Asus Eee PC 1005PE - 10.1in Netbook - Asus Eee PC 1005PE

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

While connectivity is still identical to the original Eee PC, ergonomically modern netbooks are far superior and this is largely true of the 1005PE. Its chiclet keyboard has an excellent layout, while the keys sport a pleasant matte surface, are well spaced and exhibit decent travel. Unfortunately some noticeable flex combines with a distracting rattle to mar the experience. It’s still perfectly useable, but it could be better.

Thankfully the wide multi-touch touchpad gives little reason for compliant. It is differentiated from its surroundings only by a textured surface of tiny bumps, which works well despite offering an odd tactile experience. It’s as sensitive as you could wish and multi-touch works well, though the touchpad is a tad small for gestures like 'rotate'. The pad’s buttons, integrated into a single chromed rocker switch below it, are both well-defined and easy to press.

As for the 10.1in display, it's the usual 1,024 x 600 resolution affair, but it bucks recent trends in sticking with a non-reflective matte finish. Its colour fidelity and richness is nothing to shout about and viewing angles are merely adequate, but text is very sharp and it's bright enough to be used in well-lit environments.

Special mention must also be made of the stereo speakers, an area in which Eee PCs have always been strong. Obviously they’re rather lacking in bass, but nonetheless even the most intense soundtracks are produced with a clarity and finesse few netbooks can match. As a colleague across the office remarked, they sound a sight better than the ones on his 13in laptop.

All of which is promising, but it's time to talk about the 1005PE's main selling point: Intel's new Pine Trail architecture. We won't bore you with the full story here, but the basics are that the NM10 chipset moves the memory controller and integrated graphics onto the CPU die, resulting in cheaper manufacturing costs, less complex designs requiring less space, and significantly lower power usage than the already-frugal original Atom.

Don't come expecting a massive performance increase, though. Intel’s Atom N450 CPU is still a single-core chip and has the same 1.66GHz clock speed of its predecessor, the N280. However, aided by Windows 7’s more robust support for GPU video acceleration, we finally have an Atom platform that can natively handle 720p video – hurrah!

No matter what 720p material we threw at it, the Seashell 1005PE played it back okay. CPU usage is admittedly high (in the 70 to 100% range), so you can't have anything running in the background, but it does work. Of course HD flash video still runs like dodgy stop-frame animation and Full HD video is out of question too, but 720p playback is better than none by any stretch.

davef

February 9, 2010, 1:16 pm

Going to be a pedant. First sentence: wasn't the first netbook the Asus 700/701 back in late 2007?

Ed

February 9, 2010, 1:58 pm

You're quite right. Not sure how that one got through editing. Have updated.

GoldenGuy

February 9, 2010, 2:29 pm

I don't intend to be a not a netbook owner, but I can see the appeal. And that 250GB worth of storage does put the MacBook Pro's rather stingy 160GB into perspective for a £900 computer.

Stelph

February 9, 2010, 2:29 pm

Glad that the HP mini 311c got a mention, I have one and its a great little netbook handling video playback, gaming using the "last generation" games like Medievil 2:Total war, Half life 2 ect and the screen, keyboard and build quality is excellent. However this Asus does does beat the HP by including Windows 7 (XP on HP unfortunatly) and by having a large Hard Drive (160GB to 250GB) and by having a shorter battery life, but still I would recommend the HP Mini to anyone, £300 direct from HP and if you get lucky when they are doing a sale you could nab one for £250 like I did! :-)

betelgeus

February 9, 2010, 2:45 pm

has anyone in the world ever used vga or hdmi out on a netbook? ive never even used it on my main laptops.





dont like the way its hinged

Andy0d2

February 9, 2010, 3:59 pm

On a real laptop you don't need it but because their so small you need a bigger screen if your working on one for about an hour or more in one go as it will strain your eyes. @ Goldenguy you pay for the OS, a nice case ( about £500 ) and battery life. IMO macs are nicely rounded laptops but are about £200 overpriced. Pretty much identical (not battery life) laptops can be had for under £400 (if talking about the 15'').

morsch

February 9, 2010, 7:37 pm

Huh? People use the video out all the time. Lots of student use netbooks at university, they are powerful enough to do presentations with. And if you connect your netbook to a 20-24" display and maybe a USB hub with a mouse and keyboard, you've suddently got a device (albeit slow) much more suited for prolongued browsing and media consumption. The former unfortunately requires VGA, the latter looks MUCH better with a digital connection like DVI and HDMI.

Paul 12

June 17, 2010, 1:02 am

I actually own an Asus 1005PE- and I'm using it right now to type this comment.





People seem to easily forget what the netbook concept is about- mobile computing. Size and weight is important, and the 1005PE scores well on both fronts- I use this computer all around the house, on trains, on planes and in meetings and tutorials. Battery life is fabulous ! There are a number of energy saving options- both the standard windows power profile, settings in the graphics properties, screen brightness and also processor speed- I regularly manage more than full work-days with this netbook.





I'm not interested in gaming or HD video playback- these are not really relevant considerations for a netbook review.





True, this is not the cheapest netbook- but the 1005P has the same basic spec but with smaller HDD and no bluetooth- and it still comes with WIN7 and it's a bit cheaper than the 1005PE.

comments powered by Disqus