The keyboard is a solid, calculator-style job that's just fine for typing, so no complaints there. The trackpad is formed from the wrist-rest plastic, but is textured so you can feel its extent.
The touchpad is textured so you know where it is
The 'PE' suffix in the model number indicates it's based on 'Pine Trail', the codename for Intel's new netbook Atom platform.
Pine Trail comprises the 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor and a much reduced chipset, the NM10. Gone from the chipsets are the GMA 3150 graphics engine and the memory manager, both now incorporated into the CPU package.
Chubbier at the back than you might expect
Notionally, that's to increase performance - faster communication between memory, processor and graphics - and to reduce power consumption. The chipset used in past Atom netbooks was something of a power hog.
The N450's clock frequency and other specs match those of the old N280, but this part is 64-bit capable and has been tweaked to communicate with the NM10 over a Direct Media Interface (DMI) rather than a frontside bus. Both N280 and N450 are fabbed at 45nm, but the latter consumes up to 5.5W, while its predecessor topped out at 2.5W.
All the usual netbook ports are present
That 3W increase is compensated for with a big reduction in chipset power consumption - 6W down to 1.5W - so battery life should be longer.
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?