We'll apologise now if you're feeling a little jaded by the netbook craze, though whether it qualifies as a craze anymore is up for debate. Despite Asus' best efforts the endless slew of new Eee PC models and configurations has probably served more to annoy customers, rather than excite them, while new announcements from the likes of Lenovo have generated rather less buzz than in the early days. Only Dell's hand is yet to be played fully, but even that saga is feeling a little tired.
Hollow complaints aside, we're returning to familiar territory today because we're looking at the Asus Eee PC 1000H, the Windows XP version of the Eee PC 1000 that we've already reviewed in its Linux form. When we originally reviewed the 1000 we found that, though a useful addition to Eee PC stable, the Linux version was, with its 40GB SSD, just a little too expensive to recommend - noting that the 80GB Windows version was cheaper and had more storage space. So bearing this in mind, will this version fare any better?
Before we get onto that, it's good idea to remind ourselves what the Eee PC 1000 is all about. Fundamentally it's very similar to the Eee PC 901 that preceded it and which is still our favoured version notwithstanding the cramped keyboard. It features the same basic chipset and spec, including a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB, Draft-N Wi-Fi and a multi-touch capable touch pad. It also has the same six-cell 6,600 mAh battery.
What it adds is a larger 10in, 1,024 x 600 screen and with it a larger chassis with a roomier keyboard. This makes it a more effective competitor for the likes of the MSI Wind and HP Mini-Note 2133 and a lot easier to use for adults with large hands. In addition to this, the Windows version exchanges the 40GB SSD of the Linux version for an 80GB mechanical drive and also adds support for Dolby Sound Room audio, which includes the rather excellent Dolby Headphone technology.
It also adds weight. Thanks to the larger chassis and battery the Eee PC 1000 was already heavier than its kin, weighing 1.3kg, but the 1000H pushes this up to 1.45kg. It's quite a significant step up and though we previously felt this was just about acceptable, truth be told we're no so sure now. As has been observed many times before, we're beginning to creep far too close to regular laptop territory here and though the six-cell battery still accounts for much of this increase, the difference 150 grams makes is quite marked. It simply doesn't feel as comfortably portable as before and compared the Eee PC 901 it's a bit of a beast.