The best selling, most popular netbook of 2009 was almost without question, the Asus Eee PC 1005HA. And while it was released last year it still remains a very popular netbook today.
Now Asus is back with the Asus Eee PC 1005PE (and 1005P) netbook. Asus have taken the 1005HA and improved it for 2010 by using the latest generation Intel Atom N450 processor. They have kept the same winning “Seashell” design for the Asus 1005PE, but it’s new, more energy efficient hardware is easier on the battery, leading to even longer run times.
Asus 1005PE Specifications
The 1005PE is available in many different configurations around the world. I have the £290 UK edition here which is only available with the 11 hour battery. But in the US it’s available with either the 11 hour or 14 hour battery. The display finish (glossy / matte) can also vary.
- 10.1 inch WSVGA 1024×600 Anti-glare / Non-gloss
- Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz Processor
- 250 GB SATA Hard Drive
- 500 GB Eee Storage
- Intel GMA 3150 Graphics
- 1 GB DDR2 (upto 2GB)
- 11 Hour Battery Life (6 cell 4400mAh 48/h)
- Multitouch Touchpad
- 802.11b/g/n/ WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth
- 0.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Multicard Reader
- 3x USB 2.0
- Windows 7 Starter
- 26.2cm x 17.8cm x 25.9 – 36.5 mm, 1.27 Kg
Design / Build Quality
The Asus Eee PC 1005PE uses the same chassis / Seashell design as the 1005HA, which is no bad thing, as it has been a very popular design since it’s introduction. The black model I have hear has an all gloss finish, with exception of the display, which has a matte finish.
While the black gloss finish looks great when it’s untouched, it soon picks up unsightly fingerprints. The gloss even runs under the keyboard and around the monitor, while it looks stylish, it can be annoying to keep it looking smart and clean. It’s all personal preference though, as many people will love the gloss finish.
The build quality of the Asus 1005PE is good, it feels strong and sturdy. You can pick it up from a corner, and there is no sign of creaking or bending. I’m a fan of it’s over all styling, it’s nice and slim, with curved tapered edges.
The lid shows no sign of the old “Eee PC” logo, with just a stylish silver “Asus” logo in the top center.
Ports / Layout
There is very little on the front of the 1005PE, just two small speaker grills, and the LED status lights.
On the left side you will find the power connector, VGA output, 1x USB 2.0, Kensington lock, and the air vent.
The right side has a multi-card reader (SD/ MMC / SDHC), head phone and mic ports, 2x USB 2.0 inputs, and an Ethernet port.
The Asus Eee PC 1005PE features a chiclet keyboard style which is usually preferred over the older style keyboards as it makes for easier typing. Asus have maximized the keyboard size on the 1005PE stretching it to the very edge of the netbook. The keys are well sized, but with enough spacing between each key, as to not accidentally press the wrong key. The spacing is a little less than on the Samsung N210.
The key arrangement is good, with a decent sized backspace, and space bar, the right shift is a little small. It’s also interesting to note that the netbook features two “Fn” keys (function keys for adjusting brightness, volume etc).
Unfortunately there is a some keyboard flex, especially around the “s” and “k” keys, but it’s not too much to worry about, and still a very nice keyboard to use.
The trackpad on the Eee PC 1005PE is interesting. Unlike most trackpads which are separate from the palm rest area, the 1005PE’s is part of it, and only distinguishable by many small raised dots.
While a little strange at first, the decent sized trackpad works well, inducing its multitouch functions which allow you to pinch zoom and scroll with two fingers, and swipe forwards and back with three. I prefer to scroll using the right side of the trackpad, and as most trackpads which have a border edge it’s easy to tell when you’re in the right place. Where as on the 1005PE as it has no border it’s a little harder to tell if you’re in the right place at first.
The button is of a rocker type, but works well, and isn’t too loud. The silver finish also gives the netbook a nice finish.
The 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor which powers the Asus 1005PE might be new for this year’s netbooks, but it doesn’t boost the performance any higher than the previous generation N270 / N280. But instead it lowers power consumption even further to increase the battery life.
This ultra efficiency also has the added benefit of running cooler and quieter, I will talk about this further later.
I have benchmarked the Asus Eee PC 1005PE using CrystalMark 2004R3, where it scored 26588.
- CrystalMark : 27588
- ALU: 5554
- FPU: 3606
- MEM: 5569 | (Read: 1945.25 MB/s (1945), Write: 1182.82 MB/s (1182))
- HDD: 8441 | (Read: 68.39 MB/s (2735), Write: 63.91 MB/s (2556))
- GDI: 1877
- D2D: 1082
- OGL: 459
As expected the results are very similar to other Atom N450 netbooks, in comparison the the Samsung N210 which I recently reviewed, the Samsung scored slightly higher at 28400.
As with other Atom N450 netbooks without dedicated graphics, you should be able to watch 720p HD videos without problems, but you can forget about 1080p HD or Youtube HD videos.
The model I have here has an 11 Hour battery life (6 cell 4400mAh 48/h), but in the US it is also available with a 14 hour battery.
I run a Battery Eater test on the 1005PE with 50% brightness, WiFi on, and power saver mode, where it lasted 6 hours 20 mins (380mins). You can expect at least 2 hours or so more in real world usage, as the test stresses the CPU to drain it as quickly as it can.
As well as running a discharge test, I also ran a charge test. This shows exactly how long the Asus 1005PE takes to change it’s 4400mAh battery.
As you can see from the graph, it took 118mins to reach 100%, and 90mins to reach the 90% mark.
The 10.1-inch display on the 1005PE has the standard and typical WSVGA resolution (1024×600 pixels). The specific model I have has a non-gloss / matte finish, but please note this can vary depending on your region, so be sure to check first. I personally prefer a matte finish as you don’t have to worry about reflections as much, while others will prefer the crisp glossy finish.
The non gloss finish didn’t reduce the sharpness of the text at all. The brightness is good, with 12 different levels. I found the 50% brightness level to be bright enough for use in normal lighting conditions.
Noise / Heat
The Asus Eee PC 1005PE does a great job at keeping cool and quiet. After a good five hours or so under the stress of the battery eater test the bottom of the 1005PE barely registered as warm, and the palm rest / top of the netbook didn’t show any signs of heat. In most part this is probably mostly due to the use of the new ultra efficient Atom N450 processor.
The fan is also very quiet, it remains off or almost silent for the most part, occasionally speeding up a little, but still very quiet. I would say it was a little louder (but still very quiet) than the Samsung N210, but also slightly cooler, which is probably due to the fan running slightly more.
The 1005PE has two speakers located at the front of the netbook, they seem to be unchanged from the previous 1005HA model. The volume is fairly decent, but lacks bass, but this is expected from small speakers.
The usual bunch of software is included with the Asus 1005PE. None are super useful or important, with the exception of the Asus Super Hybrid Engine. This software allows you to change the performance profile of the netbook, by simple pressing the “Fn” key and the space bar to cycle through the profiles. The standard auto mode will run the netbook at it’s fastest when plugged in, and automatically change to a power saving mode when it’s unplugged. You can also manually select power saving, or super high performance mode, which will run the 1005PE as fast as it can.
The Asus Eee PC 1005PE is without a doubt a great netbook, and one of the very best out there. Having replaced the 1005HA, the best seller of 2009, Asus didn’t have to do a lot to make another winner.
They have kept their winning slim stylish design, added the latest hardware, Windows 7 Starter operating system and boosted the battery life, while keeping the price low.
The Asus 1005PE is already the new best selling netbook of right now and it’s easy to see why. The Asus Eee PC 1005PE comes very highly rated from me, as it offers the whole package at a great price.
In the US the Asus Eee PC 1005PE is available in black, white, and blue color options, with either the 11 or 14 hour battery. Prices start at just $329 from Amazon, view all models.