Asus’s Eee PC kicked off the netbook craze in 2007, and now the grandmaster of small-and-shiny returns with its best Eee ever. The 1000HE combines the 901’s extra-long battery life with the power and capacity of the 1002HA (which we reviewed in March), and throws in a nearly MacBook Pro–style full-size chiclet keyboard.
The 1000HE is the first netbook we’ve reviewed with Intel’s new Atom N280 processor, which kicks up the clocks from 1.6GHz to 1.66GHz, and the front-side bus to 667MHz from 533MHz. Other than that, it’s virtually the same hardware as Asus’s other 10-inch models, like the 1002HA. The 1000HE trades the 1002HA’s brushed-aluminum exterior for glossy fingerprint-prone plastic, with the chiclet keyboard supplanting the 1000HA’s more standard keys.
While not as large or as comfortable as the keyboard on the HP Mini 1000, the chiclet keys on the 1000HE are a close second. Battery life is superb, too; we got more than five and a half hours on our standard full-screen video battery test—same as the Eee PC 901, which used solid-state storage, and a full two and a half hours longer than the 1002HA. The slight front-side bus speed increase didn’t affect performance as much as we’d anticipated; the 1000HE matched the 1002HA’s Photoshop CS3 time without exceeding it. But that just means it’s tied for first place.
The Asus Eee PC 1000HE is the new standard for netbook excellence.
By our measure, the 1000HE does nearly everything right: roomy 160GB hard drive, three USB ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and an SD card slot. The DDR2 RAM slot is easily accessible, too; making it easy to replace the computer’s single 1GB SO-DIMM with a 2GB module for $20 and five minutes’ effort.
The Elantech touch pad is one of our few complaints about this netbook: it’s prone to momentary hitches, especially at high sensitivity. We do, however, appreciate its convenient multitouch commands.
Even with the sometimes-wonky touch pad, the Asus Eee PC 1000HE is a great netbook. Indeed, the 1000HE exceeds its rivals in everything but the touch pad, aesthetics, and the keyboard (where the HP Mini 1000 still reigns supreme), but it’s certainly no slouch in those categories. Yes, this is the new netbook to beat.
Asus Eee PC 1000HE
Great battery life; comfortable keyboard. Speedy and roomy.
Glossy finish attracts fingerprints; the touch pad is occasionally wonky.