Asus Eee PC 1008P Seashell Karim Rashid review
If you're looking for a 10.1in netbook with a bit of style, the Asus Eee PC 1008P Seashell could well be of interest. Designed by Karim Rashid, the laptop has soft textured finish to it that looks fantastic. It's available in the sleek brown that we've reviewed here and in an incredibly bright hot pink.
Although the laptop looks great, practicalities haven't been forgotten and the 1008P feels tough enough to be carried around all day. It also has some neat touches. For starters, all of the ports are hidden away underneath flaps, which should protect them from getting dust in them.
Unusually, this is the first netbook that we've ever seen to have a mini DisplayPort output for an external display. For compatibility with older displays, a VGA adaptor is tucked into a slot underneath the laptop.
We like the way that the slim battery is also hidden from view underneath another flap. It keeps the laptop looking neat. However, there's one slight downside: the slim battery doesn't have the longevity and the 1008P managed 4h 45m in our light-use test. This isn't disastrous, but you can buy netbooks for less with more than double the battery life.
Past good looks a netbook needs to be comfortable and simple to use. For the most part Asus has done a good job. The chiclet-style keyboard is very good. We found that it's large and responsive keys meant that we could type quickly and accurately.
The textured touchpad is also pretty good, providing plenty of feedback. It supports multi-touch gestures in Windows 7, as well. We're not normally fans of single 'see-saw' touchpad buttons, but the 1008P's is responsive and easy to use by feel alone.
In common to the vast majority of 10.1in laptops, the 1008P's screen has a resolution of 1,024x600. It's just enough for light office work and surfing the internet, although some dialog boxes may drop off the bottom of the screen.
The glossy coating helps boost contrast, at the expense of picking up more reflections. Viewing angles were very good and colours looked accurate, but the screen has annoying speckled pattern on it that's a little distracting.
Asus has opted for a 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor and 1GB of RAM: the standard specification for a new netbook. It should come as no surprise that the 1008P scored 16 overall in our benchmarks, showing that it's fast enough for light office and internet work, but you'll want a 'real' laptop for more intensive tasks, such as video editing. Fortunately, you can easily upgrade to 2GB of RAM by replacing the existing stick of memory, which should make Windows 7 that little bit smoother to use.
Graphics are provided by the processor's integrated Intel GMA 3150 chip. This is responsive for use in Windows 7, but it should be no surprise that this laptop's incapable of playing games.
As with the majority of modern 10.1in netbooks, the 1008P has been fitted with a 250GB hard disk. This should provide enough storage space for most people's documents and files.
We love the look and feel of the 1008P, but can't help but feel that it's a little overpriced. For slightly less money you can buy either the Toshiba NB305 or NB300, which have better screens and longer battery life.
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