I recently decided to pull the trigger on a new netbook. I have a few trips coming up and wanted something a bit more portable to take for my work. My main laptop is an IBM Thinkpad, weighs in around 6 pounds with a 15 inch screen. Pretty heavy to lug around.
The new netbook I decided on is the Asus 1002HA with a brushed aluminum black cover. It weighs in around 2.5 pounds with a 10 inch screen.
My main criteria were the following: Portability, performance and it had to look professional. I think this model hits all three for me.
Portability: This model is unique in that they stuck with a smaller 2-cell li-ion battery to keep the profile slim and sleek. Typically 2-cell batteries do not last very long, but they used some higher capacity cells in this model. With wi-fi on and regular usage, I am getting over 4 hours of battery life right now. It started around 3.5 hours, but after I did a few full charge and discharge cycles (per recommendation in the manual) the battery is actually improving. With Wifi turned off it lasts well over 5 hours. It doesn't compare with some of the 8-10 hour netbook battery life's out there, but this model wins in the slim/sleek department without the bulky/heavy 6-8 cell battery packs sticking out the back or bottom of the unit. Weighs in around 2.5 lbs with the battery. Not bad. Plus the aluminum casing makes it extra durable, and keep the finger prints to a minimum.
Performance: This model came with an Intel Atom processor (1.6Ghz), 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive. It also came with XP (Home edition SP3) installed. Boot up was pretty fast (under 30 seconds). And I didn't notice much of a difference in performance from my much larger IBM Thinkpad (dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM). It came with a separate partition already made for those who want a second OS (dual boot). I ended up installing Linux (Ubuntu Remix - a version specifically designed for netbooks). I'm a Linux fan, so I spend most my time in Linux, while my wife typically boots up in XP. Both work great on this little machine.
Lastly, Good Looks: This netbook is very professional looking. The aluminum casing makes it look and feel extremely sleek and durable. Finger prints are kept to a minimum, and carrying it around is a breeze with the padded case it comes with.
I forgot to mention the peripherals/ports. It comes with a built-in webcam/microphone, 3 USB ports and a 4-1 card reader (for your digital camera cards), and audio jacks, and a ethernet port, and video-out for your monitor.
Other stuff: I found the keyboard was pretty easy to adapt to, minus the location of the right-shift key (too far over and small), but I was able to adapt to just using the left shift key after a few minutes of typing. The wifi range seems pretty good, anywhere in our home gets a good signal to our router. The trackpad is actually getting cooler the more figure out about it. It has a nice large trackpad with a single button at the bottom. The trackpad is very responsive, and I have found you really don't even need to use the button, since you can tap the track pad to click. You can also scroll by simply dragging on the trackpad near the far right... Very useful and easy navigation tools. This (the trackpad) is one of my favorite designs on this netbook. Also comes with Bluetooth, but I turned it off for now since I don't use it and it adds extra drain on the battery.
Price: $352 delivered including tax (bought mine from Target online through AAA's discount program with them). Got free shipping, 10% off with AAA from the original price of $369.
On November 16th, 2008, I purchased the ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard for my newest computer build for $398.99. It was the newest top of the line product, and I paired it with the brand new Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition which cost $1,029.99. Both were just released onto the market.
I received it on November 20th and immediately went to work building the system. On the 21st I turned the computer on for the first time, it flickered and then shut off. I disconnected the power and reconnected it, then the computer began working. I assumed it was a minor glitch but then it did that every single time I powered on the computer. A couple days later it began randomly cutting off and rebooting all the time, rendering the computer unusable.
I did some research on the issue and it turns out that that the previous version of the motherboard had the same exact issue. Then I discovered that one of my cooling fans was fried because of the problem - which turned out not to be just a mere flicker, but a short circuit. The retailer refunded me for the motherboard and replaced the fan.
I rebuilt my computer with a new motherboard from a different brand only to find out that my brand new $1,029.99 processor was also damaged by the short circuiting of the defective motherboard. Now past the 30 day return policy, I sent it to Intel for replacement, and they are now backordered. Now I have to wait indefinitely.
On the same day that I found out about the backorder, January 12th, I ordered a new ASUS EEE PC 1000, a miniature portable laptop, for $400. The one that I purchased included Linux, but I knew that the computer was also designed to also work with Windows XP since they sold the same model with it, and that the packaging included a disc with drivers to allow the machine to work with XP.
The computer arrived on January 15th. Per the manual's instructions (which said that the computer supports XP) I deleted all of the existing partitions on the solid state hard drive and created a partition to install Windows. It took an unusually long time but I figured it was just because it was a slower computer.
However, I was not prepared for this: every little thing caused the computer to freeze. It took 5 minutes to take a task that said "2 seconds remaining" and 4 hours to install an update that should have only taken five to ten minutes. Sometimes it even froze on the desktop.
I knew that this was definitely indicative of a hardware issue and I decided that the computer needed to be replaced. The next morning, January 16th, I called the online retailer and I ran into my first issue - to replace it, I would have to have the original operating system on the computer that it came with. However, the instructions in the manual for installing XP told me to delete all existing partitions - INCLUDING THE RECOVERY PARTITION.
So I called ASUS on another phone for their technical support. After 10 minutes on hold waiting for an agent, then I was connected to a voicemail box that was full. I called back again and got an agent after 10 more minutes.
I explained my situation to the agent as to how I installed XP per the instructions in their manual and the system was having a hardware related issue. She told me to call Microsoft for support. I told her that that wouldn't help since it isn't a software issue, but a hardware issue. Then I am told that since I installed a new operating system other than the one included with the computer, MY WARRANTY IS NOW NULL AND VOID!!!
This is not stated anywhere in their manual nor on the warranty information on their website that installing another OS would void their warranty, and they sell the exact same model with Windows XP too! In fact it was Chapter 4 of their manual that stated that I would be able to use Windows XP with this computer, and in the box was a support disc for using the computer with Windows XP.
So now they stuck me with a defective and unusable $400 product because I deleted the recovery partition because of the instructions for installing Windows in THEIR manual, and then they tell me that by following THEIR instructions to install Windows, I have voided my warranty! And I can not restore the original operating system because THEIR manual told me to delete the recovery partition.
If it wasn't for the online retailer accepting my RMA request, I would be stuck right now.
I purchased a Lenovo Ideapad S10 with similar specs for the same price from the closing Circuit City and that works perfectly with XP.
ASUS, NEVER AGAIN!!!
FREEMONT, CALIFORNIA -- I recently bought an ASUS All In One PC and at first it was great, easy set up right out of the box,. But then it broke down and I had to send it in.
First, I was forced to pay $90 to ship it to them even though the advertisement on their customer service number clearly states there is free two way standard shipping on any repair or service issues.
Second, they never sent me an email or called me to let me know its status. I checked with UPS and it had been checked in so I called ASUS, they had the computer for over a week before even entering it as received in their system. They never contacted me to let me know this, when I asked to escalate the ticket and find out its status, they refused saying they can only let me know what is entered into their computer system.
They will not research, escalate, or forward the problem on to anyone that can offer any information that is not already entered into their system. Even when contacted by a Rep from ASUS after leaving a bad review, he had no help or information to offer! He simply read what was already entered into their system and offered no new information nor offered to research the problem.
Bottom line, a month has gone by and I have no idea when I will ever see my computer again, no one there will help at all, and they have not contacted me once about the computer instead leaving it up to me to contact them!
I bought an ASUS laptop computer from a retail store. The computer is junk. After having various issues with the mouse, speakers, etc., I sent the computer to ASUS in its original box and packaging for repair. I didn't get the computer back until a week and a half later, and they did not return the original box. They replaced the hard drive in it while they repaired it. The new hard drive is defective. Also, the plastic casing of the laptop is coming apart. I contacted ASUS. After not hearing back to them from weeks while they said they were deciding what to do, I convinced the retail store where I bought it from to take it back. The store, however, cannot take it back without the original box. ASUS is not going to take responsibility for its actions. In fact, it won't even take responsibility for its low quality products or poor customer service.