back to article Asus Eee PC 1008HA Seashell

We liked the Asus Eee PC 1008HA - aka Seashell - when we first saw it at the CeBit show this past March. Asus has done 'luxury' netbooks before - most notably the Eee PC S101 - but they never won us over. Just too darn angular for us. You might as well have a regular netbook and pay a lot less for it. But the 1008HA, with its …

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No access port?

Why is it hard to build a slim netbook with a back cover that can be removed, and a battery inside that can likewise be removed? Mobile phone manufacturers don't seem to have a problem.

I won't be buying anything with built-in dead-battery obsolescence.

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Am I the only person who likes SSD?

One of my favourite things about my EEE is that it has SSD rather than a hard drive -- so I don't have to worry about the heads crashing if I'm watching a movie on a hotel bed or train or place seat and it falls off when I fall asleep, or if I forget to switch it off and throw it in a bag.

I'm also disappointed that Linux netbooks have, effectively, been killed off already. As someone who has refused to pay MS any more money it means I may not be able to upgrade in a couple of years time.

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Why emulate the worst features of a MacBook?

"with ... a battery you can't swap and internals that are hard to upgrade." And no way of knowing whether the amount of memory can be increased.

Progress, huh?

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Jobs Halo

Who'dve thunk it?

As a Mac fanbois I have to say this little jobby is extremely interesting indeed. Not least the price, especially compared to the MacBook Air - which I consider hideously overpriced.

Be nice to see if someone can take it apart soon to check upgrade potential. Having said that it's being offered to the same niche market as the Air - as the article points out, if you want removable batteries etc then move along, nothing to see here. But I suspect this could be the perfect little travelling computer for folk who have zero interest in upgrading or hanging lots of peripherals off it (probably 90% from my empirical studies)

Now, where's hackintosh...

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Linux

@Cameron

Linux is likely to rally soon.

The next generation of netbooks are due out later this year. (that's proper netbooks again, like the original Eee's, not the underpowered laptops that these later so-called netbooks have become)...

And the reason for linux... They can't run windows cos they'll be non-x86 based.

Mostly ARM but there was a report last week about a spanish netbook powered by MiPS.

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Display

Yet another pathetic resolution. 1024 width is so last millennium!!

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Happy

RE: Who'dve thunk it?

"But I suspect this could be the perfect little travelling computer for folk who have zero interest in upgrading or hanging lots of peripherals off it"

And don't mind a repair bill when the battery dies...

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Asus own site says screen is "Glare-type"

'nuff said

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Weights

You've missed out some crucial missing information, for a review of a higher end netbook based on sleekness...

Weight = 1.1kg

And for reference:

EEE PC 701 - 0.92kg

EEE PC 901 - 1.1kg

EEE PC 1000HE - 1.45kg

EEE PC 1005HA - 1.4kg

Samsung NC10 - 1.33kg

Acer Aspire One (6 cell) - 1.26kg

MSI Wind (6 cell) - 1.3kg

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thin, schmin

Why the obsession with making it thin? It seems to me to be the least important dimension and certainly not worth sacrificing a removable battery and ports..

Like the Air, it's footprint is still the same as other, cheaper models with the same sized screen, meaning the same space when in use and the same size bag to carry it in.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Chippy-Minton

Back to your carpentry labours with you. Give my regards to Windy Miller on your way.

Thin is crucial. Yes, this and other 10in netbooks take up the same amount of desk space, but that third dimension, height, makes a big difference to a machine's portability. I could say it takes up less bag space - smaller volume, you see - but it also matters when you're carry the sucker around in your hands - it's way more comfortable to hold than a thicker one.

Now ardent netbook buffs may prefer thickness and the bigger battery that usually comes with it - fair dos, I say. But I'd trade that for decent battery life and much greater portability any time.

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SSD

It's nice, but without an SSD, what's the point? If it can't be put into a rucksack and carried on my bike without the heads being bounced around, what's the point?

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The USP is fading away

In the early days these were innovative little machines. Now, the guy who said they're just underpowered laptops is spot on. No solid state drive, no Linux option, no sub-1Kg weight and no low price.

How sad to see even the company who defined the new market to lose courage and go back to just churning out the same old stuff.

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My great idea for something so small is....

Velcro the tiny laptop to the wall and use it as your main phone service for magicjack.

I was doing a gut wrenching search on the smallest pc I can find and nothing custom built can come close enough to that of a tiny Eee PC.

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Lottie

Unless you want the thing running while it's in your backpack, why would the heads be bouncing around?

Hard drives have had decent head-parking mechanisms long before netbooks came along.

It's sudden, sharp in-use knocks that do for hard drives these days.

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@@Lottie

Are the voice coils that rugged, and the bearings tight enough?

Personally I'd go for SSD for in-use chuckability, but it would be good to know.

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Get in there quick though...

If I wasn't still perfectly happy with my EEE900 I'd be very tempted by one of these. It's soon to become a rarity too, as Asus are apparently cutting the EEE PC line to just three small underpowered laptops* as of July (as reported on this very site - http://bit.ly/7DdbU )

*10 inch screen + HDD + Win XP != netbook in my eyes.

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@Weights

Samsung Q40 - 1.1kg, relatively fast, slim and with passive cooling.

Something that all those netbooks totally miss. But there is Sony VAIO P then...

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Dead Vulture

Just when you thought it was safe ...

To buy a netbook, SSD drives Linux, long battery life etc ...

They withdraw Linux, make you buy Windows and replace the SSD with a HD.

Talk about a dumb U-turn, are these companies run by MP's ?!

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ARM netbooks

won't take off, beleive me or not. All that proprietary crap like Flash and media codecs will bring the effort to the ground.

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Linux

Linux on netbooks

There are two reasons why Linux on netbooks is loosing attention.

The first is that the versions of Linux shipped are, well, pants. I ditched Xandros, even after I broke out of the simple interface on my eeePC701. If they shipped a mainstream distro, things may be different.

The second is that Microsoft stomped on the market by allowing XP, a dead OS as far as Microsoft was concerned a few months earlier, to be cut down and shipped at effectively no cost, merely to prevent Linux getting a decent foothold in a part of the PC market.

One wonders if they will be as willing to give away Windows 7 when this comes alone. Or possibly they think they will have cornered the market by then.

From a customer perspective, if they can buy something familiar verses something different, both at the same price, I know what they will choose. Linux only had a chance in the mainstream when there was a price difference, and this was because they could be made with less memory and disk space and a free OS compared to a Windows system. Stop making the smaller ones just for Linux, and you will only sell Windows systems.

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@Ramazan

Isn't the Samsung Q40 an ultraportable in the £1,000+ price bracket? W is comparing a bunch of cheap netbooks, hence no mention of the stupidly expensive Fujitsu Porteges or Sony Vaio T-series machines, which are all in the same size and weight range as netbooks but have much more capability like Core 2 Duo CPUs, fast RAM, integral optical drives, and decent screen resolutions. Of course, good quality components like those cost a lot more money...

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@@Ramazan & @Peter Gathercole

@@Ramazan

Thanks Big Bear. Yup, aside from highlighting the omission of the detail in the review, if I had to be pinned down to making a point, it would merely be this: a weight of 1.1kg is (as Senor Tony Smith points out) nice to have. But it's hardly a revolution.

I'm not gonna slate the machine before I've seen it in the flesh, but the price/features combo doesn't make me want to trade in my NC10. That's not to say that £380 is an utter rip off for what you get. Just that £380 is more than I'd pay for what I want a netbook for.

I'm very happy with my NC10, but if I was going to replace my NC10, it would probably be in the other direction to the 1008HA - I'd probably plump for a second hand EEE 901. It's a largely comparable machine to the NC10, but with an SSD. And "from under £150" on eBay it'd be eminently more chuck-about-able than a new £300 NC10.

It goes without saying that anyone who mentions thin little £1000+ Sonys/Samsungs or 14"+Dual Core £400 Dells/Acers in a thread about netbooks is utterly missing the point.

@Peter Gathercole

I made the point about installing these Fisher Price broken Linuxes was a bad bad move, but got utterly shouted down by a few folk for being an MS apologist. I'm far from it. But MS realised the situation and at an effective price of less than £20 a pop, they started giving XP away as a stalling measure until Win7 arrives. It'll be interesting to see how things pan out in the Win7 era.

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Happy

Skinny Beach Bird

I wanna see a skinny Beach Bird to match the skinny eeee.

The other one was a bit of a porker.

PS

If you don't like the pre-installed windows XP, install Linux and claim a refund from Microsoft for the unused XP license.

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@W/Ramazan

I agree that ultraportables, like the Q40 Ramazan mentions, have a completely different niche as compared to netbooks, but as you say, a £300+ machine is not that chuck-about-able at all, and in all fairness, you can find older £1000+ machines for £150 on eBay as well. I use my old Vaio TR5 that is 5 years old for netbook tasks, but I just love that it is the same weight range (1.4 Kg) and same dimensions (10.6 inch screen), but with a great keyboard, and with 1280x768 resolution, and the screen is of such a high quality that it is entirely usable. It is no longer my main laptop so I don't mind it taking a bit of a battering either, but it really is a great little machine that I will be sorry to see die off.

I would like to see how the Atom handles an Oracle instance which I need for work, as the little Pentium M ULV could work happily away with it, and the higher rez allows for useful spreadsheet viewing, but then again, those tasks are not what netbooks are designed for! Unfortunately, with the growth of netbooks into the larger, pricier form, such as the Acer Aspire 751, people will be thinking of them as small notebooks and that may well turn people off them.

As per other posters, it will be interesting to see what the new, small, ARM based machines will do to the market - I have noticed they are growing as a sector over in the Far East, but that region always produces many items that never make it over to the West...

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Gates Horns

@AC - REFUNDS?

>claim a refund from Microsoft for the unused XP license.

My understanding in the UK is that you have to claim the refund from the vendor you bought the PC from. laarge vendors seem to make a habit of accepting the EULA for you before they hand the machine over, so you don't get the chance. It certainly cuts the ill-informed out of their rights.

The only succesful attempts I have heard of involved Photographing each screen during the initial power up process, including the EULA rejection; going via the weights-and-measures people; and issuing a claim in the small claims court.

I think this sort of thing should be on the EU's agenda, as uk.gov would certainly side with M$

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