Even in spite of the weight, most of the changes to the Eee PC 1000 are good ones. While we’ve never taken great issue with the keyboards on either the Eee PC 900 or 901, it’s easy to see why others did and here you should have fewer problems. Keys are larger and more naturally sized and unlike our first 1000 sample, this unit came with a UK style Return key. We’re still not totally thrilled by the layout, however; specifically the right Shift sitting outside the upward cursor key. This is a real nuisance, since it means constantly hitting ‘Up’ instead of ‘Shift’ and ruins the typing flow of anyone who prefers to use the right Shift as opposed to the left one – that’ll be me then.
So, while the keyboard is definitely an improvement over past offerings, it’s still bested by the likes of the MSI Wind and its look-alike, the (article:Advent-4211-Netbook Advent 4211). Indeed, we rather prefer the look of the Wind as well. It doesn’t help that as well being heavier the Eee PC 1000 is both wider and deeper and combined with the battery it does create a rather chunky look and feel. It’s still a good looking piece of kit and certainly feels exceedingly sturdy, but it does lack the sleekness of the Eee PC 900, 901 or the Wind.
Of course, running Windows XP means changes to the software supplied. You still get Open Office, or Star Office as it is here though they are basically the same, but Asus also includes Microsoft’s Windows Live Suite and its Works suite for productivity. Works is a good piece of software but is let down by Microsoft’s insistence on using different file formats than its Office suite, so it can’t deal with Word and PowerPoint files like Open Office – handy if you want to run presentations off your Eee PC.
Windows Live includes a number of programs, including Windows Live Mail for POP mail, Live Messenger for instant messaging, Live Photo Gallery for image viewing and basic editing and Live Writer. Live Writer is a particularly neat tool for anyone who has a blog, since it allows you to compose entries offline and then post them to a blog and it supports most of the major blogging platforms. Skype software also comes pre-loaded, as does InterVideo’s WinDVD for DVD playback, Adobe Reader 8 for PDFs and a relatively basic webcam program called ECap. As ever, you also get all the usual Windows staples like Media Player, Movie Maker and Internet Explorer and since this is XP, there’s no shortage of software available to download.
As noted previously the XP version of the Eee PC 1000, or the 901 for that matter, also features Dolby Sound Room support. This, combined with the Eee PCs surprisingly good speakers, makes the 1000H great for listening to music and watching video on the move – as does the expanded storage on offer. Likewise the screen, though the same resolution as the nine inch varieties, is slightly brighter so is easier to use in strong light.