Writer’s review: Asus Eee 1005HA netbook

My netbook in its natual habitatI work from home a lot. As anyone in this position will tell you, sometimes it really helps to escape to a café or bar.

The change of scenery’s good, and with Wi-Fi it’s certainly possible to get out and about and stay productive.

One problem for me though: although my main laptop does everything I need, it’s pretty big, pretty heavy, and has a less-than-impressive battery life.

Working in the local café is no fun if your computer is too big for the table and there are three other people fighting for the same power outlet. So step forward my latest purchase: an Asus Eee 1005HA PC. It’s a netbook – a cheap, cut-down portable computer.

At £300, this one was a little more expensive than average, but nowhere near as expensive as some. I did lots of research before arriving at the conclusion that it was right for me. Here’s why I like it:

  • The battery life is astonishing. If I switch to power save mode I can get seven or more hours out of it.
  • Considering its size (tiny), the keyboard is excellent. I’ve been typing documents on it without any problems.
  • It’s fast. Ok, so it’s not going to give your main PC a run for its money. But it’s more than adequate as a portable machine.
  • It’s got Bluetooth, the latest Wi-Fi, a memory card reader and lots of USB connections. In short, I can plug most stuff into it.
  • It’s small (of course). I barely notice it in my bag and the great battery life means I don’t always have to lug the power supply around.
  • It looks pretty neat and manages to be sleek and stay functional. Asus do a lighter, more attractive model too, if that matters to you.

The downsides? Well, there are a few:

  • It came with lots of rubbish software on it. While this isn’t unique to Asus, it uses up system resources and is a pain to remove.
  • The screen has a shiny coating. This reflects bright light and can be difficult to read. It hasn’t been a nightmare. Yet.
  • The trackpad has a strange texture and the button is stiff. Both take some getting used to.
  • It has a stupid name. Who on earth thought calling it an Eee was a good idea? It sounds like a Yorkshireman’s expression of mild surprise.

Overall, I’m really pleased – and convinced the impressive battery life and decent keyboard make this the right netbook for me. I’d highly recommend it if you’re a writer looking for a capable, portable PC to make coffee shop working that bit easier. (Picture: my netbook in its natural environment.)

6 responses to “Writer’s review: Asus Eee 1005HA netbook”

  1. Pam Nash says:

    7 hours battery life is impressive! The sheer amount of junk that comes with laptops/PCs is intensely irritating, I always remove the lot; as for the current ‘shiny screen’ trend, it passes me by…..WHY would anyone want a screen that reflects EVERY stray ray of light? Pah! Netbooks are great for travel, they’ve improved massively over the last 9 months or so.

    Oh, and what’s wrong with Yorkshire??

  2. tinnion says:

    sweet little laptop. the problem i find in coffee shops is the bladder kicks in before the battery power depletes and you have to pack up anyway. maybe the name of the computer was inspired by needing a triple e.

  3. John says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    @Pam – the shiny screen thing is annoying because although it hasn’t been a problem yet, I just know it’s going to be at some point. My main laptop is just the same. And there’s nothing at all wrong with Yorkshire – apologies if I’ve fallen into a lazy stereotype trap there!

    @tinnion – yes, this is true. I find they’re pretty good in the Global Cafe though, and usually happy to keep an eye on your stuff if you ask.

  4. Pam Nash says:

    No offence taken was just kidding! ;)

    As for the shiny screen, Dell call it ‘Truelife’ and up ’til recently (and maybe even now on some models) it cost extra. Truelife? It may be just me, but my life doesn’t look like that. My neighbour has a very expensive, 42″, LCD TV, which has a shiny screen, I have a 32″ normal screen – guess where we watch cricket on bright days? It’s a gimmick which I hope will soon fade. As it were.

  5. Sanjay Gupta says:

    Excellent battery life, a keyboard that is large enough to make typing a breeze. first we uninstalled all the bloatware and installed the programs we prefer like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office. Perfect for travel, but I use it on the kitchen table almost constantly.

  6. Yonica says:

    I got an Asus Eee as a christmas gift. It is very compact but i wish that the LCD screen was larger.

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