Thursday, July 17, 2008

Asus Eee PC 1000H

The wait is finally over for the Eee PC 1000H, a laptop that promises to slay all that enters into the Netbook arena. It's the most well-equipped--and largest--in the Eee series and has cast aside the usability shackles of its diminutive predecessors.

It's available in two flavors: A Windows XP model with a harddisk for S$888 (US$652.94) and an SSD Linux model, each of which has a slightly different specification. Could this be the perfect balance between portability and function? Or has ASUS lost its way on the path to Netbook nirvana?

Editors' note :
This review is based on tests done by our sister site CNET.com.uk. As such, please note that there may be slight differences in the testing procedure and ratings system. For more information on the actual tests conducted on the product, please inquire directly at the site where the article was originally published. References made to some of other products in this review may not be available or applicable in Asia. Please check directly with your local distributor for details.


The Eee PC 1000H has much in common with the Eee PC 901. It's got the same shiny, metallic hinges and a curvy-edged lid. Currently, it's available in only one colour--glossy black--but we'd be surprised if ASUS doesn't release a white version and other subsequent hues in the near future.

The Eee PC 1000H is the largest mini laptop we've come across. Its 225 x 170 x 20mm chassis is a few millimeters wider and deeper than an MSI Wind, but we don't have too much of an issue with this; it's still very portable. What we do have a problem with is the Eee PC 1000H's weight--1.45kg with the standard 6,600mAh battery. Even without the battery, it tips the scales at nearly 1.1kg, which is what the MSI Wind weighs with its standard 2,200mAh power cell. To say ASUS has screwed up in this area would be an understatement.

The extra weight and larger than normal size places the Eee PC 1000H in unusual territory. It's no longer a Netbook, in our opinion, but is more like an ultraportable laptop in the same vein as a Sony VAIO TZ series. There's nothing wrong with this, per se--ultraportables typically cost well over S$2,500 (US$1,838.24)--but Eee PC purists may cry foul.

One thing the purists can't complain about is the 1000H's usability. It's the easiest to use on a daily basis of all the Eee PCs and its assorted rivals. The keyboard in particular is wonderful. Sure, our review sample felt clunky, but ASUS says it'll iron this out for final machines. The right shift key is way too small at the expense of full-size cursor keys, but aside from this it's the best keyboard on any machine in its category.

The mouse trackpad is fantastic. Unlike its rivals, it supports multi-touch gesture inputs, so you can stroke two fingers vertically or horizontally to scroll through documents or use a pinch or stretching motion to zoom in and out of photos. This feature is perfect in a machine for which its primary use is surfing the Internet. It just makes life so much easier.

The rest of the chassis is basically identical to the Eee PC 901. On the left side, there's an Ethernet port, a single USB port, plus mic and headphone ports. On the right, there are two additional USB ports, an SD card reader and a VGA output port.


There are few surprises inside the machine--particularly if you've been following our coverage of the Eee PC 1000H for the past few months. It uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, plus 1GB of DDR memory--much like the Eee PC 900, Acer Aspire One and MSI Wind.

ASUS is releasing two versions of the 1000, as it did with the 901, 900 and 701. The Eee PC 1000 ships with Linux and 40GB of solid-state storage and the S$888 (US$652.94) Eee PC 1000H uses an 80GB mechanical drive and Windows XP. Notably, this is the first time in Eee history that the Windows XP model has had more storage than the Linux model and the first time there has been a price difference between the two versions.

In the past, we've always recommended buying the Linux version of Eee PCs since they've traditionally had more storage space. But in the case of the Eee PC 1000 series, we'd say the Windows XP model is the one to go for, especially if you want to pay less money and get an extra 40GB of storage space. The Linux model isn't a dud, though--we'd recommend it to anyone who's accident-prone, as its less susceptible to data loss as a result of sudden impacts.

The wireless capabilities of both versions of the Eee PC 1000 are identical. They include 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, so you can connect to just about every type of popular Wi-Fi network, including high-speed 300Mbps networks. There's also Bluetooth, which isn't quite so handy, but we're more disappointed at the absence of integrated 3G for true go-anywhere Internet access.

It's worth noting that the Eee PC 1000H's screen is of a good standard. Its vertical viewing angle is pretty limited, as is the case with all these devices. The 1,024 x 600-pixel resolution is, again, par for the Netbook course, but it's still a pleasure to use. It doesn't use a glossy finish, all icons and text are large and readable and there's simply not as much need to squint or bow your head closer to the device to see what's going on.

Performance And Battery Life

There's very little difference between the Eee PC 1000H and the rest of its Atom-equipped rivals in terms of performance. The 1000H clocked up 1,512 in PCMark05, which is a very respectable score for a machine of this type. During our time with it, it felt very responsive and never gave us the impression it wasn't up for a particular task.

3D gaming isn't the 1000H's forte. It hit only 602 in 3DMark06, which is pretty pathetic. Remember, the machine clearly isn't designed to move polygons around, so if you stick to things like browsing the Web, showing presentations, playing movies--high definition included--you won't be disappointed.

Battery life was pretty impressive in the Eee PC 1000H. We weren't expecting it to be as long as the Eee PC 901's, due to its larger screen, but it fared surprisingly well. It lasted 3 hours 56 minutes while watching a DivX movie, which is good compared to the 901.

The Eee PC 1000H is a fabulous machine. It precariously straddles the line between mini laptop and ultraportable, but it's well-equipped, well-designed and great for those who need a usable laptop on the move. It's more expensive than the similarly equipped MSI Wind, but it does have its advantages like the multi-touch mouse trackpad and a choice of specification. As a result, we recommend it highly.

Service And Support

ASUS offers a one-year local warranty for the Eee PC. Should a problem occur with the unit, you can send it to your local ASUS service center and get it repaired. ASUS Web site provides software support and updates as well as a telephone hotline number.


Processor Intel Atom

Processor number N270

Processor speed 1.6GHz


Amt of RAM 1024 MB

Hard drive 40 GB

Card Reader SD, MMC

Flash-based HDD Yes


Ports3 X USB 2.0; VGA out

Bluetooth Yes

Infrared No

Ethernet 10/100

Wireless LAN 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n

Webcam Yes


Graphics hardware Intel GMA 950

Screen size 10.2 inch

LCD technology Transflective TFT (widescreen)


Remote No

DVD/MP3 without bootup

TV tuner No

Soundhardware Integrated audio; speakers

Jacks mic-in, line-out, earphone-out


Operating system any


Weight w/battery 1.45 kg

Dimensions 265.9 x 191.3 x 38.1 mm

Power Supply

Battery type(s) includedLithium Ion


Warranty One-year local warranty