giovedì 25 agosto 2011

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005PE

ASUS Eee PC 1005PE-P (Seashell) Review

Powered by Intel’s new Atom N450 processor, this sleek and stylish netbook lasts well over 10 hours on a charge.


There’s good battery life, and then there’s leave-the-power-brick-at-home battery life. The ASUSEee PC 1005PE ($379) is one of the first netbooks to hit the market with Intel’s new Atom N450 processor and NM10 chipset, code named Pine Trail, which promises a 20 percent decrease in average power consumption. And ASUS makes the most of the chip; this 2.8-pound machine lasts over 10.5 hours on a charge. While very similar to the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA, a system we praised for its style, this sequel offers better endurance, a bigger 250GB hard drive, and a better keyboard. Plus, ASUS includes a nifty software bundle. We have some nitpicks about the design—and you shouldn’t expect a marked performance improvement—but overall this netbook is a very good choice.


From the outside, the 1005PE looks the same as the 1005HA; both are members of ASUS’ Seashell family. Though less svelte than the inch-thick 1008HA, the 1005HA pulls from the same gene pool with its curved panels and sharp look. Gone, however, is the uniform body of the 1008HA; no plastic covers the edges or hides the ports. Its glossy dark blue lid (also available in black, pink, and white) is covered in a scratch-resistant Infusion finish. The look is sleek, but you’ll have to be willing to put up with fingerprint smudges. 

The 1005PE is thicker than the ultraslim 1008HA. It measures 10.2 x 6.9 x 1.4 inches, compared to 10.3 x 7.0 x 1.0 inches. The 1005HA is also a bit thicker than the Toshiba mini NB205 (1.3 inches), but has the same thickness as the older Eee PC 1000HE. The 2.8-pound 1005PE didn’t put any strain on our shoulder, even with the charger (which brings the entire package up to 3.4 pounds).


Generally, the 1005PE kept its cool. After viewing a video at full screen on Hulu for 15 minutes, the temperature between the G and H keys reached 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The touchpad was a temperate 90 degrees, and the center of the underside got as hot as 95 degrees; the bottom near the exhaust vent reached a rather hot 102 degrees. (We consider temperatures above 95 degrees unpleasant, and above 100 degrees extremely unpleasant.)

Keyboard and Touchpad

For the 1005PE, ASUS opted for an island-style keyboard, similar to that on the Eee PC 1201N. While the keys may seem smaller than those on the 1005HA and 1008HA—both of which have a more traditional layout—we found the 1005PE easy and comfortable to type on. However, ASUS took a slight step back, as unlike every other netbook since the Eee PC 1000HE, the right Shift key is shrunken, and not directly below the Enter key. We give the Toshiba mini NB205’s keyboard a slight edge in terms of size and comfort. 

The 2.5 x 1.5-inch pad touchpad, similar to that on the 1005HE, blends in with the system’s deck and is covered with small braille-like dots. Unlike some netbooks, the pad had very little friction, and navigating the desktop didn’t require much backtracking. As with other Eee PCs, the touchpad also supports multitouch gestures; using two fingers to pinch and zoom in on a Web page in Internet Explorer was easy, and the image quickly rendered in its new size. 

ASUS equipped the 1005PE with a single mouse button. Unlike some netbooks we’ve used, this implementation was comfortable for making selections. However, we still prefer the Toshiba mini NB205’s larger touchpad and dedicated right and left buttons.

Display and Audio

The 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel LED-backlit display on the 1005PE allows Web pages and windows to fit to size on the screen. A streaming clip of Scrubs from Hulu looked smooth, and colors were bright. Horizontal viewing angles were good, but to get the best picture you need to tilt the screen back about 30 degrees. When the display is at a right angle the image washes out. 

From afar, the 0.8-inch thick glossy black bezel (which was a little larger than we prefer) looked as if the screen was flush with the frame; up close, however, you could clearly make out the raised frame. 

The speakers, located at the bottom front edge of the 1005PE, allowed us to hear songs loud and clear from across the room. Kings of Leon’s “Sex On Fire” came through powerfully with little to no distortion. Run-DMC’s “Christmas In Hollis” was on the tinny side, but the speakers sounded better than most netbooks.

Ports and Webcam

On the left side of the 1005PE is a USB and VGA port. On the right side are a 3-in-1 memory card reader, an Ethernet port, two USB ports, and headphone and microphone jacks. 

Above the display, a 1.3-megapixel webcam provided clear images in a Skype video chat. A friend saw little motion blur when we waved quickly and made out details on our face.

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