Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005P review

£276
Price when reviewed

Last summer, when the netbook rush had soared to the point where £300 was considered a low price, Asus’ back-to-basics Eee PC 1005HA came as a breath of fresh air. Great looks were paired with accomplished all-round performance, and it was a comparative steal at the time; the intervening months have only seen it get cheaper. Now Asus has tweaked it a little and incorporated Intel’s latest netbook platform, codenamed Pine Trail, to produce the Eee PC 1005P.

The Atom is still the processor of choice, but for Pine Trail Intel has combined the CPU, graphics chip and memory controller onto a single die. The result is the 1.66GHz Atom N450 and it’s an advance that hasn’t just reduced production costs, it’s also seen the processor’s TDP plummet from 11W to just seven.

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005P

The obvious knock-on effect of that is improved battery life. With the same 4400mAh battery at its rear as the 1005HA, Pine Trail’s extra efficiency allows the 1005P to last for an impressive 9hrs 31mins of light use – nearly three hours longer than its predecessor.

There’s no great improvement in terms of performance, though: a score of just 0.3 in our application benchmarks puts it in the same bracket as the old Intel Atom N270 processor. And while the GMA 3150 graphics might sound vastly superior to the GMA 950 graphics they replace, they’re actually just a netbook version of the already sluggish GMA X3100 chipset. There’s still no DXVA acceleration for HD content and, unlike Nvidia’s Ion chipset, the GMA 3150 still struggles with HD video from YouTube or BBC iPlayer, and even the playback of 720p or 1080p H.264 movies.

So Pine Trail doesn’t improve in all areas, but it at least has some impact under the hood. Outside, though, it’s initially tough to see what’s changed from the old 1005HA. The Eee PC 1005P has the same curvy chassis that belies its bargain-basement price tag, and the solid plastic construction feels reassuringly stout.

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 262 x 178 x 37mm (WDH)
Weight 1.270kg
Travelling weight 1.5kg
Weight with extended battery N/A

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N450
Motherboard chipset Intel NM10
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

Screen and video

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 3150
Graphics card RAM 64MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 250GB
Hard disk usable capacity 233GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Speaker location Front edge
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 9hr 31min
Overall application benchmark score 0.30
Office application benchmark score 0.29
2D graphics application benchmark score 0.32
Encoding application benchmark score 0.29
Multitasking application benchmark score 0.25
3D performance (crysis) low settings N/A
3D performance setting N/A

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Starter
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partition
Software supplied N/A

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