ASUS Eee PC 1008HA NetbookPlenty has been said and published about Netbooks and their place in the everyday work life. What I wanted to know is what it’s like to use one on daily basis, not for a few days but for a few months. Can a Netbook replace a traditional laptop? So I called ASUS, who practically invented the Netbook category, and they send me an ASUS Eee PC 1008HA. If you’re into specs then scroll down to see them.

Eee PC 1008HA, also known as the Seashell, is a much different design from many other Netbooks on the market. It’s a slim, curved, tapered and lightened chassis that’s just an inch in thickness at its largest point. It’s got a high gloss finish and overall just a sexy-looking machine, making it one of the best looking Netbooks I’ve seen. Most other Netbooks look well… boring compared to 1008HA. Opening the machine reveals a different trackpad than what I am used. The trackpad is dimpled and has some two-fingered zoom in and out gestures. I could do scrolling by dragging my finger along the right side of the trackpad – this is not apparent thought at first but discovered quickly due to a simple habit. Asus also managed to cram a decent size keyboard into the Seashell and I really appreciated the full sized right Shift key. You probably don’t know you want that until you don’t have it. However, one of my biggest disappointments was the glossy finish which seems to cover itself in finger prints. Technically it’s not a huge issue but I did find myself keeping one of those clothes that I clean my sunglasses with to periodically restore the original shine to the Seashell.

So after the glaze on my eyes from looking at such a pretty machine receded I got down to business. I put away my 6-pound laptop and started using the 1008HA doing the normal daily activities that I usually do with my everyday machine. This includes e-mail, web surfing, writing, watching an occasional movie, traveling, etc. I quickly found out is that I was missing my big and heavy laptop, the full size keyboard and a large screen. But since I was committed to living my life with a Netbook I forged forward hoping that over time I will become used to the Eee PC. It didn’t happen. For over three month I found myself wanting to scrap my experiment and go back to my laptop.

Keep in mind that this is not a knock on ASUS or any other Netbook brand but rather an opinion about a device category that only has a screen not bigger than 10-inches, miniaturized keyboard, slow hard disk and a slow processor (as compared to traditional business laptops). Most of my computing is done in the cloud, and there were times when I really hated the 1008HA for its inability to respond with the speed that was used to. Also keep in mind that as of now most Netbooks will have the Pinetrail-based processors, which would have performance improvements. On the positive note the Eee PC was a pleasure toting around when traveling. Its small size truly made it very comfortable to carry places where I would normally leave my laptop behind.

So after using a Netbook for 3 month, and in conclusion, I truly believe that if you’re on the road most of the time, and need to stay light, then Eee PC 1008HA, or another Netbook, is a great product. You can perform all your basic business needs and not sacrifice extreme mobility. But if you are just like me, and don’t mind carrying a 6-pound laptop that doesn’t sacrifice screen real estate and speed then stick with the laptop.

Quick Specs:
Processor 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280
Memory 1GB, 533MHz DDR2
Hard drive 160GB 5,400rpm
Chipset Mobile Intel 945GM
Express Graphics Mobile Intel GMA 950 (integrated)
Operating System Windows 7
Dimensions (WD) 10.3 x 7.1 inches Height 0.6- 1.0 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 10.1 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 2.4/2.8 pounds

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