Etc.

Howdy all. It’s podcast recording day, so we’re all gearing up for that. I’m going to play hooky from show prep for a second, though, to give you a flash review of the Eee PC 1000H that I ordered last week. As you may know, Asus cut the price on the 1000H over the weekend from $550 to just $450. I ordered at the higher price, and Newegg doesn’t formally offer any sort of price protection, so ouch. However, I pulled up an online chat with their customer service folks and they promptly agreed—all while reminding me they don’t offer price protection—to meet me part-way and refund 60 bucks. So my net price was under $500, at least.

This purchase was a bit of a shot in the dark for me. I had read Geoff’s review of the Eee PC 1000 40G, of course, and I recently reviewed the 901 myself, but I’d never actually held a 1000 model in my own hands or used one. I very much liked the concept of the 1000H for several reasons, though.

In my 901 review, I complained about several aspects of that model, including the performance and capacity issues of the SSD. I really thought the 901 felt sluggish, like most netbooks, because of the cheap SSD, and I speculated that the 1000H, with its real hard disk drive, might be quicker. A lot of folks may not have a frame of reference for this, but I did, because I’d reviewed the same Atom processor in a desktop configuration and found it to be much, much snappier than the Eee PC 901—fast enough that for basic app use and web surfing in Windows, an Atom-based system didn’t feel any slower than my quad-core desktop rig.

Turns out I was more right than I’d even hoped, really. The 1000H feels incredibly quick compared to the 901 and, if you didn’t know any better, you might think it was a Pentium M or a Core 2 Duo. So long as you’re not trying to decode highly compressed HD video or the like, the Atom is more than adequate as a web/net client, and the Seagate Momentus 5400.3 hard drive in the 1000H pulls this little CPU out of the quicksand and lets is meet its potential. In most places where the 901 is noticeably slow—loading up some web pages, installing apps, hibernating to disk—the 1000H feels every bit as quick as a full-sized laptop.

Gosh, what a huge step up. I’d hoped for something along these lines, but I got even more than I dared to hope.

On top of that, the rest of the 1000H formula works very well. The keyboard makes touch typing feasible and even comfortable. The screen is bright and crisp, and amazingly, Asus hasn’t cursed the 1000H with the same grainy texture on the touchpad as the 901 we reviewed. As a result, the touchpad feels much more precise, and multi-touch scrolling is (wait for it!) creamy smooth. And the size, wow. Perfect.

The only real downside I’ve found so far a fairly noisy cooler. The blower whines quite a bit, even at its lowest speed, which makes the 1000H louder than most laptops. Judging by my experience with the 901, Geoff’s with the 1000, and various online posts about the 1000H, I get the sense this is a bit of a gamble with these new Eee PCs. Many of them are quiet, but some whine a bit. I seem to have gotten a whiner.

Still, for the price and given everything, I’m mightily impressed by the 1000H. The size (teeny), battery life (6-8 hours), and connectivity options (802.11n, Bluetooth, and SDHC reader) make it exceptionally mobile, and with a real HDD, it’s fast enough to do, well, mobile stuff without any annoyance. I can see paying more for a larger laptop for specific needs, but at 450 bucks, the 1000H ought to be exceptionally popular once people figure out what it is.

As I said the other day, I’ve already ordered a 2GB SO-DIMM and a Bluetooth mouse. Since the 1000H has a 2.5" bay for SATA mobile drives, my next move may be to order a real SSD to see how it performs. Not sure I will, but having the option presents some temptation.

Comments closed
    • gyrfalcon1
    • 12 years ago

    Anyone know if the 1000H’s wireless is dual band(2.4Ghz/5Ghz) N or just the standard 2.4Ghz?

    • randomhack
    • 12 years ago

    Hi Scott.

    Would you mind doing some tests on the eee with various hard disks as well as SSDs? The new seagate 7200.3 momentus drives are fairly cheap and should be faster. You can get a huge 320gb drive at 7200rpm for $160 .. which is the starting price point for SSDs.

    thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 12 years ago

    Those are really well manicured (or is it pedicured?) hands there. Did you guys hire a hand model?

      • Damage
      • 12 years ago

      Nope, that’s me. You can’t see the webbing from that angle.

        • moose17145
        • 12 years ago

        It is manicured for hands, pedicured for feet. Reason i know this is my english class from high school on roots. mani means hands and pedi means feet. hence the term bipedal locomotion. broken down it would mean Two (bi) Feet (pedi) locomotion.

        PS – Whoooo for beer!!! Whoo!

          • Ethyriel
          • 12 years ago

          Man, they should seriously require a semester course in high school teaching combined beginning Latin and Greek. Neither of the school districts I went to (one very good in N. Illinois, one very bad in N. Arizona) offered Latin by the time I got there, and that half assed attempt at incorporating Latin and Greek roots into 9th grade English just didn’t cut it. Hell, I looked into it, and the community college down here hardly manages to field a single Latin class combined from the four campuses. It’s sad that we’ve lost our grasp on a language so useful in studying linguistics, biology, philosophy, literature, and theology, I definitely think it’s an indication of the greater situation.

            • eitje
            • 12 years ago

            NUH UH!

            *kidding*

    • mcphill
    • 12 years ago

    I ordered on 8/14, they just offered me $25 credit. They said if I had ordered more recently, I would have received more…

    • mcphill
    • 12 years ago

    Did you get a chance to check your system file dates? As I stated in your last etc. post mine are all dated 2010 which is causing me some problems… Asus tech support said they would call me back “in 20 minutes” about 4 days ago…

      • Damage
      • 12 years ago

      No such weirdness going on here! File dates are in ’08.

    • swaaye
    • 12 years ago

    Yeah I think that for anyone who has used an Eee 90x, the pure, innocent excitement level that was initially there for SSDs has been reduced a bit. If the write speed sucks horribly, it doesn’t really matter how amazing the access times or read performance are. It’s no fun to watch the machine pause as it tries to do some writes that were absolutely inconsequential on the lowliest HDD.

    I still think the 9″ machines have their place though. They are the most portable x86 machine I know of and that does count for something. Their size does certainly bring with it a lot of caveats on usability though. Still, compared to a PDA or phone, they are miles ahead if you need some portacomputing.

    It’s just that you get what you pay for.

    • Rahabib
    • 12 years ago

    Few questions for the 1000H

    will this thing play ripped DVDs (VOB files) smoothly? whats the battery life with video? Whats the bootup time and app launching times for firefox?

      • ace24
      • 12 years ago

      I’ve got a 901 which is essentially the same hardware and SD video encoded in x264 plays perfectly well. Even 720p HD content played well, it maybe had slight frame dropping, but it was hard to tell if so. I feel like VOB/MPEG2 files should play no problem.

      Bootup time (I run Arch Linux/GNOME) is 30 seconds to desktop (I could probably trim this down a little bit), and another 5 or so to launch firefox. This is off the 901s SSD, but I’d imagine the 1000H performs pretty similar. Can’t help you out with windows times, I dont run it.

      Not sure about battery time, but I’d expect at least 4 hours playing video (with wireless disabled at least).

    • cobalt
    • 12 years ago

    So do any of these “netbook” class machines have a better screen resolution?

    I’m looking to replace an old 12″ Inspiron 700m (which has a 1280×800 screen), and wouldn’t mind something a little smaller, but I think most of the 9″-10″ class machines are 1024×600…. Even for just web surfing, that seems a little small.

      • HiggsBoson
      • 12 years ago

      That’s what I’d like to see as well.

      • swaaye
      • 12 years ago

      1024×600 on a 9″ screen is pretty high pixel density already though. I’ve been using a Eee900 for months now and I do think that screen area is more than just adequate for web browsing. I do minimize on-screen stuff in the browser by turning off the status bar, disabling the menu bar and setting the nav buttons to small.

      My friends who have 1920×1200 17″ notebooks say that 1024×600 on a 9″ looks like it’s denser. One thing is for sure: things would get tiny if the density went up.

        • crazybus
        • 12 years ago

        1280×800 at 10.2″ is only 9% higher pixel density than 1024×600 at 8.9″. ~148dpi vs ~136dpi. The 17″ 1920×1200 display you mentioned would be about 133dpi, so there’s not a large difference.

        I would be interested in a 10″ model with 1280×800 resolution.

        • cobalt
        • 12 years ago

        Yep, that’s about the same as 1600×1200 screen on a 15″ (130dpi vs 133), which was great the last time I used one some years back. Even so, that was in the days before wonderful scaling in web browsers like FF3 — if you can’t read something, making it bigger is easier these days than it used to be. But with only 600 pixels, it puts a pretty hard upper bound on the amount of information you can fit on one screen.

        Of interest: apparently the HP 2133 Mini Note is a available with 1280×768 on a 9″ display. Wouldn’t buy it with its other specs, but the screen’s out there, at least.

        I guess maybe part of the problem is that there’s such a large bezel on most of these devices — I know it would cost more, but if someone could fit a slightly larger screen on one of these form factors, that might be just about perfect……

      • jjj
      • 12 years ago

      Dell should release soon. a 12.1″ atom based thingy ยง[<http://gizmodo.com/5048983/mystery-121+inch-dell-laptop-on-uk-supermarket-website-e+slim-leaked<]ยง

      • floodo1
      • 12 years ago

      HP is the only one with a 1280×800 screen

        • Ethyriel
        • 12 years ago

        Well, Fujitsu has 1280×768 in 9″ with the P1620, but that hovers around $2000. Or Lenovo has the X61t with a high pixel density (1400×1050), but that’s back up to 12″.

        It’s definitely a different price range when you want to start breaking away from the netbook limitations, besides the occasional differentiation from this or that manufacturer.

    • ludi
    • 12 years ago

    Damage — I don’t have an SSD/Atom for comparison, but the one thing I noticed on my Aspire One XP is that mundane tasks (like editing the taskbar properties, for example) seem to take longer than usual. On the other stuff — general Office, Internet, and media playback — I agree with you, although the machine will choke up faster with excessive multitasking (which is to be expected).

    Can you verify this behavior on your 1000H?

      • ludi
      • 12 years ago

      bump?

    • adisor19
    • 12 years ago

    Nice, but i’d still want a Nano or a C2D instead of the Atom.

    Now, how about that iPhone review ? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Did you jailbrake it yet ? Did you update to 2.1 and notice all the problems that 2.0.x had are gone ?

    Adi

      • Sandok
      • 12 years ago

      Steve Jobs should hire you Adi ๐Ÿ˜€

        • ludi
        • 12 years ago

        Steve Jobs and Adisor could make Mac commercials together!

          • adisor19
          • 12 years ago

          If only i had a few billion $$ in my bank account ๐Ÿ™

          Adi

            • bthylafh
            • 12 years ago

            If only you weren’t such a compulsive fanboy.

            • adisor19
            • 12 years ago

            Now now, again with the baseless accusations ?

            Adi

            • Ethyriel
            • 12 years ago

            Dictionary: baseless (bฤs’lฤญs)
            adj.

            Having no basis or foundation in fact; unfounded.

      • lordT
      • 12 years ago

      Dude, NO! Just no!

      • swaaye
      • 12 years ago

      I doubt that you want the added heat or the VIA IGP, however. C2D definitely doesn’t belong in one of these netbooks. I do wish Atom could be tied to 780G though. And I do want a native dual core 32nm Atom. ๐Ÿ™‚

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