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Asus Eee PC 1000 10in Linux netbook

The Eee family expands - literally

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All of that means that your everyday computing experience will be the same on the 901 as it is on the 1000. The extra screen size only amounts to 1.3 inches and, as we say, the resolution's the same, so you won't get any more content onto it. But it does feel spacier, and we can see how some users might prefer it, especially those who might find themselves squinting at the 8.9in model.

Asus Eee PC 1000

The best Eee keyboard yet - but still one of the poorest netbook boards

Which brings us back to the... well... key difference: the keyboard. Just as the 901 delivered a slightly better typing experience than the Eee 900 did - and that, in turn, was nicer to type on than the 701 - the 1000 is a step forward. The keys may not be as big as those on a regular, 12in or larger laptop, but they're close enough. Like the keys on the 901, they're more rounded that those on the earlier Eees, and that makes for more rapid, less error-prone text entry.

What Asus hasn't improved on is the quality of the board itself: this one's just as rattly and cheap-feeling as the 901's board and with as much overall flex to it, too. Having used near full-size keyboards on the Wind and Acer Aspire One - the latter an 8.9in machine, don't forget - we have to say Asus is still well behind the others.

And even though Dell's idiosyncratic Inspiron Mini 9 keyboard is trickier to use than the 1000's, it feels like it has a better build quality. Asus definitely has some work to do here, as it's the Eee series' one major weakness.

One advantage of a bigger chassis is a bigger wrist-rest area, but Asus hasn't taken advantage of that to increase the touchpad size. Like the 901, the 1000 has a 67 x 37mm pad, again rimmed in brushed metal. It may just be us, but it seems as if Asus has smoothed out the rough texture it applied to the 901's touchpad. The texture's still there on the 1000, but it didn't feel so intrusive this time.

Asus Eee PC 1000

A familiar port array

Unlike other Eees, the 1000 line-up has entirely separate XP and Linux models. The 1000 is the Linux version, the 1000H the one with XP and a hard drive instead of an SSD. The 1000 again uses the Xandros version of Linux and presents the customary simplified UI. This provides access to all the essential apps - web browser, email, instant messaging, Skype and OpenOffice - but more are just a hack or two away.

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