Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

So, the keyboard is definitely up to snuff, but what about the touchpad? So often the first port of call where compromise is concerned, the 1008HA manages to squeeze in a comfortably large effort. Demarked by a pimpled surface it's serviced by a faux-chrome style rocker that is nothing less than firm and responsive.

Asus has also furnished the touchpad with multi-touch support, though this is less exciting than it sounds since it's limited to zooming using the familiar pinching motion. This is nice in the few areas where it's useful, but Windows XP isn't Mac OSX and the smoothness and integration is limited to the point that you won't use it too often.

One thing we would miss, were it omitted, is decent connectivity, but despite the passing resemblance to the MacBook Air, the 1008HA doesn't skimp too much here. As noted earlier all the ports are hidden behind flaps, with Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks and a USB port to be found on the right. There's also a memory card reader, not hidden behind a flap, which supports SD, SDHC and MMC formats. Then, on the left, there's the power input, a second USB port and a mini-VGA output.

This, obviously, requires an adapter, but before you start slapping foreheads in the belief that Asus has gone all Apple on us, it does provide a VGA adapter in the box. Better yet, it's actually housed in the chassis, slotting into a magnetically secured compartment underneath the machine. This is a really thoughtful addition, proving that Asus has put some serious thought into what users need to use their netbook to the full.

More evidence of this thoughtfulness can be seen in the bundle, which includes the standard Asus slip-case. Though it's no heavy-duty effort, it provides a modicum of protection and allows you to throw your netbook into any bag. It's also worth mentioning the very small power supply. It measures just 80 x 24mm and weighs a mere 100 grams, so if you do want to carry it with you when out and about it's not going to burden you.

With such thoughtfulness noted, it's less pleasing to discover a glossy finish adorning the usual 1,024 x 600 resolution 10in display. Despite being very bright and vibrant this is only going to be a hindrance where mobility is concerned, but we dare say many will be able tolerate it - if only because they've become so common.

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