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Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook - Battery Life, Value & Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

Thus far, then, the 1008HA is clearly putting in a good show, but from the moment we saw it and started to review it our nagging doubt was battery life. Before getting too deep into the technical details one thing that will put off many, particularly the hardcore netbooks users, will be the non-replaceable battery. This means that not only can you not enhance battery life with spare batteries, you also can't replace the battery should its performance significantly degrade. This might not be an issue until three or four years down the line, but an issue it remains.

However, more pressing, in our eyes at least, was whether the 1008HA would be able to deliver decent battery life at all. After all, a three-cell, lithium polymer battery with a measly sounding 2,900mAh capacity doesn't sound particularly promising, regardless of the claimed six hour runtime.

Imagine our surprise, then, when it returned very respectable figures. Not the six hours claimed by Asus mind, but after an hour of video playback there was still 78 per cent battery remaining, while an hour's Internet browsing ended with 81 per cent remaining. Extending our use a little longer, after three hours of web browsing, word processing and general use we still had just less than 40 per cent remaining. Thus, in typical use, you can expect around four and a half to five hours of use - much more than we even dared imagine. Moreover, these results were achieved using the normal 'High Performance' mode, so more longevity could be attained using the underclocked power saving mode.

With this significant hurdle successfully navigated, the only question that remains unanswered is whether it's worth the money? When we embarked on this review we were convinced not, mainly due to our fears over the battery life. But with that issue largely put to rest, the 1008HA begins to make a much better case for itself. Yes, it is significantly more expensive than the mainstream crop of netbooks, but Asus has successfully created a slim and light netbook that offers excellent battery life while still remaining as cool and quiet as any netbook we've encountered. This is no mean feat.

Verdict

Hardcore netbook users, who want the very best battery life possible for the least amount of cost, won't find the Eee PC 1008HA to their taste - not least due to the inaccessible battery. Yet, Asus has delivered a very refined and classy netbook without sacrificing functionality and this should be applauded. And, while it is expensive for a netbook, it delivers enough that it isn't extortionate. Thus, if you're after a little more refinement than regular netbooks can deliver, this is your best bet.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 7
  • Features 9
  • Design 10

blyndy

May 7, 2009, 8:55 am

What's with the large bulge in the keyboard?

Steve

May 7, 2009, 12:11 pm

Unless I missed it in the review, no integrated HSDPA? Not that I am in the market for a Netbook, but I couldn't even consider one without that!

robnew

May 7, 2009, 1:58 pm

The 3 things I want from a Netbook (and I am in the market for one!) Good battery life / up to 1366 x 768 pixel resolution / and integrated HSDPA. Thought my wishes were answered by the Acer Aspire One 751 then Pocket-Lint reviewed it... 'it is a nightmare to live with' (be great to see you guys review it though!). So, am now really tempted by 1008HA on portability and looks alone. Still no perfect Netbook out there as far as I can see.

Neil B

May 7, 2009, 3:41 pm

@Robnew & Steve





It has bluetooth, your phone has bluetooth, use your phone as a modem. So long as you don't take the proverbial your telco won't notice. I don't understand why people want HSDPA in there netbook, I already have a contract and a data tariff for my phone, I don't want to have another SIM card and contract for my computer too. Or am I missing the point?

TheLostSwede

May 7, 2009, 3:52 pm

So, since you didn't mention the chipset, I guess we have to presume it's the 945GSE rather than the GN40 then?

Andy Vandervell

May 7, 2009, 4:12 pm

TheLostSwede - that is correct.

Luan Bach

May 7, 2009, 4:31 pm

Build one with the new low voltage core2 in it and I'll buy one.

smc8788

May 7, 2009, 4:47 pm

@ Luan Bach - You mean the very same ULV Core 2 CPU that costs 6 times as much as the Atom and draws 4 times as much power? Well sure, that sounds great, but it sure as hell wouldn't be classed as a netbook.

TheLostSwede

May 7, 2009, 5:35 pm

@Neil





The thing is that Bluetooth isn't fast enough for full speed HSDPA at 7.2Mbit, although Bluetooth 3.0 might change that.

Luan Bach

May 7, 2009, 6:17 pm

@smc8788


Yup, it's also far faster. I rather like the 1008HA design, not the performance.

Chris

May 7, 2009, 8:47 pm

@Swede, not that a 'real-world' HSDPA connection is ever getting you anywhere near 7.2 Mbps... Bluetooth 2.1 EDR should transfer around 2 Mbps, so there's still a potential bottleneck there. Hopefully Bluetooth 3.0 will kill all these annoying dongles and second SIM cards stone dead.

duhawifi

May 7, 2009, 10:05 pm

Does the ram and hd seem upgradable? I want to use a netbook as a desktop with external monitor etc but still waiting for an ion netbook...

basicasic

May 7, 2009, 10:10 pm

I just don't think I could bring myself to pay £370 for it even if it had gold knobs on.

Xiphias

May 7, 2009, 10:43 pm

@Neil: You have to remember that not all of us have £300 smartphones with built in bluetooth and modem capability. Having built in HSDPA would allow you to stick £10 pay as you go credit on it when going on holiday so you could check on nearby places of interest.

jopey

May 8, 2009, 12:03 am

HDMI, HSDPA, some kind of GPU (eg. ION), 720p screen, 2GB RAM, 6 cell battery, Windows 7 ready... £300. SOLD.





You can get a full size dual core 17inch latop for £350 now. How the hell are netbooks the same price?

Andy0d2

May 8, 2009, 1:34 pm

Video review?

Geoff Richards

May 8, 2009, 2:00 pm

@Andrew - video review will follow next week.

Chris

May 8, 2009, 7:42 pm

@jopey - Thay're small and shiny :) Netbook pricing made more sense when we were still talking <£200.





Also, where did you find a 17 inch dual-core for £350?

Andy0d2

May 8, 2009, 8:00 pm

Thanks geoff I can't wait!

jopey

May 8, 2009, 11:36 pm

@Chris It was at PCworld "Compaq CQ70-211 Entertainment Laptop" No doubt it's not amazing. But it's still a lot of computer equipment for the money. Netbook's processors, boards, screens, batteries and so on are all meant to be cheaper than full size parts. Plus there's no optical drives. I don't see how they are so expensive, it doesn't add up. You can get a pretty good small laptop for £400. Netbooks should half that much. Hell a Dell studio laptop with a dedicated (good) 256MB GPU starts at just over £400.

Chupakun

May 11, 2009, 3:22 am

If I were to use my phone as a modem via USB, would I get good transfer rates?





This netbook sounds mighty impressive but that pricing is rather prohibitive I'd have to say. If we're inching towards £400 territory, might as well jump up to a notebook.

Chupakun

May 11, 2009, 4:50 am

Sorry about the double post but I've got a few more questions:





1) In general, does getting an SSD for a netbook justify the drop in space/rise in costs? From what I understand, since we can't really tax these machines, the speeds wouldn't make a difference. But what about durability?





2) I'm a big fan of the keyboards on a Macbook/VAIO and was wondering if any other netbooks, sans the 1008HA and 1000HE, offered this sort of keyboard?





3) Worth getting a refurb-ed netbook? I still find the pricing to be far less economical compared to standard laptops.

Ohmz

May 11, 2009, 8:49 am

10...9...8...7...9...





C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!!! :)

TechVegan

May 11, 2009, 9:17 pm

@Ohmz:


Haha :), we know, but it just didn't quite deserve a six.

blyndy

May 12, 2009, 7:32 am

This is one of only two Eee's that I have liked. Unfortunately the mini-VGA adapter is not acceptable for me as I need easy access to my VGA-out about once or twice per week. Hopefully the Asus T101H has a proper VGA-out and an accessible battery.

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