Message to all those who think tablets will be the future of computing – maybe not. I’ve been playing around with one of the new generation of netbooks for the past month, the Asus 1005PE, and it’s a revelation. What makes it exciting is not the performance, although it’s certainly good enough to get most tasks done on a day to day basis, or even the cool black ultra portable design.
It’s the basic fact that with a battery life that’s measured in days, you end up thinking about computing in a whole different way. Days you say, how so? Well although the battery is rated at max 14 hours, in real life you don’t sit in front of the computer solidly all day. You take breaks, eat, sleep, you know, that sort of thing.
So the result is you can happily leave your power cable at home for a weekend jaunt, and be fairly confident you won’t exhaust your power before you return. Now there are exceptions to every rule, so if you’re watching back to back DVDs on an external drive and surfing IMDB constantly at the same time, your battery is going to suffer, but from my experience, these new netbooks are just perfect for everyday ‘sling in a bag, use anywhere’ computing.
It boots up really quickly from standby, Windows 7 is solid and fast and the keyboard is more than good enough for rapid typing needs. What you find yourself doing is carrying the thing around from location to location, just in case you need to do some heavy lifting that a mobile phone can’t. I never switch it off, just leave it on standby – which seems to consume almost no power – which means it’s ready to use in around 12 seconds.
And you have to remember that this netbook currently sells for a very reasonable $327.00 (or £242.00) on Amazon, which makes it a direct competitor for tablet computers which don’t have half the flexibility or power. The spec of the thing includes 1GB RAM, 2 x USB ports, RJ45, WiFi, webcam and mic, 250GB hard drive, Bluetooth and a built in memory card reader. In fact the only thing I’ve found to be a little clumsy is the trackpad, which could do with a better scroll function.
If you’re in the market for a new computer for travelling or living room use, I recommend you check one of these puppies out in your evaluation. You may be surprised as to how useful it could be.
The Eee PC 1005PE-M features the latest generation of LED-backlit technology for ultra-thin, ultra-bright, and energy-efficient portability and versatility. A brilliant 10.1-inch LED-backlit Color-shine display makes reading documents and surfing the Web comfortable and easy. With a 1024 x 600 resolution screen, you can coast through most of your favorite web pages without having to resize your browser or scroll left and right.