While it hasn’t shipped to the general public, at least in the US, some websites have gotten their review models of the new Asus Eee PC 1000HE and have started posting reviews online. These are the latest netbooks/ultraportables from Asustek and Asustek has worked to keep the price down ($375 – $399 or thereabouts depending on retailer/location). They’ve added a new CPU from Intel, the 1.66GHz N280 Atom (with a slightly faster FSB), but it’s still based on Intel’s 945 platform (and not the GN40).
They’ve also substantially boosted the battery life with a higher-capacity battery as well as tuning the power savings options. NotebookReview.com was able to get near the claimed battery life of 9.5 hours (with some restrictions – WiFi off, display dimmed, etc.).
Once of the biggest changes is the “chiclet-style” keyboard, which impressed NotebookReview.com:
The new Sony/Macbook style keyboard that ASUS has switched to for the 1000HE is a huge improvement in terms of ease of typing and tactile feel. The keys donâ€™t feel as cramped since there is more space between them and even the key action feels smoother than before. One change that I personally love is the new key layout with the better placement of the right shift key and the larger control key on the bottom right.
LAPTOP Magazine was also suitably impressed with the keyboard, talking about how much of a difference it makes for touch-typists. On their battery tests, they were able to get over 7 hours. They did mention that it has an 8700-mAh battery which has got to be one of the highest-capacity shipping batteries for any devices in this class. PC Magazine was able to get over 7 hours as well. Due to the pricing and some of the other features, they gave it their editor’s choice award.