With the new netbooks, Asus raises the bar and offers machines more beautiful, more refined, and slightly more expensive.


Asus is considered , in fact, the “inventor ” of the netbook segment : laptops that weighed about one kilogram, were based on Atom processors or the like, were equipped with screens from 9 to 10 inches , and most importantly , were cheap : from two to three hundred Euros . The great success of the first ” EEE” , largely unexpected , drove all the competitors to jump into the sector : the result was a market flooded with ” photocopy – machine .”

A year after the first boom , the characteristics of netbooks are largely unchanged … Prices in part , in slow but steady growth. It now goes from 300 to 500 Euros , with a partial overlap in the notebook segment cost . The fact is that many manufacturers are now aiming at the segment of “netbook sophisticated ,” technically the same as the previous , but improved in terms of aesthetics and design . Even Asus, after dominating the netbook sector budget , have started to offer machines that are placed one step higher , and look as standard equipment. The 1008HA Seashell that we tested is a prime example of the ” new course” , although , fortunately , its price is not among the highest we ‘ve ever seen . The design of the new born has nothing to do with the old 700 or 901.

EEEPC 1008HA Seashell - Asus


The shell , available in white , blue , red or black glossy ( very sensitive to fingerprints, a little ‘ less – thankfully – scratch ) is rounded and tapered at the ends , to look even thinner. And there would be no need , since the thickest point the machine is high just an inch (2.5 cm, the other dimensions are 26,2 x17 , 8 cm). Along the profile there is no visible outlet connection: in fact, all interfaces are hidden and protected by rubber flaps with zippers . On the left side are located the power outlet , very small, and the door that contains a USB 2.0 connector and a miniVGA . On the bottom of the machine there is a compartment in which is housed an adapter miniVGA / VGA , which makes possible the connection of a standard analog monitor . On the right side , in addition to the SDHC flash card reader , there is a second door that hides another USB port and audio input and output jacks . Finally, a third compartment conceals an RJ -45 jack for Ethernet 10/100 equipped with a very special feature : when not in use occupies a small volume , while if you connect a network cable to the base of the RJ- 45 are spread apart slightly , allowing you to insert the connector . If the various flaps help protect outlets and improve the aesthetics of the laptop, but also give some problems : for example, the more bulky USB keys are quite difficult to enter and for some it is even necessary to use an extension cord .

The top of the door opening reveals a netbook display 10.1 ” LED-backlit display with a resolution 1.024×600 and shiny surface , and reveals a great flat keyboard with large keys (92 % of a standard notebook keyboard ) with good touch response , and a ” shift key ” standard size on the right side . Even the touchpad is a step forward compared to those ( really too small ) mounted on the first EEE PC . 6.5 cm wide , is glossy plastic , but textured with small raised dots : the feeling at the beginning is a bit ‘ strange, but then you get used , and these findings also convey a sense of how much space along the finger on the surface .

The management software touchpad allows you to use its edges as scrolling areas (although there are indicating that serigraphs ) and can also occur in some gestures ” multitouch “, for example zooming with two fingers. The operation is customizable by the driver software, which also reveals the origin of the pad from Synaptics ( the company founded by the Italian Faggin ) . Just below the pad there is what looks like a single button chrome : in fact it can be pushed to the left or right, then playing two classic mouse buttons. However, if you find Eee PC 1008HA (Seashell)yourself with this touchpad is not at home , you can always disable it via a small button at the bottom of the screen , next to a similar one that turns off the transmitter instead of Wi-Fi to enable energy savings . Above the display is positioned on the other hand the 1.3- megapixel Web cam ( with its microphone ) : image quality , tested via Skype, it felt great, both as a definition as color rendering .


The Asus netbook is based on Atom , but instead of the “usual” 270 mounts model 280 , marginally faster ( clocked at 1.66 GHz ) . The chipset is Intel’s standard , the 945, which means that the integrated graphics Intel GMA 950. If you have not yet figured out , this is not a machine dedicated to gaming enthusiasts . However, the standard equipment ( 1 GB DDR2 RAM , 160 GB mechanical hard drive plus 10 GB of space on the Internet, Wi- fi type ‘n’ and Bluetooth 2.1) makes it very suitable for a device instead of the typical tasks office , messaging , Internet browsing , and so forth . Among other things, the autonomy of the machine is more than adequate : In use medium / heavy and Wi- fi enabled , you reach the 4 hours.

To get in the vicinity of the autonomy promised by the house (6 hours) must instead turn off Wi-Fi , Web cam , Bluetooth, turn down the backlight of the screen and activate all the power saving options : You can do this either from the usual control panel Windows XP Home SP3, or, more conveniently , from the ” Super Hybrid Engine ” , a special software provided by Asus that allows you to adjust power and performance from a convenient menu . Note that the battery is ” integrated ” , not user-replaceable .

Thanks to this device , which will not be warmly welcomed by users , it was possible to insert a three-cell battery larger than the “standard ” , and therefore with greater capacity , as fitting tailored to the space available in netbooks.


OK Aesthetic styling slim chassis, Wi-Fi “n”, sophisticated touch pad, good battery life
Some KO connection ports and the ‘VGA adapter are pretty uncomfortable, non-removable battery

Links Asus Eee PC 1008HA (Seashell)
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