The Asus Eee PC 1008P-KR is one of the latest Eee PC netbooks from Asus featuring the newest Intel Atom N450 processor. It’s their top of the range 10-inch Eee PC, which builds on the 1008HA from last year and features a very impressive and unique design from Karim Rashid.
I must admit when I first saw the press photos of the Asus 1008P-KR with its unusual design, I wasn’t overly impressed, but this view has completely changed around 180 degrees since getting my hands on it. In person it looks and feels great (both closed and open) and has extremely high build quality throughout.
Asus 1008P-KR Specifications
I have the UK edition of the 1008P-KR here, and I must point out that the specifications vary from that of the US model. In the UK you get 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive, with Windows 7 Starter Edition, but in the US you get a bumped 2GB of RAM, a larger 320GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Home Premium Edition.
- 10.1-Inch 1024 x 600 display (glossy, edge-to-edge)
- Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz Processor
- Intel GMA 3150 graphics
- 1GB DDR2 RAM (2GB in US)
- 250GB SATA Hard Drive (320GB in US) + 500GB Eee Space
- Multi-touch trackpad
- Bluetooth 2.1EDR
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- 100 Ethernet
- 1.3MP webcam
- 2x USB 2.0
- VGA Via Dongle
- 8 Hour Battery Life (2 Batteries)
- 2x 2900 mAh 31Wh Battery
- Windows 7 Starter 32-bit (Home Premium in US)
- 1.15 kg (2.5 pounds) (With 1x battery)
- 260 x 180 x 18 – 26.2mm (10.2 x 7.1 x 0.7 – 1 inch)
The Asus Eee PC 1008p Karim Rashid is available in two colors, the model I have here; Coffee Brown, and Hot Pink.
Design / Build Quality
The Asus 1008P-KR certainly stands out from all the other netbooks on the market with its unique patterned / textured design by Karim Rashid. But along with this unique design the 1008P also features amazing build quality and extremely slim design of under an inch thick.
As soon as I saw the 1008P-KR I was impressed with its design, it looks and feels a lot nice than it does in photos. The special design runs completely around the netbook covering the lid, sides and the bottom. The finish is also very slightly rubbery giving it a great feel and extra grip when holding or carrying it.
I was even more impressed when I opened the lid of the 1008P-KR, it has a one piece glossy display which continues to the edge of the lid, eliminating the usual plastic frame surrounding the display.
But it’s not all just about the display, the whole netbook itself looks great on the inside, it has a very nice matte finish (a very welcome change from the typical all over gloss!), excellent full width keyboard, and flush trackpad.
The 1008P-KR is a netbook which looks equality as impressive open and it does closed, sitting here on my desk it looks like a very professional / premium netbook. Far from the plasticy fingerprint magnets we have seen before.
As well as looking great, the Asus Eee PC 1008P-KR also has a very high build quality, better than that of other Eee PC netbooks we have previously seen, and probably any netbook altogether. It feels very solid and sturdy, with an excellent keyboard and finish.
To prove Karim Rashid’s input, his signature is printed in a subtle brown color on the right of the palm rest area.
Ports / Layout
Unlike most netbook that have their ports showing, the 1008P-KR has its ports hidden by a flap on either side. This enables the netbook to have a continuous design, and also has the added benefit of keeping the dust out.
While this might be annoying to some people, and others might worry that they might break off, they do seem quite stable, and in all honesty, a netbook is designed to be taken around, so for the most part you probably won’t have any extra devices attached. As the netbook is so thin, the VGA connector requires a small dongle (located in the bottom of the netbook, (held in by a magnet), which removes the large VGA port from the side of the netbook. I also like this, as for the most part the VGA port will probably go unused.
On the left side we have the power connector (no cover), then the small VGA port, a single USB 2.0 port, flush multi-card reader and a small air vent.
On the right side there is the removable battery cover (I will take more about this in the battery section below), another USB 2.0 port, microphone port, audio out, and an Ethernet port.
The is nothing but two small speakers to the below of the front of the netbook. The LED Status lights are located above the keyboard towards the display, showing battery, hard drive activity, WiFi and caps lock.
At the back of the netbook there is another small air vent, and a large blue power and battery light located at the bottom of the lid.
At the bottom you will find a small access panel to access the RAM, the screw is located under the VGA dongle dock.
Simply put, the Asus Eee PC 1008P-KR has a great keyboard. I would put it on par with the very impressive Samsung N210’s keyboard. It runs the full width of the netbook, maximizing the keyboard area, and has chiclet keys, with good spacing between each key. This style of keyboard makes it easier to type on, and should result in less typing errors.
The keys are nice and quiet, and provide good feedback, while the keyboard itself feels much superior to other Eee PC’s such as the 1005PE, feeling more solid, better constructed, and with very little flex.
Unlike most trackpads which are separate from the palm rest area with a border, the 1008P-KR has a flush trackpad which is only distinguishable from the palm rest by a number of small raised dots.
While it is essentially the same trackpad on the 1005PE, I find it to be better on this model. This is because as the 1005PE’s trackpad is glossy, provides some extra unwanted resistance. While on the 1008P its smooth matte finish gives a nice smooth resistance free finish.
The trackpad also supports multitouch gestures, meaning it can support multi finger commands, enabling you to pinch zoom photos, go forwards and back while browsing by simply swiping two fingers or scroll the page using two fingers. I found the multitouch feature to be responsive and work well. It makes browsing the Internet a lot easier with less moving the cursor around the screen.
There is a single rocker type button which provides good feedback and is nice and quiet. The chrome type finish is about the only place the netbook will pick up any fingerprints, apart from the display of course.
The Asus Eee PC 1008P uses the latest generation Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz processor. This latest generation doesn’t boost speed very much, if at all, but it does reduce the power consumption a fair amount, which means longer run times, and cooler temperatures.
As the 1008P uses mostly the same core hardware as the 1005PE and Samsung N210, we can expect to see similar result.
I benchmarked the Asus 1008P with CrystalMark 2004R3, where it scored 29012. This is slightly higher than the Samsung N210 (score: 28400), and 1005PE.
- CrystalMark : 29012
- ALU: 5789
- FPU: 4574
- MEM: 6245 | (Read: 2157.17 MB/s (2157), Write: 1315.47 MB/s (1315))
- HDD: 8803 | (Read: 68.23 MB/s (2729), Write: 63.84 MB/s (2553))
- GDI: 1978
- D2D: 1139
- OGL: 484
This benchmark was run on the “Super High Performance” profile setting. The 1008P-KR was able to playback the 720p HD videos I downloaded, but was unable to playback 1080p HD videos.
Batteries / Battery Life
Most netbooks come with a 3 or 6-cell battery, which would either be flush to the netbook, or more commonly a bulky addition, which protrudes from the bottom of the netbook. This increases the bulk and thickness of the netbook.
The Asus Eee PC 1008P-KR isn’t just any netbook, to achieve it’s super slim design, it uses a special slim battery which can be accessed and removed by sliding it out from the side of the netbook. But as this battery is slim, it’s capacity is also lower than that of many netbooks. It’s has a rating of 2900mAh / 31Wh, which is pretty much equivalent to a 3-cell battery.
But of course Asus knows that one of the best selling points of netbooks are their long battery life, and to compete with the other netbooks on the market, Asus have thrown in an extra identical battery free of charge. So you get two 2900mAh batteries, which is brings the total battery life in line with some of the other big players.
You can easily access and change the battery by flipping the netbook over, removing the side cover, and pushing the release button to side the battery out, and then simply insert the fresh battery and reattach the cover.
Having the battery life spread over two batteries might not be as convenient as one large battery, but it means the 1008P can be thiner and lighter than other netbooks.
When you change the battery, you have to either shut down the computer, or hibernate it, which saves the current state and data to the hard drive. I tested how long this whole process would take, and it came to roughly one minute, which isn’t too bad. This time included the time taken for the system to hibernate, removing and replacing the battery, and resuming from hibernate.
I also noticed that as the spare battery is so slim (1cm thick), it easily fits into a slim 10-inch slip case along with the netbook. As the netbook is slightly rubberized is wouldn’t be too worried about the battery scratching the back of the netbook.
I ran a battery eater test on the 1008P-KR, where it stresses the CPU to try and drain the battery as quickly as possible. In power save mode, with the screen brightness on about 45% (which is comfortable to use in normal indoor lighting) the Asus 1008P managed to last 3 hours 27 minutes (207 mins) before Windows automatically shut down.
So with use of the two batteries you can expect at least 7-8 hours total run time, but probably longer during normal usage.
The 1008P features a 10.1-inch display with a standard 1024 x 600 pixel resolution (WSVGA), but unlike most netbooks which have the screen indented in a plastic bezel, the 1008P-KR has an edge to edge display with a single panel. This looks great and certainly gives a premium look to the netbook.
While the screen is glossy, I normally prefer a matte finish as it reduces reflections, but with a gloss finish you do tend to get sharper images, so this one is down to personal preference. The sharpness and clarity are very good on the display.
I feel that the display doesn’t go quite as bright as some other netbooks, but it’s more than enough, I found it to be ideal at about 50-60% brightness.
The display angle goes very far back when opened to it’s full extreme, further than the Samsung N210, so I wouldn’t think it would be a problem to anyone.
At the top of the display there is a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and stereo microphones. This is very good as most netbooks only come with a 0.3 megapixel camera, it provides much sharper images.
Heat / Noise
Very little noise is produced from the hard drive or the fan. The fan seems to be on at a very slow speed all of the time, but it’s very quiet and hard to hear. It does ramp up a little when the CPU is stressed but it never became noisy.
The top of the netbook keeps nice and cool, even around the trackpad area. I would say the he bottom of the netbook gets a little warmer than the 1005PE, but it’s still only just warm and shouldn’t cause any nuisance to anyone.
I have been very impressed by the Asus Eee PC 1008P-KR, it has taken the Eee PC and the netbook market to the next level. I almost see the Asus 1008P-KR as a premium netbook as it offers such high build quality and excellent design, both on the outside and inside.
The netbook seems very well thought out, and Asus have improved many aspects of the standard Eee PC. I’m now a big fan of the unique exterior, which feels and looks great in person, and have been very impressed with the high quality keyboard, edge-to-edge display and matte finish (no more fingerprints!).
While some may see the small / two batteries as a negative, it doesn’t put me off that much. As they can be easily swapped over in less than a minute, and the extra spare battery carried in a small slip case with the netbook.
The Asus 1008P-KR is definitely one of my favorite netbooks, and easily my favorite Eee PC to-date. While the price tag is higher than the average netbook at $495 & £339, the 1008P provides more than the average netbook. On the U.S version you also get a larger than standard 320GB hard drive and twice the RAM with 2GB fitted as standard.
The Asus Eee PC 1008P-KR is currently available from Amazon for $494.99!