Asus Eee 1000H ReviewZertz - October 13, 2008
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As far as weight goes, the Eee 1000H is definitely not a threat to other netbooks around. In fact, equipped with a 6 cell battery like the one reviewed here, it is pretty much the heaviest one of the bunch at 3.2 pounds. I didn't see that as a problem since the form factor easily makes up for it and it is still much lighter than laptops selling at a comparable price. I always carry it in my backpack and it really doesn't make a big difference. So even though it's not the lightest, this Eee, or any netbook for that matter, is perfect for using in class since it's roughly as big, or should I say small, as a sheet of paper. We have relatively small desks at my college, but I still had plenty of place to have all my usual stuff laying around.
The tiny Atom processor is definitely not as fast as a modern dual or quad core, but for office use it's just fine. As the benchmarks show, loading XP doesn't take much longer than usual since booting is more about the hard disk's speed than anything. The stock 5400 RPM Seagate drive does a fine job while using minimal power. Loading applications was surprisingly fast, I realized how overkill our computers are for anything other than gaming. Did I mention gaming? Forget about that on a netbook. The GMA950 graphic processor is way too slow for any kind of modern game. Both Half Life 2 and Counterstrike: Source were barely playable even at the lowest settings, however, to my surprise, Unreal Tournament played magnificently.
As previously mentioned, this particular model came with Windows XP preloaded, but having jumped on the open source train lately I had to try a Linux based operating system. The first distribution that came to my mind was Ubuntu since it's the most popular and is very well supported. After some research, I stumbled upon an Eee specific version of Ubuntu with all the drivers preinstalled and a reworked user interface. Since the Eee does not have an optical drive and I don't have an external one on hand, I copied a live version onto my USB flash drive and then did the full hard drive install from there. A few clicks and a restart later I found myself ready to start tinkering around, even though there actually wasn't anything special to do to get it going. Wireless, LAN, sound, USB and even the touchpad all worked fine out of the box. I did encounter an issue with reading and writing to my FAT32 flash drive, it wouldn't mount it automatically so I had to install it through the terminal.
In case Linux isn't your thing and Windows XP Home Edition just doesn't cut it for you, it is fairly easy to install XP Professional via USB assuming you have a spare key. Using Pro instead of Home allows you to connect to domains, for example, in corporate or academic environments. Installing Vista is also a possibility, with various success stories posted over the Internet, but this has not been tested by me. As you are probably aware, the lone gigabyte of RAM that comes with the Eee will certainly struggle to provide a good Vista experience.
Choosing between an open-source system like Linux over Windows is very much based on personal preference, both will provide a similar experience, whether it is for browsing or word processing. As it was noted in the battery life portion of testing, XP does have quite an edge over Ubuntu in that regard, which is quite important for those long days at school, at work or on the road. Especially if you're like me and only carry the bare minimum – the netbook and your books. Even though the power adaptor is remarkably small and light, it's still nice not to have to lug it around.
Every good thing comes to an end, so let's conclude this.