The big change Asus has made to the 1000HE's look is the keyboard. The one here is of the lozenge variety - "open", Sony calls it; Americans call it a 'chiclet' keyboard. Whatever it's called, the keyboard has buttons that are spaced apart. It's an illusion, of course - the faces of the keys are no smaller than they are on an 'ordinary' keyboard, but with no sloping edges, each one is clearly defined and, we have to say, much easier to type on.
New style keyboard
That's not just because they're easier to locate but also because the board feels a lot more solid and certainly less rattly than past Eee keyboards, even those on the bigger models. It's the best keyboard we've seen on an Eee yet.
It's also one of the most accessible for upgrades. The base of the machine sports a hatchway that, when lifted, exposes the single (populated) Dimm slot and the 2.5in hard drive. To reach the Wi-Fi card and the Bluetooth module, though, you'll have to remove the entire lower casing.
Asus bundles the 1000HE with a zip-up case that's nice to have but awful to touch - it has a really peculiar feel that we didn't like, and neither did anyone else who touched it. A better bundle, perhaps, is the 10GB of online storage you get with the machine, linked through from a handy drive icon in the My Computer window.
So yes, this boy runs Windows XP rather than Linux, and we got the distinct impression from Asus that it'll only be offered with XP. Fear not, Penguin fans, the excellent Eeebuntu distribution is only a download and disc burn away.
Extra, silver keys at the top are user-definable
So how does the N280-based 1000HE perform? Not at all bad, as netbooks go. PCMark05 didn't show much of a gain going up from the Atom N270's 1.6GHz to the N280's 1.66GHz - and no increase when the CPU's overclocked to 1.75GHz. Since GeekBench did show a small performance increase, we're minded to put this down to a PCMark05 quirk - like the suddenly high HDD rating in Power Saving mode - but either way, the conclusion is the same: the extra is nice to have but not worth replacing your existing netbook for.
Its great once you get Windows off it.
Ran it with Ubuntu till I got bored and decided to try Hacketoshing it.
I have the 1000 HA version running Leopard, I doubled the ram, and swapped out the Etheros wireless card for a 1490 Broadcom. "$10" Its a great mini machine, the battery life is incredible and I don't have to worry about someone spilling coffee in My Macbook Pro.
Remember, that's 5.5 hours running video with the screen on continuously on max - that's a much tougher use of the system than web browsing and word processing, so if you're using the machine for those apps you'll get a lot more battery life than 5.5 hours.
I would not be would be without my Eee 1000 (20 Gig Linux Flash version).
Remember guys that people do pay for portability and that saying "oh it should be 100 quid cheaper" or "I can get a second had Cray with a 32 inch scree and pull it around on a power cord for half the price" does not cut it.
The power pack is very small and portable.
The only grumble I have is the touch pad buttons are rubbish (to hard to click) and that the Xandros repository's are a small subset and infrequently updated.
bought one in tottenham court Road
..on Sat 14th March. Very pleased with it. bought the white one, as the piano black shows every finger mark.
I'm getting a good 3G speed over bluetooth to my SE-W880i handset - but prefer to use the cable, as it recharges the 'phone, too!
XP is fast starting and it has proved ideal for me, using StarOffice (open office, of course) , Dia (visio type programme from Open source) and an open source project manager.
The video playback of avi files is great, too, on the 16:9 screen.
The power supply (matching white) is quite small - with a cool blue LED. The built in webcam and microphone also works well - tried that out over the home wifi this week - probably won't use it over 3G.
Why XP? because I want to use my 'standard' business utilities without having to faff about with Linux. And I'm getting close to the advertised battery life, too - and I've wrecked enough laptop batteries in my time ;^)
Ah, stuff your built-in (wired in) 3G -- I'm typing this on a 1000HE that's BT to the big I via my AT&T Tilt's wireless/dongleless/cableless tether. Next phone, next carrier, same story -- must have BT 2.x EDR so my work luggable and my Eee stay connected (whenever I run out of free access WiFi)...
Power pack is 36watt, decent AC cord and very long DC cord. Tiny plug.
Pickedup a Samsung USB-powered TruDirect for US$80 last Saturday, comes with pouch similar material to the non-slip grip Eee zipper bag. Yes, the Eee bag has an inside-out wetsuit feel to it.
Tried a TON of current Netbooks at Microcenter, none of them had a decent keyboard. Tried the HEand bought it. BIG difference, and together with the battery life, the determinator.
Cost? Caught the 5 hour daily special at ZipZoomFly for $349 with free shipping (yes, they sold out in 5 hours).