Eee PC 1000H: The pros and cons
After getting tired of waiting for the 6 cell version of the MSI Wind to be available, I pulled the trigger and ordered an Eee PC 1000H last week. You’ve already seen the unboxing and the photo shoot comparing the 1000H to my HP Mini-Note. Now that I’ve been using the computer for a few days, I thought I’d share some thoughts.
First off, keep in mind, I’ve used an Eee PC 4G 701 and a 1.2GHz HP Mini-Note in the past. I skipped the Eee PC 900 and the MSI Wind. So I can’t give you a firsthand account of how this PC stacks up against those. But I do plan to get together with jkOnTheRun’s Kevin Tofel in a week or two and compare notes. He just ordered an MSI Wind which should be arriving soon.
Without further ado, here’s a brief review in bullet point form:
- The Intel Atom CPU makes this computer feel rather zippy compared to the Eee PC 701with its Celeron Chip or the VIA C7-laden HP Mini-Note. Windows boots and shuts down fairly quickly (I haven’t timed it) and programs launch promptly. Most importantly, I can have 5+ tabs open in Firefox without a slowdown, or run several programs including a media player, IM application, and web browser withotu slowing down the PC. That was impossible with the Mini-Note.
- Between the power-saving processor and the 6-cell battery, the 1000H gets excellent battery life. Again, I haven’t performed a thorough test, but I’m easily getting 5+ hours of use per charge. I took the laptop with me for a weekend trip and didn’t have to plug it in once, despite several hours of use and many more hours of standby time.
- The battery also charges quickly, something that was not true for the original Eee PC 701.
- The 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display is large enough to read without squinting, although it could probably stand to be a little sharper.
- While the keyboard isn’t quite as touch-typing friendly as the HP Mini-Note keyboard, it is much larger and easier to use than the Eee PC 701 keyboard.
- The larger multi-touch trackpad with two distinct mouse buttons is a pleasure to use when compared with smaller trackpads with rocker buttons or buttons placed to the left and right of the touchpad.
- The Matte screen doesn’t reflect glare. I wish I could say the same for the glossy case.
- It’s way too easy to swipe the touchpad with your palm while typing, which wreaks havoc on whatever text you’re trying to enter. If you use a USB mouse, I highly recommend turning off the touchpad.
- The power button is surprisingly hard to press because of the way it’s positioned. You sort of have to hit it with the very tip of your finger, and I’ve often found myself thinking I’ve turned the computer on or off only to realize a moment later that nothing’s happening.
- You can turn the WiFi and Bluetooth on or off by hitting Fn+F2. But there’s no way to turn on just WiFi or Bluetooth. You have to turn them both on, and if you’re not using one or the other, you right click on the EeePC Tray utility to disable the one you don’t need. (My bad. It looks like you can just keep hitting the Fn+F2 key until you get the combo you want).
- The speaker volume is pretty quiet.
- At 3.2 pounds, this is probably the heaviest netbook that I’d still call a netbook.
Overall, I’m quite happy with the Eee PC 1000H. When I have some time i’ll try to run some more scientific tests on things like battery life. But there’s very little that my 6 pound, 15.4 inch laptop can do that the 3 pound 10.2 inch Eee PC 1000H cannot. And the Eee PC gets about 3 times the battery life, which makes it my current notebook of choice for working away from the confines of my home office.
I’ll be curious to see how it holds up against the highly acclaimed MSI Wind. The Wind is a bit lighter, and based on some reviews I’ve seen, it may get longer battery life. On the other hand, it lacks the 802.11n support that the Eee PC 1000H has (not that this is a must-have feature for me at the moment). The Wind also does not currently have a multi-touch trackpad. Again, not a killer feature, but it is nice to be able to scroll through web pages by placing two fingers on the trackpad rather than using one to hold down a mouse button.