Asus Eee PC 1015PEM
The last ride of the netbook?
Review Will someone please do something interesting with the netbook. Even Asus, the company that created this category of computer, doesn't appear to be able to do anything with it, if it's latest Eee PC, the 1015PEM, is anything to go by.
Asus' Eee PC 1015PEM: latest netbook tech on board
That's not to say the 1015PEM isn't a good machine, or that it doesn't come packed with the latest netbook tech. It is, and it does.
It's just it utterly fails to excite in the way that early netbooks did. These machines have found their niche and they're very happy inside it, thank you very much.
The 1015PEM is essentially an upgrade of previous Eee 10x5s. Its key features: a 1.5GHz dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and Bluetooth 3.0.
Taking these enhancements in order, we find that the N550 is certainly faster than its higher-clocked predecessors, the N450 and N455, and delivers boosted benchmark scores accordingly. But the extra horsepower doesn't make the machine feel any faster when you're actually using it.
Like all Eee PCs of recent years, you can up the CPU's performance a little - or cut it back to conserve the battery's charge - thanks to what Asus calls its "Super Hybrid Engine" utility. Again, you can see the difference shifting up a gear from "High Performance" mode to "Super Performance" makes by looking at the PCMark 05 scores for each, but it's not going to make applications load any more quickly.
Next page: Nice but not essential tech
Asus, are you listening?
No, thought not.
I'll buy another eeepc when you go back to using SSDs and stop bundling an operating system.
You may have a market for the current offerings. My suggestion opens another market for you.
Maybe a couple of years out...
OK, perhaps I'm a purist on such matters, but in my view, the "netbook" ceased to exist when they started fitting such machines with hard drives, and installing hamstrung versions of MS Windows instead of Linux (around, ooh, 2008, IIRC). From that time on, AFAIC, they became "small laptops".
Perhaps the Google Chrome OS machines due in 2011 will resurrect the original "netbook" concept (small, lightweight, solid-state data storage, etc.), but I still won't be buying one while my Asus Eee 701SD* is still running.
Light blue touchpaper, dive for cover... ;-)
* - Ironically, I think the "perfect" netbook was the original Acer Aspire One, though I would've slapped Ubuntu on it as soon as I got it home...
Netbooks jumped the shark...
...after the EEE PC 901. I have one of these and I love it. SSD, came with Linux, fairly good battery life, 9" screen, white keyboard which can be seen in low light using light from the screen. The 9" screen makes it nice and small and usable more or less anywhere.
I dread the day when it dies as there is no current equivalent replacement for it. No a tablet is NOT a suitable alternative.
The 901 is about the most useful and best gadget I've ever owed. I wish they'd go back to the original netbook concept.