Editors' note: The suggested retail price of the Asus Eee PC 1000 has been lowered from $699 to $599.
We've been fans of the Asus Eee PC line ever since the very first 7-inch model kicked off the Netbook craze in the fall of 2007. A year later, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer all have small, inexpensive systems powered by Intel's Atom processor, but Asus still has the biggest selection of models, offering 7-inch , 9-inch , and now 10-inch versions.
By moving to a larger screen size, the Asus Eee PC 1000 is closer to a traditional ultraportable laptop than ever, and the $699 price is a far cry from the $350 that rival Netbook models start at (but even further from the $1,500-plus demanded by 11-inch and 12-inch ultraportables). The end result is a very usable system with a big (relatively speaking) screen and a decent-size keyboard, but it lacks some of the pick-up-and-go charm of the smaller Netbooks.
|Price as reviewed||$599|
|Processor||1.6GHz Intel Atom|
|Memory||1GB, 533MHz DDR2|
|Hard drive||40GB SSD|
|Graphics||Intel 915GM (integrated)|
|Operating system||Linux (customized by Asus)|
|Dimensions (WDH)||10.5x7.4x1.1 inches|
|Screen size (diagonal)||10.1 inches|
|System weight / Weight with AC adapter||2.9/3.5 pounds|
Stylistically similar to the 9-inch Asus Eee PC 901, the Eee PC 1000 is marginally larger and a few ounces heavier. Opening up the lid, there's still a fairly thick screen bezel, with a Webcam above and a built-in mic below.
The touch pad is as large as one we'd find on a full-size laptop, and it supports a handful of gesture controls--for example, two fingers can be used to scroll up and down Web pages. The keyboard is one of the best we've seen on a Netbook, replacing the finger-twisting tiny keys found on earlier models. That being said--Dell's new Inspiron Mini 9 does it one better, using flatter keys and a slightly smaller overall footprint.
Even though the screen is bigger, the Eee PC 1000 has the same 1,024x600-pixel native resolution as all the 9-inch Netbooks we've looked at. It's fine for basic Web surfing, but you can find higher resolutions in small screens by looking at the 11-inch Lenovo U110, which has a 1,366x768-pixel display.
|Asus Eee PC1000||Average for category [netbook]|
|Audio||headphone/microphone jacks||headphone/microphone jacks|
|Data||3 USB 2.0, SD card reader||2 USB 2.0, SD card reader|
|Networking||modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth||modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
With a 40GB SSD hard drive, this is the biggest solid-state drive we've seen in a Netbook so far, and a huge step up from the meager 4GB model in the original 7-inch Eee PC. Our review unit had a custom Linux OS, similar to the one found in the Acer Aspire One, but if you opt for the Windows XP version, the SSD drive gets cut back to 12GB, in order to pay for the XP license but keep the overall cost the same.
With Intel's new 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, specifically designed for low-power Netbooks, we found the Linux operating system and basic Web browsing and media playback to be acceptably smooth. The Linux-based system wasn't able to run our usual suite of benchmarks (which use Windows and Mac applications such as iTunes, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Photoshop), but anecdotally, it felt faster than the Linux-powered Acer Aspire One, which had only 512MB of RAM.