For a company that delivers so many great innovations, Asus seems to be stuck in a rut when it comes to the design and names of its Eee PC 1000HE and , it's also very similar physically, meaning it's extremely difficult to tell them apart. For reference, the 1005HA is the model with the removable battery and a copy of Windows 7 Starter. It's available to buy now from around £230.
All machines in the Seashell series -- the 1005HA included -- look and feel terrific. Sure, the 1005HA doesn't look anything like an actual mollusc, but it's an attractive machine with a very contemporary aesthetic. The keyboard is particularly worthy of praise -- it's 92 per cent the size of a full laptop keyboard, feels responsive, and has near-perfect travel and spring. The mouse trackpad, with its multi-touch functionality, is also a joy to use.
Two versions of the 1005HA are available -- one with an Intel Atom N270 CPU, and another with the slightly quicker Atom N280. You'll notice very little difference in performance between the two processors in day-to-day use, although Asus claims the latter boots approximately 8 seconds quicker. Both models have 1GB of RAM along with an impressive 10-inch, 1,024x600-pixel display. Crucially, some retailers are shipping the 1005HA with hard drives as large 250GB, plus an additional 500GB of online storage -- a huge improvement on the 160GB disk in the 1008HA.
The 1005HA's connectivity is fairly standard. The machine has a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, rather than the faster 1,000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet that's available on some of its rivals. You do, however, get high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi, in addition to the slower 802.11b/g versions, plus three USB ports, one VGA port and an SD/SDHC/MultiMediaCard card reader. The version of the machine that ships with the N280 CPU also has a 1.3-megapixel webcam, as opposed to a 0.3-megapixel webcam, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, so keep this in mind if you're into making your own YouTube movies.