charge that puts it on the back foot from the start.

For the outlay you get several new additions. The extra inch of size allows for a wider, fuller keyboard – at 254mm it’s a centimetre or so wider than that of the Wind, and the difference is notable. Typing is as comfortable as on any good ultraportable, with decent travel and a layout that has just one major gripe – the tiny and poorly placed right shift key.

The mouse buttons are of the same silver surround as the Eee PC 901, and they’re just as stiff and clicky to begin with – they take a bit of getting used to. The trackpad is wide and pleasantly responsive, though, with just the right level of roughness to give grip beneath your fingertips.

The 10in screen shares the same 1,024 x 600 resolution as the Wind, and there’s little difference between them. It’s clear and sharp, with ample brightness and a surface that shows up well in both dark and brightly lit environments.

The 1.3-megapixel webcam sits in the frame above it, and the lid is just as sturdy (and bland to look at – where are all the colours we were originally promised?) as the 901.

The draft-n wireless introduced in the 901 is still here, but it’s in hard disk capacity that the 1000H makes the biggest leap forward. Gone are the 12GB and 20GB SSD storage options; instead we now get an 80GB hard disk with the XP version and a whopping 40GB SSD if you opt for Linux. The latter will cost you an extra £10, but it also chops 120g from the 1000H’s 1.45kg weight.

The rest remains the same: three USB ports, 10/100 Ethernet, Bluetooth and a card reader for SD, MMC and SDHC formats. The 1GB of RAM and 1.6GHz Atom N270 propel the Asus to a familiar score of 0.31 in our benchmarks, and the battery gave the same impressive six hour light use life as the 901.

The power drivers switch sensibly between saving energy and boosting performance where necessary, something we’ve yet to see implemented well in any other mini-laptop. Asus is merely tweaking the weaknesses with each release, and the Eee is looking more mature all the time.

So does the Eee PC 1000H put Asus back on top of the mini-laptop world? Unless you plan to stick near power outlets at all times, the frankly superb battery life of the Eee gives it the clear edge over the MSI Wind and its Advent rebranding.

But with MSI rumoured to be releasing a 6-cell battery, bringing those two challengers in line with the Eee in both longevity and price, the contest may become one purely of design preference.

It’s split the PC Pro office, because both have their strengths. The Eee is undoubtedly more solid and well-built, with a wider, more useable touchpad and separate mouse buttons. The slightly larger keyboard is a bonus but its tiny Shift key soon annoyed us.

it_photo_6015By contrast, the Wind and Advent keyboard is comfortable and well laid out, and the VAIO-style hinge on the lid makes them sleeker and better looking than the Eee. Shaving a centimetre or so off the size also makes the Wind a more portable device, although the bigger battery will most likely negate this advantage.

Warranty

Warranty 2 year(s) collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 266 x 191 x 45mm (WDH)
Weight 1.5kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N270
RAM capacity 1GB
Memory type DDR2

Screen and video

Screen size 10.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 950
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 80GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support no

Other Features

Modem yes
USB ports (downstream) 3
SD card reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3MP

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 363
Battery life, heavy use 142
Overall application benchmark score 0.31
Office application benchmark score 0.41
2D graphics application benchmark score 0.24
Encoding application benchmark score 0.33
Multitasking application benchmark score 0.26

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows XP Home
OS family Windows XP

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