Asus’ Eee PC 1000 40G netbook

Manufacturer Asus
Model Eee PC 1000 40G
Price (Street)
Availability Now

Just one year ago, there was no such thing as a netbook. The word simply didn’t exist. Today, however, everyone and their contract manufacturer seems to have at least one of a new breed of diminutive portables available for sale or looming just over the horizon. This explosion of interest in what was formerly the budget subnotebook space all started with Asus’ Eee PC—an unlikely hero saddled with a low-resolution 7″ screen, a cramped keyboard comfortable only for munchkin fingers, limited storage capacity, an underclocked Celeron processor, and average battery life.

My, how things have changed.

Today’s netbook market is littered with much more capable devices powered by Intel’s slick new Atom processor. Screens have gotten bigger, too, bringing with them not only higher display resolutions, but enough space for larger keyboards that can easily accommodate adult hands and high-speed typing. Storage capacity has also risen to the occasion, and battery life and connectivity options have expanded. The netbook has quickly grown up before our eyes.

I quite liked the first Eee PC, but despite its infectious novelty and honest-to-goodness utility, what is now known as the 700 series is hampered by too many limitations to be a viable notebook replacement for most folks. Asus’ new Eee PC 1000 40G, however, is another beast entirely. Perhaps the most mature of this latest crop of netbooks, the 40G sports a 1.6GHz Atom processor, a 10″ screen with 1024×600 display resolution, a 91% keyboard, 40GB of solid-state storage, and a six-cell battery. Of course, the Eee PC’s form factor has grown to host this new goodness, and so has its price. Read on to see whether the result strikes a good enough balance between value, functionality, and portability to make you reconsider your next netbook—or even notebook—purchase.

Glossing it up

The first Eee PC had all the stark whiteness of a Mac. I don’t particularly like the clinical dental equipment look, but I can at least appreciate Apple’s distinct sense of simplistic style. Style, however, seemed to be completely absent from the original Eee PC, which was just, well, white.

Asus looks intent to impress on the aesthetics front with the Eee PC 1000, which will be available in a number of colors, including a shiny black pictured above. The decidedly upscale high-gloss finish looks great in pictures, although that’s only because I polished it up to remove unsightly fingerprints and smudges. Those accumulate rather quickly, given that a netbook is the sort of device that’s typically handled a lot. Asus would have been better off with a matte or flat finish here, trading showroom shine for a cleaner look in day-to-day usage.

Looks don’t count for much, of course, or at least they shouldn’t. However, HP’s gorgeous Mini-Note proves that relatively inexpensive netbooks can be sleek and sexy, and that’s not a bad thing.

While the Eee PC 1000’s glossy coat transcends the low-rent aesthetics of the original, Asus’ latest netbook has put on a little weight. Tipping the scales at just under 3lbs (1.33kg), the 1000 is nearly a full pound heavier than the original. A pound isn’t much in the grand scheme of things—or at least it shouldn’t be, unless you have a particularly spindly constitution—but with the extra weight also comes a larger form factor.

The Eee PC 1000 measures 10.5 x 7.5 x 1.5″ (266 x 191 x 38mm), with its thickest point made up by a battery bulge that’s only a couple of inches deep. The rest of the system is closer to 1.2 inches thick. Above, you can see the system pictured with one of those old-fashioned audio CDs for perspective. As you can see, even at more than 10 inches across, the largest Eee PC is still quite small.

Although the Eee PC 1000 is an inch wider and deeper than the original, it’s still much smaller than my 14″ Dell notebook. Notice how the Eee’s widescreen format yields a much shallower footprint than the Dell’s standard aspect ratio. That really comes in handy when traveling in coach, where you can open the Eee without fear that its screen will be crushed when the obnoxious tourist in front of you decides to recline for a nap without warning.

Processor Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz
Memory 1GB DDR2-533 (1 DIMM)
North bridge Intel 945GSE
South bridge Intel ICH7M
Graphics Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Display 10.2″ TFT with SWGA (1024×600) resolution and
LED backlight
Storage 8GB solid-state drive
32GB internal SDHC
card
Audio Stereo HD audio via Realtek ALC6628 codec
Ports 3 USB 2.0
1 VGA
1 RJ45 10/100 Ethernet

1 analog headphone output
1 analog microphone input

Expansion slots 1 SDHC
Communications 802.11n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 2.0
Input devices 91% horizontal/86% vertical keyboard
Trackpad
with two-finger scrolling
Camera 1.3 megapixel webcam
Dimensions 10.5 x 7.5 x 1.5″ (266 x 191 x 38mm)
Weight 2.9lbs (1.3kg)
Battery 6-cell Li-Ion 6600mAh

Under the hood, the 1000 is equipped with the netbook processor du jour, Intel’s Atom N270 1.6GHz. We reviewed the Atom earlier this month, finding it to be a little slower than VIA’s Nano processor (which has yet to appear in a netbook), but still quick enough for basic tasks, with great power efficiency to boot.

The Atom’s Achilles’ heel is actually the 945GSE chipset that Asus pairs with it here. Or rather, that Intel pairs with it—the chip giant has yet to release a core logic counterpart for the Atom that lives up to the processor’s frugal power consumption. The 945GSE chipset is otherwise adequate, although its integrated GMA 950 graphics processor doesn’t pack much pixel processing potential. More importantly, it lacks HD video decode acceleration, which when combined with the Atom’s relatively limited horsepower, effectively limits video playback to standard definition resolutions.

On the storage front, the Eee PC 1000 40G model we’re looking at today comes with 40GB of solid-state capacity. This configuration is also equipped with a Xandros-based Linux install, and it carries a $699 suggested retail price. Detractors will surely point out that you can buy all sorts of much faster full-sized notebooks for less, but keep in mind that those systems can’t hold a candle to the Eee’s portability or battery life. Asus also offers an Eee PC 1000H with identical Atom internals to the 40G for just $549. This system ditches solid-state storage in favor of an 80GB mechanical hard drive, and Asus throws in a copy of Windows XP for good measure.

Good screen, even better keyboard

Talk of Atom’s inability to play back HD content may be a concern for desktop systems like the Eee Box B202, but it’s less of a problem for netbooks given their smaller displays. The Eee PC 1000’s 10.2″ screen is actually quite big for a mini-notebook, but its resolution tops out at only 1024×600.

This WSVGA resolution that seems to have popped up with just about every new netbook design falls well short of the number of pixels needed for 720p content, let alone 1080p, yet it’s still an improvement over the original Eee PC’s 7″ 800×480 display. The extra width is really what’s important here, since most web pages (including TR) are designed for displays at least 1024 pixels wide. Side-scrolling was common with the original Eee PC, but apart from fiddling with spreadsheets, I didn’t find myself doing much of it with the 1000. Of course, having only 600 vertical pixels means you’ll still do a fair amount of vertical scrolling while browsing.

Asus’ decision to go with a 10.2″ panel on 1000 series is particularly interesting given that the company recently released an Eee PC 900 series with 8.9″ displays. Both screens share the same WSVGA resolution, with the 10.2″ delivering a lower dot pitch that folks with poor eyesight may prefer for reading text. Asus intends to offer consumers as much choice as possible in the netbook space, so expect to see 8.9″ and 10.2″ Eee PCs continue to coexist.

The screen itself is CCFL-backlit, and it looks just a little brighter than that of the Eee PC 700 series. There is, however, the faintest of blue tinges to the display (this effect is greatly exaggerated in the picture above because I’m lousy at taking screen, er, shots).

Continuing to improve on its forebear, the Eee PC 1000 ditches its predecessor’s thick bezel speakers in favor of a thinner frame around the screen. The screen’s matte finish hasn’t changed, though, and I couldn’t be happier. We recently reviewed HP’s Mini-Note, which features a glossy display, and I found reflectivity to be a serious problem under normal lighting conditions. Reflections aren’t a problem with the Eee screen’s flat finish, although it’s worth noting that matte displays generally look a little grainer than their glossy counterparts.

Up above the 1000’s screen you’ll find a 1.3 megapixel webcam. The integrated camera is nothing special, but it’s well-integrated with the Eee’s pre-installed Skype client.

Below the screen lies the Eee’s spacious keyboard, which does away with one of the original’s more damning limitations. The first Eee PC’s keyboard measures 144 mm between the outer boundaries of the A and L keys and 40 mm between the top and bottom edges of the T and V keys, making it 83% of the horizontal and 69% of the vertical footprint of the “full size” keyboard on my 14″ Dell laptop (the Dell’s keyboard is actually slightly larger than the only non-ergo desktop keyboard I have in the lab, which is a bargain bin special that’s always felt a little small). According to my measurements, the Eee PC 1000 keyboard’s horizontal footprint has grown to 91% of full size, while its vertical span is up to 86% of the real deal. That’s a big improvement, and it makes all the difference in the world.

The Eee PC 1000’s keys aren’t quite as big as we saw with HP’s Mini-Note (which has the best netbook keyboard we’ve used to date), but the effective key spacing is very similar, and that’s what matters. On the 40G, even my stumpy digits have no problems cranking out relatively typo-free text at close to 100 words per minute. Thank you, compulsory grade eight typing class.

There are a few problems with the new Eee’s keyboard, though. For whatever reason, it seems to have a tendency to double-tap every so often. A more serious problem, however, is the placement of the up arrow key, which sits exactly where the right shift key should be. Even when typing slowly on the Eee, I constantly found myself hitting the up arrow instead of right shift—a typo that isn’t easy to recover from with a quick backspace.

Asus has prioritized here, trading proper right shift placement for a traditional directional pad layout. As a writer, that annoys me. A lot. But if you don’t do a lot of typing or don’t particularly care for capitalization, it might not be an issue at all. The proper directional key layout is certainly nice if you plan on using the Eee as a basic gaming platform; it would make a pretty sweet little MAME machine.

The 40G’s right shift placement is an unfortunate quirk for what is otherwise a great keyboard. I found the Eee’s key feedback to be surprisingly positive for such a small system, with just enough travel and a solid overall feel. Of the few netbooks I’ve sampled thus far, the Eee PC 1000 is second only to the HP Mini-Note in keyboard quality.

The only other gripe I really have with the Eee PC’s keyboard is that it doesn’t have an “eraser-head” pointing device. This ThinkPad throwback is a personal favorite of mine, and it’s tragically under-used.

I’m not usually a fan of touchpads, but the one Asus includes with the Eee PC 1000 is pretty good. The tracking surface is nice and smooth, and there’s limited multi-touch functionality for two-finger horizontal and vertical scrolling. Two-finger scrolling works well here, since there’s little touchpad real estate for a dedicated horizontal or vertical scrolling bar. The touchpad interface also shows a greyed-out option for circular scrolling that Asus says will be unlocked with a future driver update.

More expansion capacity than you’d expect

While the Eee PC 1000 isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with expansion and connectivity options, it has more of them than a MacBook Air, which is good for a chuckle.

Around the left side of the system we can see headphone and microphone jacks, one of three USB ports, and an RJ45 Ethernet port that tops out at 100Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet would be nice, but for a netbook, the 40G’s built-in 802.11n wireless connectivity is probably more important. I had no problems getting the Eee connected to a handful of different 802.11g networks in my area, although I don’t currently have access to any n-capable hardware.

Complementing the new Eee’s already impressive Wi-Fi component is Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity. This is a nice little extra to have, and something that isn’t standard equipment on many full-size notebooks.

Over on the right-hand side of the Eee, we find an SDHC slot that gives users an easy path to bolstering the system’s storage capacity. However, with 40GB of solid-state storage under the hood, the 40G isn’t desperate for additional storage like the first Eee PCs.

From this angle we can also see the 1000’s VGA output and the remainder of the system’s USB ports. These ports are capable of charging portable devices even if a system is turned off—something my three-year-old Dell laptop can’t do. The ports only get power if the Eee is plugged into a wall socket, so you can’t charge on the move. But you won’t have to worry about unwittingly draining your battery, either.

Flipping the Eee reveals an access door we’ll crack open in a moment. Note that the underside of the system has plenty of venting to keep internal components cool. The Eee can’t get by with passive cooling alone, though. Asus equips the unit with small fan that seems to be on just about all the time. I suspect this fan is charged more with cooling the chipset than the Atom processor; after all, Intel’s Atom-based Mini-ITX board gets by with a tiny passive processor heatsink but requires active chipset cooling.

Fortunately, the Eee’s fan is practically inaudible. Unless you’re sitting in an absolutely silent room, you’ll have to hold the system up to your hear to hear the fan’s gentle whir. The air the fan exhausts from the left side of the system isn’t much warmer than room temperature, either.

The Eee PC 1000 is powered by a six-cell, 6600mAh Lithium Ion battery that feels like it makes up most of the system’s total weight. Because of its position at the rear of the system, the battery makes the Eee a little back-heavy, almost like it’s about to tip over if you open the screen too far. Tipping wasn’t an issue in normal use on my desk or my lap, though. And speaking of my lap, after a four-hour writing session with the Eee PC perched on my thighs, I can happily report that the bottom of the system barely gets warm.

Asus claims that up to eight hours of run time can be squeezed from the 1000’s battery, but that estimate may be a little ambitious. For our first battery life test, I loaded up the TR front page over Wi-Fi and let the system sit, ensuring that its screen didn’t power down. The system was left in its standard on-battery config, which drops the screen brightness by what looks to be about 10%. Just about six hours later, the battery finally gave up. Our next test probed video playback, looping an hour’s worth of standard-definition DivX video. The Eee handled this task with aplomb, managing fluid playback for nearly five-and-a-half hours.

So, while the Eee PC’s battery life’s falls short of the eight-hour mark, it’s still exceptionally good for a netbook, and about what we’d expect from a six-cell battery. Good luck getting even close to similar run time from a full-sized notebook in this price range.

A two-part power adapter keeps the Eee’s battery topped up. This charger is a little bulkier than the one-piece unit that came with the original Eee PC, but the new adapter’s plug won’t block adjacent outlets like the original’s.

Asus also throws a zippered neoprene slip case into the Eee PC 1000’s box. The slip case is actually a couple of inches deeper than is necessary given the Eee’s modest proportions, leaving enough room to cram in the power adapter, as well. Since cases designed for smaller netbook footprints aren’t exactly common, it’s especially handy that Asus includes one in the box.

A window to the Eee’s internals

Those eager to get their hands dirty will be pleased to know that just a couple of screws gate the guts of the Eee PC.

There isn’t much you can do with the 40G once it’s opened up, but in the picture above you can see the single SO-DIMM slot occupied by 1GB of DDR2 memory. The slot itself should support 2GB DIMMs, but previous versions of Asus’ Xandros-based Linux distro haven’t been able to use more than 1GB of memory. That shouldn’t be an issue if you swap the Eee’s OS for another Linux variant or a version of Windows.

To the left of the DIMM slot you can see the SDHC card responsible for 32GB of the 40G’s storage capacity. A separate 8GB solid-state drive rounds out the rest.

A little more Linux

Like the first Eee PC, the 1000 40G comes equipped with a surprisingly user-friendly Linux-based operating system. All the essentials are there, including a Firefox-based web browser, StarOffice 8, Skype, the Pigdin IM client, media playback software, and even a Picasa app.

The Xandros-based Linux desktop is organized into tabs filled with handy shortcuts, and it’s easy for users to set up a set of their own favorites. There are plenty of student-oriented goodies, as well, such as a dictionary, math program, periodic table and star map, and even a copy of Let’s Learn Chinese. Users can also tweak the desktop appearance with a handful of color themes.

Mainstream users may not be familiar with Linux, but even my mother found the Eee’s interface appealing and easy to use. Asus has dialed software updates, too, allowing the Eee to automatically download new BIOSes, drivers, and software patches as easily as Windows Update. The update system could use a little more polish to help mainstream users understand what’s going on, though. I received one update message asking to install the 1.1-1 version of Icewm-config-override, with no other details provided. That’s the kind of thing that might easily confuse Joe Sixpack.

Apart from the potentially confusing update messages, the Eee’s OS should serve mainstream users well. For enthusiasts, however, it feels a little too dumbed down. Simple things take more effort than they should, such as shutting down the system, which despite the presence of an “instant shutdown” icon, still takes at least three separate mouse clicks to complete. PC enthusiasts are probably better off supplanting the default OS with one of the new netbook-optimized Linux distributions that are floating around. Windows XP is also an option, and that’s probably what I’d run if I were using the Eee every day.

The Eee PC 1000 deserves a more robust operating system because with a bigger screen and usable keyboard, it feels more like a proper laptop than a cut-down netbook. A 1.6GHz Atom processor may not deliver lightning performance, but it’s quick enough for basic apps, and certainly up to the task of handling the Remote Desktop Connection sessions that make up the bulk of my own mobile computing.

Conclusions

We don’t expect much from netbook performance, and the Eee PC 1000 40G delivers on those modest expectations. Intel’s Atom processor isn’t the quickest chip on the block, but it’s fast enough for web browsing, IM chatter, email, word processing, and a little spreadsheet work. You could dip into photo editing and other tasks, too, but that’s where the Atom’s limited horsepower really starts to hurt. Of course, these limitations aren’t unique to the Eee PC; most of the new netbooks on the market use the same 1.6GHz N270 processor and its associated 945GSE chipset.

The Atom is an obvious upgrade over the original Eee’s underclocked Celeron, but the 1000’s bigger screen and higher display resolution are much more important improvements. Having 1024 horizontal pixels makes web browsing a breeze, particularly when coupled with two-finger scrolling. The larger screen also stretches the form factor to accommodate a larger keyboard. Typing on the original Eee PC was an unpleasant chore, but surprisingly comfortable on the 1000, whose keyboard is roomy enough for high-speed typing even with those with larger hands.

Of course, the keyboard isn’t perfect; the placement of the right shift key is all wrong, and that creates some serious problems if you do a lot of writing. But in return you get a proper directional key layout, and for some folks, that might matter more than easy capitalization.

As a writer, the right shift key almost ruins the Eee PC 1000 for me. But only almost. The Eee’s saving grace is its incredible battery life. Achieving six hours of run time is an impressive feat to say the least, and it’s by far the best battery life we’ve seen from a netbook. Asus also scores points for not skimping on extras, bundling in Bluetooth and 802.11n wireless connectivity that you have to pay extra for with most notebooks.

Those critical of netbooks will be quick to point out that the 40G’s $673 street price is really quite expensive, and nearly twice the cost of the original 4G Surf. Calling the system over-priced would be a stretch, though; keep in mind that you’re getting a much bigger screen, a comfy keyboard, better Wi-Fi, a six-cell battery, and 40GB of solid-state storage. SSDs aren’t cheap, folks.

Fortunately, Asus also offers an Eee PC 1000H (not to be confused with the Celeron-based 1000HD) that’s virtually identical to the 40G. This 1000H variant trades solid-state storage for an 80GB mechanical hard drive, ditches Linux for Windows XP, and can be had for as little as $540. That’s one heck of a deal, and if I were shopping for a netbook today, the 1000H is the one I’d pick up. In fact, if I were a cash-strapped student or had otherwise simple mobile computing needs, I’d be taking a long, hard look at a Eee PC 1000H as a notebook replacement, too.

Comments closed
    • gtoulouzas
    • 11 years ago

    How does the 1.6Ghz Atom compare to the 900Mhz Celeron in older Eees? I have the sneaking suspicion that it might not nearly be the landslide (if a performance advantage at all) that nominal speed indicates…

    • frybread
    • 11 years ago

    “/[http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?t=402<]§ but man, I'd love to have one on the eee, is there anyone at asus we can email and beg?

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Problem for me being, I usually prefer a real mouse to either a trackpoint or a touchpad. I would never benefit from a trackpoint in a desktope keyboard, and also keep a V220 wireless with my laptop at all times, which I use whenever the unit is parked on a desk.

      For a trackpoint to be useful to me, it needs to be in my notebook keyboard, and thus a chicken and egg problem — I can’t base my entire notebook purchase around whether it has one (price is much more critical), nor do I replace my notebook that often, so if it’s there, great. If not…well, that bites, but I have to make do.

    • jwb
    • 11 years ago

    So basically it’s the same width as a Thinkpad X61, but much thicker, much heavier, with a bunch of remaindered crap parts? Gee, let me think about it for a second.

    Nope, still don’t want it.

    I’m really having a hard time seeing the value proposition here. Even at $550 this thing is not really cheap. It’s cheaply made, yes, but not inexpensive. At this width it should have a 100% full size keyboard. As the author points out, track pads on this form factor are a joke. Track point would be dozens of times better. I could go on, but you get the idea. All of my friends who have the older Eee models leave them gather dust in the corner, next to the OLPC. They are cute, but just not useful. It makes much more sense to get a Thinkpad that has the same dimensions but can serve as a full-time, do-it-all main computer.

    • yogibbear
    • 11 years ago

    I bought myself a MSI Wind a couple of weeks ago for uni. Never looked back. Greatest little beast ever. Doing visio, word, excel, email, browsing the web etc. all while at uni.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 11 years ago

    Still too expensive. Why get this over the MSI Wind?

    • DavidFriedman
    • 11 years ago

    I have an eee 900, and have had problems typing due to both the up arrow/right shift problem and a similar problem with caps lock/left shift. So far as I can tell, there is no GUI tool to remap the keyboard under Linux, although it is supposed to be possible to do it from the command line. I believe there is such a tool for Windows.

    It would be very helpful if some Linux guru would create and web simple instructions to:

    Remap up arrow to be another right shift, remap option up arrow, or some other mod up arrow, to be up arrow.

    Remap shift lock to be another left shift, remap some mod shift lock to be shift lock. This might not be needed for the 1000, with its larger keyboard.

    I rarely use shift lock or up arrow, frequently use the shift keys, so this simple change would greatly increase the usability of the eee, at least for me.

    If some kind person does it and wants to tell me about it, my email address is:

    ddfr@daviddfriedman.com

    • derubermensch
    • 11 years ago

    Does the 1000/1000H have built-in mic?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Atom netbooks will be a lot more compelling with the proper chipset and maybe a dual-core Atom.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed. While small can be convenient, I’m still content with my much larger (and more capable) ThinkPad T61, especially since I can’t afford the one small `book I’ve liked so far, the ThinkPad X300 (or its new-and-improved upcoming successor, the X301).

    • Palek
    • 11 years ago

    If the 1000H has a 1.8″ (4300 rpm) hard drive I would highly recommend that prospective buyers steer clear of it. I happen to use the Thinkpad X40 for work which is the only model (I think) in the history of Thinkpads to use a 1.8″ drive and it is SLOOOOOW. When this thing starts swapping I may as well get up and take a 5 minute break because I cannot get any work done anyway until it settles down.

    Maybe newer 1.8″ drives have improved speeds, but I will NEVER-EVER-EVER-EVER buy a computer with a 1.8″ HDD again.

    • Tamale
    • 11 years ago

    if the dell mininote comes out at $299 this thing is going to look way too expensive… even if it is better. that’s all i have to say.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      we can only dream. 🙂

    • Hellion_Prime
    • 11 years ago

    I have a 701. For what it is, its a decent little machine.

    However, ASUS is really dropping the ball when it comes to service. I had to send it in, and it was exchanged for a whole new machine (which is apparently standard procedure with the EEEs “in order to reduce customer downtime”, or so the rep I chatted with said). The machine was shipped back Fed Ex Home Delivery so I had to go back to their delivery center on a weekend to pick the machine up from them. Wireless on the replacement machine was totally inoperative. Now I have to send the 2nd machine back to them.

    If they were really serious about “reducing customer down time” they’d have an advanced exchange system in place. Or actually doing service on the machines instead of just swapping them out.

    • Bauxite
    • 11 years ago

    Couldn’t you just remap the keys to get “your” ideal layout, or is there some inherent problem with remapping a shift key? (or ctrl or alt)

    For me personally, the backslash, backspace and tab key positioning is more important than shifts, and this one has the “ideal” setup (and shape) of those.

    I’m one of those “incorrect” typers that they used to smack hands with rulers to “fix”, so I don’t follow the usual patterns and pretty much always use the left shift regardless of which letter is capitalized. Teaching is one thing, but once you break a nice wpm limit and can actually spell, theres no need to force some BS control freak qwerty-vision on kids or anyone for that matter. (you older leftys that survived the “purges” growing up know what I mean)

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      Tell that to my handwriting which is horrible, due to not being forced to do things properly as a child.

        • Bauxite
        • 11 years ago

        Computers write for you, as long as you can spell correctly and type fast enough. QWERTY is a shit layout anyways, its just too embedded to change: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

        But hey, if you want to go back and try being a lefty in the 50s school system and get the finest penmanship ruler smacks will teach you (since “proper” is righthanded, and forcing is ok) be my guest.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          My left-handed handwriting is just barely worse than my right-handed, just slower. With practice, they’d be equal before too long. Hurray for ambidexterity.

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    The article alludes to this… If you don’t like the price, get the 1000H with the conventional hard drive – $150 cheaper.

    • poulpy
    • 11 years ago

    Screw the usual combo Atom+945G gimme Nano!

      • stmok
      • 11 years ago

      Not ready yet. 🙁

      Have to wait until the end of the year for Nano based products to come…

    • HiggsBoson
    • 11 years ago

    I confess as soon as I got to the part about the 945 chipset I stopped reading…

    • Firestarter
    • 11 years ago

    So how is the readability of the screen in daylight?

    edit: bonus cookies if you manage to take a photograph of your 14″ dell and the 1000 next to each other on a park bench <3

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    It’s just a little too expensive to be that “chuck in the bag” computer that should be the aim of the EeePC. Also maybe a tiny bit too large. But I guess that options are good, and this will appeal to someone who has different priorities.

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    I think this is an Eee too far, over spec’ed & over priced for a netbook. They might try to brand this as a netbook but it’s really in laptop pricing category. It’s small but that keyboard would be a pain unless you were using it all the time so got used to not having a right shift key.

    Having been using the 700 now for over 3 months I don’t see the need for all these other models. The only think missing from the 700 is a built in webcam + mic for skype, it doesn’t need anything else. A larger screen would be nice but not essential. As 7″ – 10″ screens are fine for short stints when looking at the web, but I wouldn’t sit in front of one for more then 40 minutes before my eyes start to get really tired.

    That said it’s a nice piece of equipment, just a little to expensive to get me excited enough to open the wallet.

    • pedro
    • 11 years ago

    Nice review. Thanks Geoff.

    I own a 701 and seeing this, I’d love to trade it in for this one. That said, the 701 is a bit of a trooper with no pretensions and I reckon I’ll be using it for years to come.

    I really can’t wait until new panels with even higher resolutions start getting whacked into these things. 10 inch screens are fine but I’d love a few more pixels upways.

      • HalcYoN[nV]
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed.

      I do feel too much is made of the 701’s screen size. Horizontal scrolling is part of the touchpad’s software, as are tap zones that allow for middle click, forward and back, etc. as single taps in the corners. Also, Firefox allows you to shrink a webpage (ctrl +/-) to easily fit, if side-scrolling is inconvenient.

      I won’t be giving up my 701 anytime soon. If I had to replace it, the 1000H seems to be the sweet spot, but the 701-like form factor and battery life of the 901 is tough to ignore. Hmmm, maybe time to get mini-lappy a 7800mah battery.

    • muyuubyou
    • 11 years ago

    Too pricey for its segment methinks… not comfy enough to be a main computer or even main laptop, not cheap enough to be a second laptop.

      • Synchromesh
      • 11 years ago

      I agree. Makes me want to go hug my used ultraportable Thinkpad which is much better in almost every aspect and cheaper to boot.

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t mind the right shift key placement. But maybe that has something to do with me being left handed and I favor the left shift key more anyways. hehe

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      For me, I need the right shift for the < > ? : ” keys. I could probably wean myself from the last two, and if I’m not doing HTML or programming I hit the first two very often, but the question mark would just kill me. I know I once used a keyboard with a sticky right shift key and that character was brutal.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        According to Mavis Beacon you are supposed to press shift with the opposite hand from which you press the other key. So for < you would hit the left shift and right comma.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          I had one formal typing class in 8th grade, for 10 weeks. That was when Mavis Beacon was still an unknown person, and not a software application. I’m a fast typist, but I’m self-taught. I don’t even know what fingers I use for which keys (I only know I use the right shift key at all because I once used a keyboard with a sticky one).

            • bthylafh
            • 11 years ago

            I took keyboarding class in 8th grade as well. We had a lab full of Apple //c and //e computers, and used “Microtype: The Wonderful World of Paws” for typing drills. This would have been in 1992.

            The right shift key would drive me crazy, since that’s the one that I almost always use, even for keys on the right of the kb. I’d have to do #9’s suggestion and even that seems sub-optimal.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    g[

      • Thresher
      • 11 years ago

      Noooooooooooooooooooo!

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    That shift key would be a deal breaker for me. It’s not as bad on a machine that I wouldn’t be using for coding, but I still use that key enough in daily internet usage that it would kill me. (Especially writing anything that required HTML tags).

    Unless you can remap it. Is the keyboard a PS/2 device? If so, it’s trivial to remap keys under Windows. It’s probably easy to do it even with the oddball bundled Linux distro. Then you just have to pry the key tops off and swap them (assuming they fit) or just live with mislabled keys.

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