Our only other concern when approaching the 1000H was always going to be with performance. Windows XP isn’t a problem, it’s a mature operating system that’s been proven to run perfectly well and neither were we particularly concerned about the raw performance of the hard drive, since the solid state storage used in Eee PCs has never been the fastest around. No, our main concern surrounded heat and the battery life impact a mechanical drive might have.
For starters the 1000H is both noticeably nosier and warmer than any of its SSD equipped counterparts. Noisier first because you can hear the drive spinning up from time to time, but secondly because it means that the fan runs more or less constantly instead of only intermittently. This is necessary since a mechanical drive generates a lot of heat that must be removed. It also means the 1000H isn’t quite as comfortable to use on your lap since it runs warmer, though not so hot you’ll be scalded.
Naturally enough, both these factors have an impact on battery life as a whole. For instance, use the 1000H extensively with Wi-Fi enabled and brightness at reasonable levels and you’re looking at around four and a half hours of battery life – more conservative use can produce up to six hours. This is still very good – much better than any other similar netbook can manage – but SSD powered Eee PCs, be it the Linux 1000 or the 901, could both manage in excess of five hours in similar conditions and even more during light usage.
What we have here, then, is a trade-off between the flexibility of expanded storage and the slight hit in battery life you take for it. Is it worthwhile? In the context of the Eee PC 1000H, it is. Seeing as it is already larger and as such more like an ordinary notebook, the larger hard drive makes a lot more sense and suits the usage model for this version better than an SSD. Moreover, it still offers far more longevity than any notebook at a similar price, so in effect you’re getting something approaching the best of both worlds – minus the computing power.
Asus has gone out of its way to make an Eee PC to suit every need and if you’re after an everyday mobile computer, the Eee PC 1000H will suit many. Its larger keyboard makes it easier to use for adults, while its greater storage also provides the flexibility a more mature and demanding audience are after. It’s only a shame the 1.45kg weight makes it bulkier than most, but on balance it’s still the better of two 10in Eee PCs and until someone can match the battery life offered here it’s probably the best netbook of its type, too.
Score in detail
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