Asus Eee PC 1000HE

The Eee PC 1000HE is the next generation of the popular Asus Eee PC 1000H. At first glance, the two computers are almost identical. They have the same chassis, display, hard drive, and RAM. But there are a few minor changes that make the Eee PC 1000HE worth checking out. First, it has a marginally faster 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280 CPU (the 1000H had a 1.6GHz Atom N270. But honestly, you’ll barely notice the difference.

The bigger changes are the new “chiclet” style keyboard and a higher capacity battery which provides true all-day computing power. Asus has also lowered the base price. You can pick up an Eee PC 1000HE for between $350 and $400. The Eee PC 1000H launched last summer with a base price of $550, although Asus quickly dropped the price by about $100.

While the Eee PC 1000HE is a definite improvement over its predecessor, both computers do involve some compromises. The Eee PC 1000HE is one of the heaviest and bulkiest netbooks around, weighing in at almost 3.3 pounds. The battery alone weighs nearly 11 ounces.

The model I reviewed has a 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N280 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth.

Design

The Asus Eee PC 1000HE looks almost exactly like the Asus Eee PC 1000H. In fact, with the lids closed, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. The easiest way to tell them apart is to check out the keyboard. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

Eee PC front

The Asus Eee PC 1000-series netbooks aren’t exactly the thinnest or lightest around. The Eee PC 1000HE measures 10.5″ x 7.5″ x 1.5″ and weighs about 3.26 pounds. It has a 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display. But while some netbooks like the MSI Wind U100, HP Mini 1000, and the upcoming Eee PC 1008HA Shell make the screen look smaller by positioning the hinge so that the screen moves down below the chassis a bit when opening, the Eee PC 1000HE lid shoots straight up from the netbook. This makes the netbook look large than almost any other mini-laptop with a 10 inch screen.

The netbook has a plastic case with a glossy lid that shows fingerprints quite clearly. While this might come in handy in tracking down a thief if your netbook is stolen and then recovered, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing design choice.

top

The Eee PC 1000HE has 3 USB ports, a VGA port, and an SD card slot as well as mic and line inputs around the edge of the case. Because the battery fits into the back of the unit, there are no ports on the back. The laptop comes with a high capacity 6 cell battery which adds a bit of bulk to the base of the unit. But the battery generally looks good on the unit, like it’s built for the netbook (because it is), unlike the chunky 6 cell battery for the HP Mini 1000. Because the battery is located at the back of the netbook, the keyboard is tilted slightly when the laptop is placed on a table or other flat surface.

Above the keyboard there’s also a thin strip of chrome with the power button and four user customizable buttons that you can use to launch applications. It’s nice to have these buttons, but you have to press them pretty hard, and it’s easy to think that you hit the power button only to discover a few seconds later when the computer fails to turn on that you didn’t press hard enough.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Eee PC 1000HE is the first netbook from Asus to utilize the company’s new “chiclet” style keyboard, first unveiled at CES in January. This keyboard has a few advantages over earlier keyboards. First, the shift key on the right side of the keyboard has been moved to the left of the up arrow. Previously touch typists would find themselves hitting the up button when trying to capitalize letters. That shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

keyboard1

Second, the keys no longer include beveled edges. Instead each key is flat. This increases the amount of surface area, but also leaves a fair amount of space between each key, making it easy to find the right keys with your fingers. The overall typing experience on the Eee PC 1000HE is quite comfortable and at least as good as on the Eee PC 1000H. Asus plans to use this new keyboard design on most of its upcoming netbooks.

The touchpad is identical to the Eee PC 1000H touchpad. And that’s a good thing. It’s wide, has two distinct mouse buttons, and supports multitouch gestures. For example, you can scroll up and down by placing two fingers on the touchpad and moving them up and down.

Display

Screen resolutionThe Asus Eee PC 1000HE display is standard fare for a netbook of this size. The 10.2 inch matte screen can display up to 1024 x 600 pixels. Asus also includes software that allows you to change the resolution to 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768.

This higher resolution setting can be achieved in one of two ways. Either you can use the compressed setting and squash some pixels to make 1024 x 768 pixel images or web pages fit on your screen (but this looks pretty ugly) or you can use a virtual screen resolution which basically extends the desktop past the edge of your screen. In this mode you navigate by moving your mouse all the way to the bottom of the display to make the taskbar appear, or all the way to the top to see the top few pixels of any window.

You can adjust the screen brightness by hitting the Fn+F5 and Fn+F6 keys. I find the screen is quite readable at around 70%, but quite difficult to read at the lowest settings.

Software

super-hybrid-engineAsus packs the Eee PC 1000HE with its standard raft of software. That includes the Super Hybrid Engine which lets you overclock or underclock the CPU, and the EeePC Tray utility for adjusting your screen resolution.

Users can also sign up for up to 10GB of online storage with the Asus Eee Storage service. This lets you backup important documents to the web, download and install programs.

The computer ships with StarOffice 8, which includes a word processor, spreadsheet application and presentation program. StarOffice is the application suite that OpenOffice.org is based on. You also get a copy of WinDVD, which is strange considering the computer doesn’t have an optical disc drive.

Performance

I wouldn’t recommend using any netbook for CPU-intensive tasks like editing videos or running Photoshop. But the Eee PC 1000HE performs reasonably well with common tasks like web browsing, editing office documents, or light multitasking (like running a music player in the background while surfing the web and chatting on an instant messenger in the foreground).

The computer boots Windows XP in about 41 seconds, and takes about 17 seconds to shut down.

This is one of the first laptops to use the new Intel Atom N280 CPU, which has a top clock speed of 1.66GHz. The original Intel Atom N270 CPU topped out at 1.6GHz. As you can guess from those numbers, there’s not a huge difference in performance. But there do appear to be some very minor performance gains.

For instance, while neither the Asus Eee PC 1000H or 1000HE are really up to the task of displaying 1080p HD video, the Eee PC 1000HE with its slightly faster processor appears to drop fewer frames than the 1000H. You can see what I mean in the video below where I attempt to watch a 1080p video from the Microsoft WMV HD showcase on both computers.

The faster processor also means that using the Asus Super Hybrid Engine in Super High Power Mode, you can overclock the computer to run at 1.75GHz. But that will take a toll on battery life.

Battery

The battery that comes with the Eee PC 1000HE is a 6 cell, 8700mAh battery. That’s 2100mAh more than you get with the 6 cell battery that ships with the Eee PC 1000H. And it makes a world of difference. The Eee PC 1000HE can run for a spectacular amount of time on a single charge.

battery-2

I ran several tests to really put this computer through the paces. Using Battery Eater, the battery lasted for 6 hours and 4 minutes with the CPU set to Power Saving Mode (1.25GHz) and the brightness set at 70%.ย I ran the test again with the CPU set at Super High Power (1.75GHz) and the screen brightness set t 100%. This time the battery lasted for 4 hours and 51 minutes.

365-minutes

Bear in mind, Battery Eater is designed to put some serious strain on your CPU. In real life, this battery is good for around 7 or more hours. In fact, one day last week I turned it on at about 1:30PM and left it on until 7:30PM without closing the lid or putting it to sleep once. After 6 hours, Windows XP reported that I had about 48 minutes of run time left. Pierre from Blogeee recently ran his own battery of tests, and found that he was able to get over 9 hours out of the Eee PC 1000HE battery.

While the Asus Eee PC 1000HE may be one of the heavier netbooks around, at nearly 3.3 pounds, the fact that you can often leave the power adapter at home certainly helps qualify this laptop as an ultraportable computer.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a netbook that weighs less than 3 pounds and fits into a coat pocket, the Eee PC 1000HE isn’t it. But it you’re looking for a reasonably light and fast machine that can run for 7 hours without stopping to recharge, the Eee PC 1000HE certainly fits the bill. The new keyboard, processor, and battery all make this netbook a step up from the original Asus Eee PC 1000H.

angle

It’s probably not worth trading in your older model for the new version unless you really, really want that new battery. But if you’re in the market for a new mini-laptop, the 1000HE is an excellent choice. And the price is hard to beat. This model usually retails for between $350 and $400.

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28 replies on “Asus Eee PC 1000HE review”

  1. Help

    I bought the 1000HE it came with SD card contacted the tech support to assist in locating the SD card and it’s icon under my computer. The computer says that it is enabled.

    Has anyone used the SD card right out of the box with this unit? Where do you find it? What is the name of it in my computer?

    d

    1. Aaa, They got me on this one too, I have been searching the web for information about how to configure bluetooth with my 1000HE. It says, “Device not found”.

      After 1/2 day of downloading drivers, and fooling around that is really a drag to discover they duped me.

      All in all though, it’s a great little pc for traveling and using web based apps.

  2. very excelent reviews.
    i’m planning to buy this moddel, but will it be worth to wait for EEEPC 1005HGO?
    this netbook have everything i need, from the size to the battery life. but the weight is something that slightly putting me on hold.
    any idea on when 1005HGO will become available in Australia and what sort of price range will it be?

    thanks
    cheers,

  3. I have the Acer Aspire One (8.9) then I had the Mini 1000 for a while and now the 1000he and all I can say is this thing’s hard drive is one of the fastest drives out there – it was a big improvement over my Mini 1000’s slow 4,200 rpm drive. Not only is that good, but Asus packs amazing useful software into the 1000he like the Super Hybrid Engine. The keyboard is amazing, just as good as the HP’s and touch pad is amazing. The webcam even produces amazing images unlike the Mini 1000.
    I love my 1000he:)

  4. I bought a 1000HE from Best Buy today for $349 plus tax. It does not have bluetooth, and has a sticker claiming 7 hours of battery life.

    Are they releasing two different versions to retail? Or did I somehow end up with a different model.

    So far, I like it, light, quick enough and unlike the crappy things I used to buy from HP, it works!

      1. Yes, Model is listed as: 1000HE on the sticker of the box.
        The people at BB couldn’t answer a whole lot about it, they said they got them in yesterday’s night shipment (3/29)

          1. MSI pulled the same crap with different Wind models and I ended up without Bluetooth on my model and different trackpad/drivers… which ended up going back to the store. (Best Buy)

          2. When I go to the Best Buy site I see the model number is EPC1000HEB. I wonder if the “B” means it has been modified a little. Like by not including Bluetooth and who knows what else to make it a little cheaper.

    1. Best Buy is not selling the 1000HE, they’re selling the 1000HEB, which seems to be a re-badged 1000HA w/ the new style keyboard. THe 1000HEB has:

      Atom 270 processor (instead of the 280 on the 1000HE)
      no bluetooth
      smaller battery

      I almost fell for the same little bait and switch deal (the price label in the store says 1000HE), but I noticed no bluetooth and did a little research.

    2. You got the 1000HEB from Best Buy, not the 1000HE. The HEB is a cheaper version that doesn’t have Bluetooth. This is a BestBuy ripoff.

  5. Nice review, the only point I beg to differ with is the readability of the screen, it all depends on your environment. I most case, I have no problem reading it at around 30% brightness. With the webcam and bluetooth off all the time, and using only wifi, I get over 8h30 on a charge.

    I really like the 1000HE. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I wonder how this compares with the 1000HA. Seems like that’s a better deal all the way around: price, weight, battery life.

  7. I love how you keep making digs at the HP Mini 1000 6-cell battery!

    I was concerned about buying “one of the heaviest netbooks and bulkiest netbooks around” and actually experienced a bit of buyer’s remorse after picking up the 1000HE. Comparing it to the Acer Aspire One sold in stores, the Acer seemed dramatically lighter. But then I put mine side by side with a friend’s Aspire One with 6-cell battery, and the weight difference seems hardly noticable. My brother’s MSI Wind U100 seems to weigh about the same too.

    I do exactly as the review says, and take the netbook everywhere, leaving the charger at home. The battery lasts long enough that I never worry about it (unlike my MacBook Pro, which does have a five-hour battery life, but I’m constantly adjusting my usage to prolong it. Turn WiFi off when I’m done with it, bring screen brightness down when I don’t need it bright, sleep it when not using it.)

    I would have looked into the Samsung NC10 (or the “special edition” with the even longer battery) but they’re not available in Canada.

    Overall, I’m quite happy with my 1000HE. I’m thinking of installing OS X on the second partition (why do these things come with the hard drive partitioned into two?).

    1. @jay….”(why do these things come with the hard drive partitioned into two?)”

      So you can install your OS and apps on the first partition and store your data (docs, music, pics, videos, etc.) on the second partition. Then when and if you need to reinstall the OS, you don’t have to worry about backing up your data.

  8. If I didn’t already have my Samsung NC10 I would definitely be looking at the 1000HE. No plans to switch though. The Sammy does everything I want.

  9. Would you bloggers please report chipset. When available this is interesting when introducing new products and for reviews it should be a must. It might be a variable where you will see variation. For me, someone who cares about hackintoshability gma950 vs GN40 makes a world of difference. L

    1. The 1000HE has a GMA950 chipset. While several notebooks with the GN40
      chipset have been announced, none has hit the streets yet.

  10. Great review Brad,

    I really enjoyed using my 1000H before I got an Samsung NC10 for the great keyboard and battery life. I am now considering going back to the EEE 1000HE (I have a gadget problem, I know) since they redesigned the keyboard and gave it a bigger battery. Plus I enjoyed the community that is involved with Linux on the EEE PCs. Do you see any reason to stay with the NC10 now that the 1000HE is out?

    1. The NC10 is a little thinner and lighter, but the main reason is
      because something even cooler’s always just 6 months away. If you can
      afford to switch netbooks repeatedly, go for it. If not, the 1000HE
      isn’t dramatically different from either the 1000H or the NC10.

    2. It’s actually possible to put a 1000HE Keyboard into a 1000H, just update to the latest BIOS and file down one of the tabs on the edge of the new keyboard and it works like a charm ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Excellent review.
    I come to the same conclusion as you, it’s an improved 1000H netbook and one of the best 10-inch laptops around at this time.

  12. Hey Brad,

    Do you have any information on how much longer do we have to wait for the ION netbooks?

Comments are closed.