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Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook review

Andy Vandervell




  • Recommended by TR

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Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1008HA - 10in Netbook
  • Eee PC 1008HA-WHI012X 25.7 cm 10.1" Netbook - Atom N280 1.66 GHz - White (1024 x 600 WSVGA Display - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD - Bluetooth - Webcam - Windows XP Home - 6 Hour Battery)


Our Score:


Asus' propensity for creating an endless stream of different netbooks is well documented and it has been both a blessing and a hindrance. On the one hand it has kept its burgeoning Eee PC brand in the limelight; on the other it has fostered within us an extreme cynicism at the very mention of a new netbook or Eee PC. It's a fact not helped by the largely unchanging hardware, not that Asus' latest offering, the Eee PC 1008HA, improves matters any. As far as hardware goes it's as generic as the next.

With this paucity of hardware options, dividing one netbook from the next can be extraordinarily difficult. Battery life is often the main turning point and it is one area where Asus has been determined to excel, as shown by its last 10in notebook, the Eee PC 1000HE. However, you can only bang the battery life drum for so long before a little variation is required and to its credit Asus has listened, delivering to us the seashell inspired 1008HA.

We say "seashell inspired", but that's just marketing-speak for 'a bit curvy' isn't it? Had Motorola not taken 'pebble' or Acer 'gemstone' then Asus could just as easily used those terms instead. Indeed, being a tad pedantic for a moment, what exactly is seashell-like about the 1008HA anyway? Type 'seashell' into Google Image Search and it doesn't deliver anything that looks remotely like it.

Seashell or not, though, it's plain to see that the Eee PC 1008HA is one good looking netbook. Its wedge shaped chassis measures just 25.7mm at back and just 18mm at the front, making even the slimmest and lightest netbooks currently on the market look and feel positively obese. It's a fact bolstered by the pleasingly low 1.1kg weight. It's easy to gloss over the significance of this, but the difference between 1.1kg and the 1.3 to 1.4kg of most 10in netbooks is striking, making this a netbook that's bit easier to carry around day-to-day.

Beyond its slimness and lack of heft there are lots of little details that make the 1008HA a very attractive piece of kit. Doubtless its glossy black finish will produce a few grumbles for all the usual reasons, but it does look very fetching and if you fancy something a little more colourful then Asus will be selling white, pink, blue and red versions.

Then there are the ports, which are all neatly hidden behind flaps. Though a slight inconvenience this definitely helps keep the machine looking neat and tidy, while Asus has resisted the urge to clutter the inside with too many status lights or buttons, with just the power button on the right, toggle buttons for the wireless radios and the touchpad on the left, and a quartet of status lights neatly integrated into the hinge section.


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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