Another reason for the lack of recent posts was that my venerable laptop, a HP NX7300 business notebook, decided to die on me whilst playing an audio CD that I’d found after a clear out in the study. Unfortunately, this proved fatal for the laptop that simply suddenly ‘died’.
After trying out a replacement power supply (which didn’t solve the problem) and checking my available budget, I decided to split the cost between a Dell Inspiron 1545 Windows 7 laptop and an Asus EEE PC 1001PX netbook. I won’t bother with the Dell review here as this is a pretty standard workhorse laptop with Windows 7 64-bit pre-installed. I’ve had my eye on a netbook for some time and have had access to the various models over the past couple of years, because of the my day job. I’ve played with the original EEE PC 701 (too small my my big hands), the 904HA (keyboard better, screen still a bit too small) and the 1005HA (just about perfect) and as I had quite a large amount of software that wouldn’t work on Windows 7, I still needed a system with Windows XP to help me with that painful transition to a modern (?) operating system.
Image courtesy of netbookreviews.net
I managed to pick one up from a local PC World store for £239.99 and it has proven to be a very useable and capable netbook.
Intel Atom N450 CPU at 1.66GHz
1Gb of RAM
Windows XP Home O/S
160Gb hard disk
10.1″ 1024×600 res display
Carbon-fibre effect lid and case
Excellent 95% size keyboard
Good Asus specific software utilities
Ethernet, WLAN, VGA, SDHC-compatible card reader
Only 2 USB 2.0 ports instead of 3 on other EEE PC’s
Battery is only 2200mAH instead of the 5800mAH on the 1005HA
Combined microphone/headphone socket
No slip case
… however of note is that the battery is compatible with the 1005HA, so I’ve swapped occasionally with the work’s unit for testing.
Boot speed is good and with the Asus power management utility, I can get around 3.5 hours life from the 2200mAH battery connected wired to the internet. I’m still testing the battery life when connected to the WLAN.
Also included as part of the software bundle is a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office 2007 and a full version of Microsoft Works.
Overall, a quality netbook that easily takes the place of a full Windows XP notebook and can be used for long periods without feeling restricted because of its netbook size.
Even better value as I noticed in PC World yesterday that they have this for sale now at £229.99.
**November 2010 Update** – the price of this laptop has dropped even further in the UK, now advertised at Currys/PC World for £199.