In short, there's enough functionality here for 90 per cent of users, and nothing so tasking that the remaining ten per cent can't get what they want too. There's a big Eee user community now, and plenty of websites that offer guidance on customising the machines to your individual needs.
It's even easier for hardware tinkerers: there's a big hatch on the base of the 1000 that, when opened, reveals the 32GB SSD, the memory and the 802.11n Wi-Fi card. You can also see the main, 8GB SSD and the IDE interface points to which the connector is soldered for the 1000H's hard drive - the HDD sits in the same bay as the 32GB SSD, but at right angles to it.
No surprises on the right side, either
With the exception of the keyboard, the 1000 feels sturdy, and with its chrome-like details, it's not a bad looker, either. We're not fans of the pearl white model, or the shine applied to both this and the black 1000, but neither are offensive. Still, Asus could take a leaf out of other SCC makers' books and offer some alternative colours.
Our favourite remains the matte-black casing of our own Eee 701 - unlike the others, this was a colour scheme that lent the laptop gravitas.
For all that and the issue of the cheap-feeling keyboard, using the 1000 was no less a joy that working with any of the other SCCs we've tested. Xandros is one of the better netbook incarnations of Linux, and while open source OS buffs might prefer the up-front flexibility, functionality and power of, say, Ubuntu, at least with Xandros all the Eee's features work out of the box.
Shiny but not ugly
Some buyers may prefer the familiarity of Windows, especially if they need to run specific apps or hardware that lacks Linux support, but there can't be many of those. For the rest of us, Xandros provides a perfectly decent, functional computing experience.
Said it before
"Some buyers may prefer the familiarity of Windows, especially if they need to run specific apps or hardware that lacks Linux support, but there can't be many of those."
AutoCAD & Paint.NET (amongst others) don't run on Linux (and Wine & Gimp are not valid arguments).
XP tax comes in at about £20 on these machines after the shakedown. Which is decent enough value as far as I'm concerned. Faffery and hacking around in Linux would come to much more than £20 worth of my time.
Shame the XP machine only comes with a HDD rather than an SSD. Shame also that MS won't be honest and just flog XP off the shelf at £20. Then I could buy a desirably specced Linux SCC and install my favoured OS.
Show us the source, ASUS
By not providing source for software which is distributed under licences such as the GPL, they're breaking the licence conditions and, as a result, they do not have permission to distribute the binaries.
Looks remarkably like the 2003-vintage G3 iBook I've got in a box somewhere in the spare room.
ASUS and opensource
They haven't really got it yet.
Their repositories are out of date, even if you do make it to a command line, you won't be updating to the latest patch.
They see opensource as being free in that they have to put zero effort in, and if they are going to do that they should at least install a community distro on it. Then they could just setup a mirror, problem solved. But, instead they go for a commercial linux, modify and have stale repositories.
There are lots of GUI package managers around, and I think they have bundled one, somewhere.
ASUS could have had a lot of fun with opensource, had they been just a little bit visionary. Most of the buyers prefer to stick with what comes with a machine, irrational perhaps, but that seems to be a trait, with that type of install base they could have given some of the distros a run for their money, instead they just sort of gave up.
Ubuntu netbook seems to have filled the gap for a few, but there a lot of EEEs out there, running unpatched I would imagine.
I was going to ask about the price in the UK
Until I looked in the Dutch shops and saw that it's gone up by 50 euros since it was first released...
I got my 1000H for 399 euros (just over 300 quid). At that price point it was perfect - I checked in the shop against the 901 and the Acer One and it was the nicest to use.
I have to say I don't have the issue with the keyboard flex that others have pointed out - it fits the bill perfectly for what I need from a sub-notebook. Whilst the screen resolution isn't a gain over the 901, the keyboard is a *huge* gain, and I don't have stubby fat fingers (I can type just fine on the 701 that my wife has) it's just *nicer* :)