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Asus Eee PC Seashell 1015PEM - Design, Usability and AV

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


As already mentioned, on the design front little has changed from previous Sea-shell models like the 1005PE, and that's no bad thing, as it was a very attractive design to begin with. The thin lid and sharply tapered edges give a very sleek impression, while chromed highlights and blue LEDs complement its glossy black and white aesthetic. Mind you, if white's not your thing the 1015PEM is also available with red or blue lids or all in piano black, though we would probably stick with white because it shows off fingerprints the least.

Build quality on most of the machine is good, though above the keyboard there's significant creak and more flex than we would like. If you're after something a little more rugged, it might be worth considering the Samsung NB30 or even Dell's Latitude 2100.

Asus' netbook keyboards have never lived up to the superb example provided by HP with the likes of its Compaq Mini line, and unfortunately that hasn't changed here. Layout is decent while key feedback is actually surprisingly deep and positive for a chiclet-style keyboard, but the keys are too small to be comfortable.

At least the multi-touch touchpad is a pleasure to use. Tastefully delineated by two flush chrome strips, it's large and responsive but doesn't interfere with typing. The pad's buttons, integrated into a large chromed rocker switch, offer excellent feedback though they suffer from a large central 'dead zone' which makes right-clicks more strenuous than they should be.

Getting to the 10.1in screen, as usual we're dealing with a sub-HD Ready 1,024 x 600 resolution. Black levels and dark detailing is surprisingly impressive, despite Asus thankfully foregoing that glossy screen coating we love to hate. We could just about differentiate between the two darkest shades in our test pattern on the 1015PEM, though inevitably white purity takes a noticeable hit.

Combined with excellent sharpness, unusually good horizontal viewing angles and minimal banding, watching films would be a pleasure were it not for noticeable light bleed from the bottom and side edges - in fact, this is the worst case of it we've come across in quite some time. Still, the display is excellent for productivity, and if you can ignore the bleed it does a decent job for entertainment too.

Audio was loud but not particularly refined, suffering from distortion and a lack of clarity at its maximum. Turning the volume down improved things, but bass was still almost completely lacking. It's usable but by no means best in class.


November 29, 2010, 6:36 pm

Ugh. Not enough is happening on the netbook market. Seems like manufacturers are content with just about any offer in the lowest product tier, and are happy to give customers a reason to get a better machine if they can afford it. I guess that makes sense.

Still, Atom, dual core or not, was slow years ago, and these days it's just anemic. They should transition to the same performance level as offered by the new 11.6 MBA. That's still slow, but not painfully slow. Dedicated, performance graphics, OTOH, seem like overkill. As it is, there is just so very little to make these new netbooks more desirable than the old 2nd gen netbooks (ie. the ones where 10" was standard).

500 GB of online storage isn't particularly generous: there's rapidly diminuishing returns after a few gigs (which can be had for free); conversely, since very few customers will use the full 500 GB, you can easily offer it. And the more the customers use in their first, free year, the better: a customer using 10 or even 20 GB of your online storage service is far more entrenched than one with just 1 GB, and is likely to remain your customer -- now paying -- for a long time. I think it's a fairly dubious offer.


November 29, 2010, 7:35 pm


Definitely agree that in general not enough is happening, and agree that the gap between many new netbooks and first-gen ones isn't big enough (though Flash and 720p HD video are now on the menu). I suppose for many, what the average netbook offers is adequate...

Still, there are exceptions, and we should be getting one in soonish :)

Brian Carter

November 29, 2010, 9:17 pm

I still think the screen resolution lets netbooks down. Too many apps are designed for 1024x768.

NB: It may be the case that screens with 1024x768 aren't technically netbooks...but if so that's plain daft as screens get cheaper.


November 30, 2010, 11:52 am

This needs the Atom D525 / Ion 2 combo from the 1215N and a 1366 x 768 resolution + an SSD ala Macbook air or the Seagate hybrid drive.

The Dell Duo looks the most promising Netbook providing the price is reasonable.


November 30, 2010, 1:43 pm

As a long time EEE PC 901 user, I still fail to see any significant improvement over the state of affairs nearly 3 years ago.

Until we get a combination of higher than 1024x600 resolution (with HDMI out please!), usable 720P/flash video and 'day long' battery life in a package that doesn't cost the earth I think I'll stick with what I've got.


November 30, 2010, 10:15 pm


Agree about the 901. If only I hadn't accidentally thrown mine at the kitchen wall, I'd still be using it today. It really was an accident, by the way. Needed a bigger SSD mind, if only a single 16GB rather than the silly 4+8 arrangement.

Raymark Dormido Albunian

July 14, 2013, 7:18 am

after i reformatted my pc i have a problem with my wifi..

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