Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005P review

£276
Price when reviewed

It’s not until you tilt back the 10.1in display that the 1005P deviates from the original blueprint, with the excellent keyboard of the 1005HA discarded for the current chic substitute: the Scrabble-tile layout. Unfortunately, it’s a poor trade. We didn’t particularly like the feel of the short-travel keys, and the positioning of some keys is questionable. In an effort to relieve the once-cramped cursor keys, Asus has made the right Shift key impossibly small, which often had us dabbing the up cursor or the Fn key by mistake.

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005P

The display also seems to have taken a turn for the worse. The 10.1in panel still opts for the frugal netbook resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels, and the matte finish keeps distracting reflections to a minimum, but image quality is disappointing. The 1005HA’s screen was never stellar, but the 1005P fails even to live up to that: muted colours leave skintones looking lifeless and pallid, and the overall brightness is noticeably lower.

It comes as some tiny consolation that the speakers have improved. The 1005P is head and shoulders above its predecessor here, managing to sound surprisingly crisp and clear for a netbook. Don’t expect miracles but if you’re on a business trip they’ll do for a hotel room.

Meanwhile, the old netbook OS of choice, Windows XP Home, finally makes way for Windows 7 Starter, which makes a world of difference. Applications snap into view with appreciable haste and, while it all feels a mite less nippy than XP, the sheer usability amply compensates. It even makes Asus’ instant-on ExpressGate software seem redundant, as the 1005P wakes from Windows 7’s sleep mode in under 10 seconds.

But with the initial thrill of the Windows 7 experience having worn off, netbooks are in dire need of something new to really grab the public’s attention and Intel’s Pine Trail platform simply isn’t it. It may be more efficient and cheaper to produce, but with many netbooks already achieving more than six hours of battery life it’s hardly a game-changing upgrade. The Eee PC 1005P is undoubtedly good looking, but when you factor in the unnecessary design changes Asus has made, it somehow ends up less appealing than its predecessor.

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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