Now that Intel has launched its Intel Atom Pine Trail platform, prepare to be inundated by reviews of netbooks sporting the new processor and chipset. The first to make the rounds is the new Asus Eee PC 1005PE, a slightly updated version of the popular Asus Eee CP 1005HA 10 inch notebook.
I’ve rounded up half a dozen reviews of this new netbook that hit the web last night. As expected, these reviews are as much about the new chipset as the new computer, although we’ll probably have to wait for a few more models to be released before we can start writing lines like “performance is pretty much what you’d expect from a netbook with an Atom N450 processor.” As many have pointed out, I probably could have saved a lot of time over the past year and a half if I’d written a macro that would spit out a line like that for the Atom N270 CPU.
- Engadget – The new model scored slightly higher on most benchmarks than the Eee PC 1005HA and feels a little snappier. The most noticeable improvement is in battery life: It runs for 10.5 hours under everyday use.
- CNET – You’ll save about $0.88 in energy costs, and performance is better than Atom N270 on some tasks, but lower than a dual core Atom 330 chip. But overall CNET seems disillusioned with the 10 inch, 1024 x 600 netbook form factor.
- Laptop Magazine – The netbook has the same chassis as the 1005HA, but a chiclet-style keyboard. There were mixed results on benchmarks, and the Eee PC 1005PE still isn’t up to the task of serious gaming. Full screen Flash video from Hulu was also choppy.
- AnandTech – The new model gets slightly higher scores in most of AnandTech’s benchmarks, but if you want a real performance boost, the site suggests going for a machine with an Intel CULV processor. They were underwhelmed by the LCD display, but very impressed with the 10+ hour battery life.
- Notebook Review – These guys experienced slightly improved 720p HD video playback on the new model, but 1080p HD video is still out of reach. There’s no GPU acceleration for HD Flash video.
- Tech Report – In a battery of benchmarks and real-world tests, the Asus Eee PC 1005PE performed pretty much the same as you’d expect from any older Atom powered netbook. but it came out way ahead in the battery life tests.
The Asus Eee PC 1005PE has a base price of $379 and it’s expected to begin shipping in the US in early January. For the most part, it sounds like the biggest advantage it has over the existing Eee PC 1005HA is improved battery life. While Asus claims the notebook will run for up to 14 hours, real-world tests show you’re more likely to get 10 to 12 hours. That’s still pretty impressive though.
If you were expecting improved HD video playback or a significantly faster processor, you’re not going to find it here. Still, it doesn’t look like you’ll lose any performance, and you will pick up a bit of battery life. If you already have an Asus Eee PC 1005HA, there’s little reason to upgrade. But if you’re in the market for a new machine, the 1005PE looks like good option.
Here’s a rundown of the computer’s specs:
- Display: 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels
- CPU: 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450
- Chipset: Intel NM10
- Graphics: Integrated GMA 3150
- OS: Windows 7 Starter
- Memory: 1GB, 667MHz DDR2
- Storage: 250GB, 5400rpm HDD
- Battery: 6 cell, 63Whr
- Dimensions: 10.3″ x 7″ x 1.0~1.4″
- Weight: 2.8 pounds