The company that started the Netbook craze is at it again. The Asus 1000HE is a slight upgrade to its predecessor the 1000H. With this new Netbook comes an improved keyboard, longer battery life, and a faster processor.
- Windows XP Home
- 9.5 hours of battery life for all-day computing
- Convenient one-touch system recovery
- 1.66-GHz Intel Atom N280 processor
- High-speed wireless connectivity with 802.11n and Bluetooth support
The 1000HE, like most Windows based Netbooks, uses Windows XP. Windows XP works well with Netbooks because it does not use as many resources as Vista does, and it is still able to run all the same programs.
Asus claims that the 1000HE can get up to 9.5 hours of battery life, but in order to achieve the 9.5 hours the 1000HE must be running in power-saving mode, with the LCD set to 40-percent brightness, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off, and the Webcam disabled.
The Asus 1000HE comes with a one-touch recovery system. There is a separate partition on the hard drive that stores all the recovery information and you can press F9 during boot up to start the recovery process.
As I mentioned above, the hardware in the 1000HE has been upgraded. Included in the Asus 1000HE is the new Intel 1.66-GHz Intel Atom N280 processor with a Front Side Bus (FSB) speed of 667 MHz. The previous processor was the 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 with a FSB speed of 533 MHz. The numbers aren’t that big so I don’t expect huge performance increases.
The 1000HE has several methods for connecting to a network or other devices, including the latest wireless 802.11b/g/n technologies, Ethernet, and Bluetooth2.1 + EDR.
The outside design of the Asus 1000HE is nothing special, in fact it is almost identical to the 1000H. The 1000HE, like its predecessor, is very sturdy and strong. The use of durable plastics throughout the system help keep the lid and body free of any flexing. I would feel completely confident putting the 1000HE into a backpack and not worry about it getting crushed. I wouldn’t even worry about scratches because the 1000HE comes with its own suede slip case.
The biggest down side of the new design is that it weighs a little more than other Netbooks. At 3.2 pounds, it is heaver than the Aspire One (2.9 pounds), and the MSI Wind (2.6 pounds). However, the extra weight is for a reason. The body of the 1000HE is designed to wrap around the battery, which keeps the battery from sticking out the back. In my opinion keeping the battery from sticking out the back is worth a little extra weight.
On the right side of the 1000HE there is a 4-in-1 memory card reader, two USB ports, a VGA port, and the power plug.
The left side has a headphone and microphone jack, a USB port, Ethernet port, and a Kensington lock slot.
The bottom of the Asus 1000HE has only one large panel. This panel provides easy access to the hard drive and memory, both are user replaceable. The speakers are also located on the bottom. You can see them in the image below, they are the two small vents, one either side of the panel, at the front of the 1000HE.
Lifting up the lid on the 1000HE reveals the screen and keyboard. The screen is nothing special except for the fact that the screen is not glossy, which I really like. The screen resolution is 1024×600 which is standard for Netbooks. The screen is also capable of displaying three other resolutions, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 768 Compress (allows you to see the taskbar), and 800 x 600 (a more standard resolution and good for things like using with projectors and external monitors).
Above the screen is a 1.3 MegaPixal web camera and below the screen are two microphones. There is a microphone on either side of the Eee PC name and they work together to provide really great audio reception.
The keyboard on the other hand has been improved. The Asus 1000HE sports a 92% full keyboard. Each key is a perfectly flat, isolated, chicklet, style key. This is the same kind of keyboard that the Apple MacBook and several Sony VAIOs have. However, the biggest improvement has been in the spacing of the keys and the placement of the right shift key. I would have preferred it if the shift key was a bit larger, there is plenty of room to move the arrow keys down and stretch out the shift key, but the current layout is still a lot better than before. Here is an image of the 1000H vs the 1000HE keyboard layout. I also included an image of my Toshiba U305 keyboard because it has the arrow and shift keys the way I like them.
Above the keyboard there is a silver strip which has 5 buttons. The 4 buttons on the left side are used to blank the screen, toggle between the four display resolutions, change the Super Hybrid Engine setting, and launch Skype. The last two buttons are also customizable so you can change them to perform one of many different actions. The 5th button, which is all the way on the right, is the power button. The buttons are quite squishy and do not have a very solid feel or click when they are pressed.
Below the keyboard is the touchpad. The 1000HE uses the same touchpad and buttons as the 1000H, which is a good thing. This touchpad is quite large compared to other Netbooks. The touchpad also has a nice textured feel, which make it easy to control. This touchpad is capable of performing several multitouch gestures. To test this out I tried rotating and zooming a few pictures. While it was not perfect, the large size of the touchpad certainly helped. The touchpad buttons are also very nice. They do not have the same squishy feel that the buttons above the keyboard have, and they have a nice solid click and feel when pressed.
So how does such a small Netbook perform? Netbooks are not known for being powerful or even fast.
To see how it performs I ran it through a few tests. The first test I ran on the 1000HE is 3DMark06. This test puts the graphics of a machine under stress and returns a score based on how well it performs. Because of the specs on this machine I was not surprised when I saw the extremely low score of 118. Netbooks have never been known for being graphically powerful, so if that is what you are looking for then you are barking up the wrong tree.
The next test is PCMark05. Like 3DMark, PCMark stresses the system to get an idea of how well it performs. However, PCMark does not focus on graphics quite as much as 3DMark does. So the score is more of a representation of how well the entire system performs. Again the specs for this Netbook do not give any indication that it will get very high numbers. So the low score of 1581 was not surprising.
The last performance test is on the battery. There are several things that can affect the battery life of a machine, the size of the screen, system speed, and battery size. Because this Netbook has a 6-cell battery, a 10″ screen, and very low system performance, I expect the 1000HE to get a good battery life score. So the long life of 7 hours and 16 minutes made me very happy. The only laptop we have tested that beat this score is the HP EliteBook 2350p and it costs 3x as much as the 1000HE.
The speakers do a decent job, even though they are facing down. However, don’t expect to use them in a presentation or in any other situation where you would need to fill a room with sound. These speakers are purely for personal use and in a quiet room.
Video playback is smooth. I downloaded and watched a 480p trailer and it didn’t have any problems with skipping or pausing. The sound, as mentioned above, was adequate. There were some spots however, that I had a hard time understanding the speech, but I never had any trouble hearing the music in the video.
Warranty and Support
The Asus Eee 1000HE comes with a standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty, and Asus offers online Web-based help and a toll-free phone number. If you visit the Asus website you can find driver downloads and a brief FAQ.
The Asus 1000HE performed really great with its intended purpose. The new keyboard is a good improvement and the battery life is outstanding. Even though the 3DMark and PCMark scores were really low it was still able to play a 480p video without any trouble. I think this is a very viable option for anyone looking for a Netbook and you don’t have to shell out a lot of money to get one. The Asus 1000HE can be found on Amazon for only $374.95.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|