I spent the better part of Wednesday night tinkering with, setting up, and exploring the Asus EeePC 1000HE, and wanted to record some of my first reactions. Most of this is coming from the perspective of the Dell Mini 9, as that was the previous netbook that I had.
First off, the 1000HE has some annoying design flaws that I simply must point out. First, I’m not really wild about the massive tube on the hinge. I realize it’s mostly there to make the battery look like it fits, but it’s simply not aesthetically pleasing. Plus, the silver endcaps are ribbed, a design that usually means I could unscrew the caps to find some feature or something. You can’t.
Also, the speakers face down, with the grills located on the bottom of the computer. Granted, the part where the grills is located is angled up, so that when sitting on a flat surface, like a table, it might project the sound. However, when sitting in your lap, or in bed, it’s likely these will be muffled instead. Boo.
The last design flaw is actually probably the most annoying. One of the selling points of the Asus EeePC 1000HE, in my opinion, is its non-glossy matte display. I much prefer this, specifically on a netbook that’s likely to be used outdoors or at a coffee shop. Unfortunately, the rather thick bezel surrounding the display is made of high-gloss black plastic – perfectly shined to brightly reflect any and all lights. It’s nearly bad enough to completely offset the matte display, which is a shame. I’m looking into options to remedy this.
Aside from that, it’s a nice machine. The 1000HE is closer in size to my Dell XPS M1330 than the Dell Mini 9 was, and I’m not sure how I feel about that quite yet. It’s still more portable than the M1330, but obviously not nearly as portable as the Mini 9 was.
In terms of battery life, thus far I’m floored. At ~4p yesterday I unplugged the 1000HE, with a full charge. I then spent the rest of the night with full brightness and WiFi running, downloading and installing applications, rebooting, etc. At 930p, Battery Bar was still showing 2.5hrs of power left.
Today, at around 11a, again with a full battery, I unplugged the EeePC 1000HE, leaving WiFi and Bluetoth on, full brightness, and Seesmic Desktop running, as well as a Bluetooth headset charging off a USB port. As of 315p, I’m showing just under 1 hour of remaining battery life. While that’s not the full 7-9 hours advertised, it’s much longer than any laptop I’ve ever used. I would imagine if I turned the brightness down slightly, and disabled WiFi or Bluetooth (depending on how I was connecting to the net) I could get alot further.
Thus far, I’m most definitely a happy camper.