|Screen Size||10.1 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1024 x 600|
|Max Screen Resolution||1024 x 600 pixels|
|Processor||1.66 GHz Intel Atom N455|
|RAM||1 GB DDR3|
|Hard Drive||250 GB SATA|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel GMA 3150|
|Card Description||Graphics Media Accelerator3150|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||2|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||4 hours|
ASUS Eee PC 1001PXD-EU17-BK 10.1-Inch Netbook (Black)
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10.1"/ 1024x600 (WSVGA)/ Intel ATOM N455 CPU/ 1GB DDR3/ Intel UMA/ 250GB HDD/ No Optical Drive/ Windows 7 Starter/ 802.11 bgn/ 0.3M Pixel/ MMC/SD(SDHC) Card Reader/ 2 USB ports/ 23W/h (Up to 4* Hrs)/ 1 Year Global Warranty, (6 months for battery)/ Black (texture) finish
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First of buying a netbook was not my first choice, as I already have a 17" Toshiba laptop. However recently a friend/fellow grad student of mine purchased an Ipad and was showing it off. Out of jealousy I decided to get a tablet as well, but after reading about them online, got diverted to purchasing a netbook instead. I wanted a mobile computing device(since I walk or bike to school, mall, downtown etc, and a 17" laptop is just too heavy) on which to check mail do minor document editing, maybe play a game or too. For these reasons a netbook seemed a nicer, more productive alternative than a tablet. Now that you know the reason I bought this let me get to the pros and cons of the Asus netbook.
1. Its light and small. I had a HP mini back in 2008(which I gave to my sister) and it was at least 35 percent more weighty. The Asus could even fit in my jacket pocket. I feel that it is much easier and less delicate to carry than a tablet.
2. Asus Brand name. Asus is the most reliable company when it comes to making laptops. It even tops Apple in reliability(really! google it), even though all laptops seem to be made by Foxxcon(?).
3. I installed Ubuntu Linux Distro on it and everything worked without any additional work.
4.The battery life. Currently I can squeeze anywhere between 3 to 4 hours out of the battery. However this will go down as the battery ages.
5. Colors. I like the color choices that come with netbook. I went for the blue one.
6. The hardware seems to be robust. I've watched movies online, while editing office documents and having 7-10 tabs open in firefox and the laptop worked great. However I'm looking to upgrade the total RAM to at least 2GB.
There were also things that I did not like about the netbook.
1. The Keyboard. They call it the Chiclet keyboard and I feel it is quite small, even for a netbook of this size. As I mentioned earlier I had a HP mini before and it has a much better, roomier Keyboard than this one. The keys also make a "springy" sound that I don't like. It reminds me somehow of the old IBM keyboards. It is difficult but eventually one gets used to typing on this netbook.
2. Windows 7. The windows is the one really bad addition to this netbook. Don't get me wrong, I love windows 7, just don't like the version installed here. With just 1 GB of RAM, windows starts to get sluggish very fast as opposed to Ubuntu. If you are going to use this, I suggest you buy additional RAM to run Windows 7 (even starter) on this machine or do as I did, install a Linux Distro.
3. The power plug. I feel that the power plug and outlet in the netbook are just too fragile and would snap with just a little stress. And since I use this device on my lap and when I'm in bed also, I feel I have to be careful to avoid bending the power plug.
4. Audio input/output. The audio input and output are through the same hole. So I am unable to use my mic whenever I need to skype. And the internal mic is too weak, so that I have to hold the netbook screen next to my face to talk. Will have to purchase a mic/earphone in one combo thing.
I hope this will help the reader make a better decision on their purchase. Will update this review after a year.
Program updaters slow the computer. At the default settings, the updaters run in the background and check for updates, download, and install continuously. Adobe, Asus, and Microsoft are the primary offenders. Asus updaters are notorious for crashing computers. The Microsoft updater had the bad habit of trying to update programs I had already uninstalled, and adding shortcuts to my desktop. Updaters are marketed as a convenience, but have similar properties to spyware.
To improve performance, turn off the updaters, or remove them through control panel. I removed almost every program with "update", "Microsoft", "Asus", and "Adobe" in the title. That ended the periodic freezes.
The included starter version of Microsoft Office severely slows the internet connection by downloading advertising videos. The software also records websites visited in order to target advertising. I removed Office to improve my internet speeds and protect my privacy.
Memory is cheap. From a cost/benefit standpoint a memory upgrade is almost mandatory. I upgraded to 2gb ram using the Crucial chip, 2GB 204-PIN Sodimm DDR3. Memory is easily accessed through a hatch on the bottom of the computer. After I put in the 2gb chip I entered bios (push F2 during boot) and verified that I now had 2048 meg (2048meg=2gb) of memory installed. Extra ram pays off with more speed, more multitasking, and less wear on the hard drive. You can also usually recycle a big ram chip into your next computer. Unfortunately Win 7 starter is hobbled by limiting multitasking, so the full benefit of added memory is only realized with an operating system upgrade.
Added memory increases power consumption slightly. Increased power consumption means the battery drains faster. If battery life is more important than speed, don't upgrade memory.
According to Intel, the n455 chip has a max addressing capability of 2gb RAM. I tried a couple different 4gb chips anyway, to see what would happen. The computer wouldn't POST (boot) with 4gb ram installed, but resumed booting fine after I reinstalled the 2 gb chip. Intel's documentation is correct, 2 gb is the max memory that can be installed on this computer.
In response to a question, I have explained memory replacement in the comments, and posted images to illustrate the process. Also in comments there is a discussion of various memory types suitable for this computer. The memory I bought is not the cheapest that works.
It is also possible to upgrade the hard drive, but it is not as simple as the ram upgrade. Replacing the hard drive involves removing the keyboard, splitting the case, and going through two zif connectors. I do not recommend attempting a hard drive upgrade unless you have experience assembling computers. The stock 250gb drive is adequate for a netbook, but only 230gb is available because of the recovery partition.
An additional performance boost can be achieved cheaply and easily by inserting a 4gb SD card into the card reader and dedicating the card to ReadyBoost cache. After inserting a blank SD card, the option of "use to speed up computer" should pop up. If not, use the "file>properties" drop down menu of file explorer to find the "dedicate to ReadyBoostCache" option for the SD card. I used a Transcend 4 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS4GSDHC10E. Use the fastest SD card you can afford to get the most improvement.
This computer is an excellent Linux platform. Linux recognized all the hardware, including the camera. Connecting to the net was quick and easy. DVD videos played smoothly in Linux Mint. Everything was faster, and wallpaper could be changed. I used the 32 bit Linux version, because of the 2gb memory addressing limitation of the n455 chip.
If you want to try Linux and preserve the recovery partition, you have a couple options. The first is to install Linux alongside Windows. After installing Linux alongside Windows, the Linux boot menu will list Windows, Linux, or the recovery partition as boot options. If you don't want to make any changes to the hard drive, install Linux onto an SD card. The SD card should be at least 8gb. Once the SD card has Linux installed, you can boot from the SD card into Linux, or from the hard drive into Windows.
If you have trouble installing Linux alongside Windows, delete the "d" drive partition, and leave the space unallocated on the drive. The option to delete the "d" drive is in control panel>administrative tools>computer management>disk management. Once Linux sees unallocated space on your drive, the option to install alongside Window becomes available.
Booting from the card reader is easy. You can choose the card reader as a boot device by pushing esc during boot or by entering bios. To enter bios, push F2 during boot. In bios the card reader is listed as a hard drive. Go to bios > boot > hard drives and select memory card reader as the primary hard drive.
The wifi card is good, picking up more transmitters than my other netbook.
DVD playback was crippled in 7 starter. In Windows, I installed the free K-lite codec pack to play dvds. The n455 chip has much better video performance than the n280 in my 1005. DVDs play smooth (video only tested with 2gb memory). I used a single tail drive to play DVDs and install Linux: Liteon ETAU208-96 Top Load DVD/CD Writer Black.
The touch pad is overly sensitive, making typing difficult. I always turn off the touch pad (Fn-F3) and use an external optical mouse.
Cost cutting is apparent in some features. There is 15 pin vga out, but no hdmi. There is only one jack for both headphones and microphone. There are only 2 usb ports, one on each side. The small stock 2200 mAh battery only lasts 3 hours. The Amazon spec of stereo speakers is wrong. The headphone jack is stereo, but there is only one tinny sounding mono speaker on the underside right front.
I need my netbook to last through long plane rides and a shift at work. I replaced the stock battery with a 5200mAh battery (10.80V,4800mAh,Li-ion,Replacement Laptop Battery for ASUS Eee PC 1001HA, Eee PC 1005HA ) that lasts about 8 hours.
Backup of the recovery partition is poorly documented. Press F9 during boot to get the screen with "recover" and "backup" as options (see posted picture). The backup media must be at least 16gb. I backed up to a 16gb memory card and to a small hard drive on a usb port.
This low priced little computer has great potential. Out of the box performance is hampered by lack of memory and bloatware that hogs resources at default settings. Windows 7 starter also prevents the hardware from reaching full potential because of limits on features like multitasking, and video performance. To get the most out of this computer upgrade memory, aggressively prune preinstalled programs, and change the operating system.
postscript in Sept 2014: The 64bit version of Linux Mint 17 runs on this computer. Previous versions of 64bit Mint do not run because of problems with the video drivers. 32bit versions of Mint 11 to 16 ran fine.
This ASUS is exactly what I wanted and then some. The keyboard took no time to get used to, the battery life is just fine for my needs although may not be for some others. I am never that far away for that long to be able to plug in when I need to. The cord is a great length, too, without the brick in the middle. On the first day, I worked for 6 hours with this netbook on my lap and it never heated up more than just a little warm.
My work involves online writing so I needed only the internet and a good WP program. Based on recommendations from other reviewers, I also bought the 2 mg RAM card, which is suggested with the purchase. Thanks to the guy who put the pictorial instructions on changing the RAM, I was able to do it easily. That's a real tribute since I'm no techie.
I also removed a bunch of bloatware and downloaded Firefox, OpenOffice and Advanced System Care. I have everything I need and then some. Windows 7 Starter means nothing to me since I only use this netbook for internet access and writing.
The internet speed has been complained about, but I find it just fine. For faster internet research, I use my larger lap top. That lap top has a somewhat sensitive tough pad, but my netbook does not. It doesn't skip around on me at all. Just to let you know, I am using my netbook to write this review.
Summary - I think this is one of the best purchases I've made since I bought my Kindle.
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