Asus Eee PC 1005PE
Intel's freshest Atom comes to netbooks
We should point out that the 1005PE comes with Windows 7 Starter Edition - a 32-bit OS, so there's no use made of the N450's 64-bit ability. PCMark05 needs to be run in the OS' Windows XP compatibility mode. Unlike other versions of Windows 7, Starter doesn't appear to run XP in a virtual machine, but there may be other factors which have conspired to reduce the 1005PE's PCMark05 scores. We did try the Windows 7 friendly PCMark Vantage, but it won't run on a laptop with a screen resolution that's below 1024 x 768.
A nice netbook - but it's no leap forward
So if performance makes no leap forward, what about battery life? Again, impressive, but not the leader. Using our standard video playback test - run a standard-definition movie in a loop until the battery dies, keeping the screen at maximum brightness and Wi-FI on - it managed 315 minutes. That's joint second in our table, but well behind the leader, Toshiba's previous-generation NB200.
That five-and-a-quarter hour runtime isn't bad, and should translate in real-world usage to under ten hours. Asus quotes 10.5 hours, but that's using its auto-underclocking technology to eke out the charge. Yank the power cable, and the 1005PE drops into 'Battery Mode', but that only extended the test runtime to 340 minutes, which translates to the figure Asus states.
The 1005PE costs £330. There's a cheaper model, the 1005P, which comes in at around £280 but has a 160GB hard drive and no Bluetooth. Personally, we'd happily sacrifice 90GB and Bluetooth for a cheaper netbook.
The 1005PE delivers a small speed bump over the old 1005HA, but you'll pay a lot extra for the privilege - and still not get class-leading battery life. On this showing at least, Intel's Pine Trail platform fails to impress. It's certainly no must-have upgrade. The 1005PE is a nice netbook - make no mistake - but it's no leap forward. Older, N280-based netbooks are cheaper and will deliver similar performance and battery life. ®
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