Asus Eee PC 1001P: Our Favorite Netbookby Vivek Gowri on March 16, 2010 11:30 PM EST
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In and Around the Asus Eee PC 1001P
As mentioned earlier, the 1001P shares its chassis design with the 1005PE. The textured finish is elegant, with small concentric squares patterned on the casing. The matte finish ensures that fingerprints don't appear, though the small ridges in the casing can collect and trap dust. On a white model like our evaluation unit, this is definitely a problem, since the white casing shows dust and could discolor easily, though that shouldn't matter if you go for the black model. The lone surface on the netbook that remains glossy is the black LCD bezel, present on both black and white models.
The Seashell design language has aged well, with the 1001P still looking fresh. In white, it is quite an attractive netbook, with the sleek lines and the eye-catching square pattern on the casing. The overall cohesiveness of the design gives the 1001P a polished feel, which is notably absent from some of its competitors and very nice to have in a $329 computer.
The bottom of the netbook features a panel for access to the single DDR2 SO-DIMM, allowing for painless memory upgrades. With only 1 memory slot, the 1001P maxes out at a disappointing 2GB of memory, though most netbooks will never be stressed enough to require more than that. Unfortunately, upgrading the hard drive is not such a straightforward process and requires a fair bit of (warranty-voiding) disassembly.
Overall, the build quality is quite good for a netbook, with solid plastic used all around. The palm rests are resistant to flex and the keyboard is firm, a rarity when it comes to budget netbooks. The lid is also very solid and doesn't bend easily. Putting pressure on the back of the screen shows no rippling on the LCD, meaning the screen and backlight are well protected. While no one would mistake this for the rugged ThinkPad of the netbook world (that'd be the ThinkPad X100e), the 1001P is definitely a well-built machine that should age well for a road warrior.
The 1001P uses the same keyboard as the old 1005HA. It is a standard style of keyboard, as opposed to the chiclet style keyboard in the new 1005PE. The 92% sized keys are very usable, and though you wouldn't want to type a novel on the Eee, it suffices in everyday usage. The keyboard can feel a bit cramped when switching between different notebooks, but adjusting to the smaller keys is fairly easy. The keyboard itself is a solid unit, with a standard layout and little to no noticeable flex. However, like the casing, discoloration of the keyboard over time is a concern.
The touchpad is a Synaptics multitouch unit. It works flawlessly, with dual finger scroll, pinch to zoom, three finger right click, and other customizable gestures. There is only one mouse button, a chrome piece that picks up fingerprints easily and acts as a rocker switch with both right and left clicks. The button's feedback is very shallow and quite loud, but works as expected, even without defined right and left buttons.
As far as ports go, the 1001P is very standard for netbook class, with three USB ports, one VGA output, Ethernet, headphone, line-in, and an SD card slot. An HDMI port is noticeably absent, but there are reasons for the omission. First, Atom Pineview CPUs support a maximum digital output of just 1366x768. Second, short of Next Generation ION, Atom N450 lacks the power to decode 1080p HD video, much less push the pixels on an HD display (which is why the HDMI output on NG-ION comes from the GPU rather than the IGP). In short, given the limitations of the GMA 3150 graphics in Pineview, it's pointless to include HDMI without adding a discrete GPU. The webcam and mic are well placed and work as advertised, with Skype users reporting clear audio and video quality from the 1001P.
The speakers are located on the bottom of the system near the front edge, and provide decent sound quality by netbook standards, though that isn't saying much. They're loud enough to hear music or hold a Skype conversation across a quiet room, but they're easily drowned out in noisy environments. As with any other small device, the speakers distort easily at high volumes and you shouldn't expect any bass response. While the built-in speakers suffice for basic usage and the occasional YouTube music video, a good set of headphones will likely get you a far more enjoyable auditory experience.
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kevith - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkI´m new here, wonderful site.
Why all the fuzz over these netbooks? When I look at the specs of this - even brandnew - netbook, I shiver. As many of you, I remember hardware like that, from when it was the hottest you could get - for a desktop that is. And that was NOT very hot indeed. Or fast or effective or environmental friendly or in any way a pleasure to use, related to the hardware of today.
Why this return to hardware with outdated specs? Battery life? Well, that doesn´t seem to work to great anyway, compared to a real laptop. Smartness? An iPhone would be so much flashier, and probably much faster. Portability? Come on, real laptops weigh 2 kg. You have a serious healthproblem if you can´t carry that.
The ones I´ve tried, has been an agony to use, slow slow slow, impossible to read and with terrible keyboards.
nubie - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkReal laptops weigh 1.25 kg.
Just do a search for a Toshiba Portege, real processors, real laptops, and they were thinner and lighter than the Macbook Air long before it ever came out.
A magnesium case and a real Intel processor? That I can get behind.
When do we skip this Atom nonsense and get real On-Die graphics and ULV current-gen processor technology?
Even AMD can compete if Atom is the bar they have to hurdle.
ric3r - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkThe Protege R100, back in the day, retailed for $1999 minimum. The MacBook Air debuted at $1799, and now goes for $1499. I could get five netbooks for the price of a base MBA. Some people don't have that much money to blow on a laptop, and for the severely cost conscious who don't need a lot of computing power (or for those that need a dirt cheap portable companion machine), a netbook is perfect. And even if you think they're pointless, a friend of mine recently noted, they have a 12% share of the entire computing market and pretty much own the sub-$400 price point, so they're not going anywhere soon.
nubie - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkAgreed, but the intelligent user nowadays would simply buy an older (better performance and quality) model for less money than the netbook.
Less than $300 can get you a Portege with 1.2-1.6ghz Core processor.
Obviously this won't appeal to everyone, but in person the quality of the depreciated $2k laptop is much better than a new netbook.
Taft12 - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkSince you're new here, you've missed all the debate that has raged since this type of device was introduced.
It's not intended to be a main computer, the battery life, portability and (perhaps most importantly) low-cost are the important aspects. The keyboards may suck, but it's still much better than text input on an iPhone.
An Atom CPU is definitely "good enough" for web browsing, IM and email. As this article points out, Windows 7 Starter sucks but Windows XP or a Linux Netbook distro are certainly appropriate OSes. If there weren't a market for these, OEMs would stop producing them.
kevith - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - linkOh, there has been a debate.
I wonder what it is, that triggers the emotions so much - mine inclusive - about these little machines? Maybe it´s just envy because everyone that has one seem to love them so much, although they´re tiny...?
I would like to point out, that the article - like any article I´ve read here - is a pleasure to read and has - in my opinion - a high degree of seriousness and credibillity. This is the one place I would seek information when considering new hardware. May it happen again soon...
Only sad thing about AnandTech is: I don´t live in the USA so I can participate in the giveaways.:-)
samspqr - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkand still, my sister loves hers
there must be some people out there with needs that are appropriately matched by these little machines
kevith - Thursday, March 18, 2010 - linkYeah, guess you´re right. They seem to be a great hit, so it is only I that are getting a bit too old:-)
drvelocity - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link"The capabilities of netbooks have not changed—you still can't play HD video or HD flash without ION or a Broadcom HD chip, and you can't really do much more than run a word processor and a browser simultaneously."
I beg to differ - with the newest Accelerated GMA500 drivers from Intel HD video is definitely possible on netbooks that utilize this chipset. ;)
piroroadkill - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - linkThe GMA500 is a poor, unloved chipset, way better than people think, hampered by godawful driver support.
I'm glad to hear it's got better now