Asus Eee PC 1005PE
Intel's freshest Atom comes to netbooks
Review Intel launched its latest generation of netbook-centric Atom processors right at the end of 2009. While the following weeks saw plenty of announcements heralding new machines based on the chips, those PCs have only now started to arrive on shop shelves.
Asus is, of course, the genuine pioneer of the netbook arena, launching the very first machine in this class back in late 2007 - the Eee PC 701. Two and a bit years on, we have here the latest model: the 1005PE.
Asus' Eee PC 1005PE: old netbook, new CPU
It's essentially a revision of the 1005HA machine Asus launched in the summer of 2009 as the second netbook in its curvy Seashell series. The 1005HE followed the slimline 1008HA, losing the latter's slimline, integrated lithium-polymer battery in favour of a more geek-friendly but bulky removable battery.
Give or take a few aesthetic tweaks, the 1005PE's body matches that of the 1005HA. While it tapers sleekly to a thin front edge, the netbook's keyboard section has a chunky rear end, almost entirely due to the six-cell 4400mAh battery that clips into a space at the back. While it's flush with the back of the netbook, the battery bulges out below it, forcing Asus to fit the 1005PE with a set of longer-than-usual feet so that the base doesn't rest on the battery.
The 1005PE isn't inherently unattractive, but it lacks the MacBook Air-like appeal of the 1008HA. And it's one of the more chubby netbooks we've seen of late, a fact that the tapering front exaggerates rather than plays down. You might think that that's just the price you pay for a removable battery, but other netbook vendors - hello, Toshiba - have done a better job at integrating long-life power packs without fattening up their machines.
Not as slim a rear as the official pics suggest
Around the sides are all the usual netbook ports - three USB 2.0, 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, VGA, SD card, analogue audio - so no surprises there. Not so the sound system, which is capable of very loud yet distortion free output. The 1005PE has very impressive audio for a netbook.
Why so expensive?
What happed to the 'cheap' part of SCC? Is this some sort of con orchestrated by MS in order to make Win7 'seem' affordable. I note the lack Linux for the latest crop of netbooks - that would show the true cost of win7.
A netbook needs to be <£300 (preferably <£250) otherwise it's just a small, underpowered laptop...
Still looks promising
I've got a Eee 1000, one of the last models to still have Linux pre-installed before Asus drank the Windows koolaid. I have long-since replaced the Xandros-based install with Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and just recently upgraded the flash hdd to 64GB. I love the speed of the SSD, and the system performance is tolerable. It's not speed demon, but it does well what it's advertised to be: a light and portable, ultra-low-powered, Internet browsing machine. My only real complaint after a year of use is I find the small keyboard too cramped to do extensive typing.
I can't imagine what the SATA HDD and Windows 7 do to battery life, but it's got to hurt it bad. I'd love to see another review with a user-installed copy of linux (any flavor) on it, and see how the performance numbers compare. Netbooks were born for SSD and light-weight OS. Seems to my that trying to squeeze Windows on one defeats (at least half) the purpose.
Yes, you could say I was somewhat of a Linux-fanboi. Not militant, mind you. I just like to have choices.
Thanks to Ballmer ramping up netbook prices using Windoze, these things are just too damn expensive. A full laptop is around the same price - not as small, but way more powerful. This should be £200.
And where's the Linux version? Presumably a casualty of the deal between netbook makers and the aforementioned overweight bane of the IT industry.
Evil Bill, 'cause there's no Evil Ballmer.
Just read that
w7 kills batteries and the latest updates make the in more unstable
Can I get this anywhere with Linux on to save even more money and win all round?
No SSD? No Linux?