Asus Eee PC 1008HA Win 7 Review
Only 2.4 pounds and 1 inch thick, Impressive battery life (for 3 cell), Incredible design, 320 GB hard drive, 2 GB RAM, Intel Atom N280 1.66 GHz Processor, 1.3 megapixel web cam
3 cell battery is not removable by user, 2 USB ports (3 is current standard)
The first version of the Asus Eee PC 1008HA was a great netbook for the mobile conscious consumer, this new upgraded 1008HA is even better! If you desire a netbook that is really light weight (2.4 pounds), with better than average netbook specs (320 GB HD and 2 GB of RAM) and stellar 3 cell battery life than you should buy the Asus Eee PC 1008HA hands down. The only time I would recommend you go with another netbook is if you need an even stronger battery life like what is offered by the Asus Eee PC 1005HA. In the last 1008HA review the downside I mentioned was the lack of an easy upgrade path for the battery and RAM. But with a large hard drive and 2 GB's of RAM already inside, there is little reason to complain about to the newest Asus Eee PC 1008HA.
Quick Product Specs:
Intel Atom N280 1.66 GHz Processor, 2 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, 3 Cell Battery, Windows 7 Home Premium
See Full Specs
Note: This full review will be somewhat similar to my earlier Asus Eee PC 1008HA review as the only real changes to the netbook are on the inside.
As a current owner of an Asus Eee PC 1008HA (Windows XP version), I can say that the latest 1008HA is everything I hoped for in the new 1008HA (except no Nvidia ION), but that isn't really the focus of this netbook. The primary factor to consider when looking at the 1008HA is if you want a really lightweight netbook with a strong battery life (for a 3 cell) that has a sleek design this should be at the top of your list. If you want something that can play some of the latest games or something that has a really long battery life just pass on the 1008HA.
The first thing you'll notice when you open the box is just how much thought was put into the design. At only 1 inch thick and 2.4 pounds the netbook looks stunning.
Reusing some of my old images. The case is the same as the new 1008HA except my review unit was black.
At only 1 inch thick (at it's thickest point!) the Asus Eee PC 1008HA looks minuscule when compared to some of the other comparably equipped netbooks. That's partly the reason why the 1008HA can run an extra $50 than other netbooks though too.
Every port is neatly hidden away which helps to illustrate the thought that went into the design. In fact, these design choices remind me of what Apple has going on in the much more expensive Macbook Air.
All of the ports are hidden by plastic flaps with the VGA being a unique cable system that's hidden on the bottom of the Eee PC by a magnet. The Ethernet port acts as a rocker that opens the space wider as you push in the Ethernet cable. I found this to be somewhat frustrating as occasionally I would have to use one hand to open a flap and another to shove the Ethernet cord into. This design does put some people off because they'd simply prefer to have everything readily accessible and not hidden behind flaps. To me, I like the design choice but keep that in mind if you can see this causing you some frustration.
The keyboard is spacious at 92% full size and the keys are very large. Like almost all 10 inch netbooks in this generation I had no issue while writing emails and didn't miss any keys while typing. They've also found a way to improve the shift key too check it out. I actually prefer the layout for the smaller up and down arrows with how they rearranged those keys compared to earlier Asus netbooks, but I think full up and down arrow keys would be better.
The Eee PC 1008HA also has a new touchpad design which is a dimpled / textured feel that takes some getting used to. The chrome rocker is firm and responsive but not too firm (no need to use both hands to push it down, a good thing).
The Asus Eee PC 1008HA features a non removable 3 cell battery which many people have complained is the only thing holding this netbook back from stardom; however, after extensive testing I found it still manages to crank out an amazing battery life. Although my initial battery test showed that Windows 7 outperformed Windows XP - upon further testing I sadly have to say that isn't the case. You will get less battery life with this netbook running Windows 7 than the one running Windows XP. With that said, I'm certain you can easily see 4 - 5 hours of battery life under normal use (and better if you drop down to power saving mode and dim the screen). If you need a machine with better battery life, I suggest you buy the Asus Eee PC 1005HA.
This netbook features the faster Intel Atom N270 1.66 GHz processor, so it's slightly faster than most of the other netbooks out there although there will be little difference in the real world. At only 1 inch thick it still finds room for a 320 GB hard drive and 2 GB's of RAM leaving little reason to ever perform an upgrade. The speakers in this netbook are an improvement over what I'm used to hearing on the 1000HE and can fill a small room easily.
Overall, as I mentioned in the beginning of this review I believe this is the best netbook out right now for people that don't want the lightest option possible. The fact that it has better than average netbook components already built in makes it a nicer purchase so that you don't have to pay an extra $25 to upgrade the RAM (that and it's difficult to get inside the netbook). If you want the best netbook for games then look for something like the HP Mini 311 or Lenovo S12 - both netbooks I should have reviews up on soon. You can buy the Asus Eee PC 1008HA with Windows 7 Starter for $416 (only 1 GB of RAM though) or with Windows 7 Home Premium for $465.59. If you want to save some money you can also buy the Windows XP edition for $339.95 ($100 less than I paid for mine) although I doubt they'll be available in 2010 so don't wait if you want to save the cash.
Over on Test Freaks the other reviewers were just as impressed as I was.