Asus Informative - Netbook Review: Asus 1002HA
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.
Asus 1002HA with Ubuntu Remix