Laptop review: Asus Eee PC 1005HA
Technology correspondent Jon Wilcox takes the latest ‘Seashell’ netbook model from Asus for a test drive.
Having carved out a lucrative niche with its pioneering netbook two years ago, Taiwanese manufacturer Asus is expanding its Eee PC range of mini-notebooks in 2009 with several new models. The latest member of the Seashell range, the 1005HA arrived on retailer shelves earlier in the summer alongside the 1101HA. Available in a range of colours, including pink, the 1005HA attracted attention when it was first unveiled, thanks to its removable battery and reputed 10-hour charge.
Under the bonnet, the 1005HA comes in two different flavours: a version powered by Intel’s tried and tested 1.60GHz Atom N270 processor and another sporting the chip maker’s newer (and slightly faster 1.66GHz) N280. In fact, much of the machine’s guts can be found in many other netbooks, highlighting the way choice is coming down to just screen size and keyboard design. In the case of the 1005HA, the screen is an LED-supported 10in display; as for the keyboard design, more on that later. So far as connectivity is concerned, the 1005HA includes 3 USB ports, VGA output, and an Ethernet port. This near-generic list of ports is completed with the almost obligatory SD/MMC card slot situated on the right-hand side of the machine.
This particular model of the 1005HA features the N270 processor, and as such, performs pretty much like any other netbook on the market with the N270/1GB RAM configuration. It also includes the mid-range battery that allows up to 8.5 hour lifespan, rather than the 10 hour version. Oh well, at least that makes comparisons with our office’s Dell Inspiron 910 more about aesthetics than performance (battery aside)! But since a prevailing issue with netbooks are their uncomfortable keyboard designs, perhaps that’s not bad thing.