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Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook - Touchpad, Connections, & Display

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


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.


May 7, 2009, 8:55 am

What's with the large bulge in the keyboard?


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!


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?


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.


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.


May 7, 2009, 5:35 pm


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


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


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.


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...


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.


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.


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?


May 8, 2009, 1:34 pm

Video review?

Geoff Richards

May 8, 2009, 2:00 pm

@Andrew - video review will follow next week.


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?


May 8, 2009, 8:00 pm

Thanks geoff I can't wait!


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.


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.


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.


May 11, 2009, 8:49 am




May 11, 2009, 9:17 pm


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


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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