The 1005PE's new Atom N450 processor is certainly a clever bit of engineering, but gives no real benefit here compared to the previous generation of processors.
10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 1.3kg, 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 1.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
With its latest desktop range of processors, Intel is aiming to save power and production costs, while reducing size and power consumption by integrating the graphics chip onto the processor. As this would arguably be of more benefit to laptops, Intel has done the same with its latest Atom processor, the 1.66GHz N450.
The Eee PC 1005PE is the first netbook we’ve seen to use this processor. One of the main benefits of the N450 is that it has the same specifications as the old Atom N280 (bar the integrated graphics), but power usage drops from 12W to 7W TDP.
As a result, we were hoping for decent battery life, particularly as Asus claims 11 hours for this netbook. While our tested battery life was a touch shorter than this, at 8h 23m, this is enough for a day’s usage. However, it’s important to note that we’ve seen netbooks using the old Atom N270 with similar battery life, such as Samsung’s N140.
The integrated graphics chip means that less space and cooling is required than for netbooks with a separate processor and GPU; however, in this particular case Asus hasn’t gone for anything special, and the Eee PC 1005PE is a similar size and weight to other 10in netbooks we’ve reviewed.
A GMA 3150 is the integrated graphics chip. It can’t handle 3D games at all, and doesn’t even have the ability to decode HD video. Given the 10in screen’s resolution of 1,024 x 600 and the netbook’s lack of an optical drive, this isn’t that much of a loss.
A matt finish on the screen helps reduce glare from light sources, and makes the Eee PC easier to use outside. The screen’s generally pretty good, with accurate colours. The screen’s resolution is the same as other 10in netbooks, and is fine for basic web browsing and light document work.
Aside from the lower power usage and integrated graphics, the N450 is basically the same Atom processor that we’ve seen time and time again. It’s a single-core processor, but Hyper-Threading creates a second virtual core to help multi-tasking. With an overall score of 17 in our benchmarks, the 1005PE has very similar performance to other netbooks, and is good enough for standard document work and web browsing, but you’ll want something more powerful for video and image editing.
The 1GB of RAM, while standard for netbooks, is a bit disappointing, particularly as this computer’s running Windows 7 Starter. An upgrade to 2GB will make the computer more responsive to use.
The keyboard uses separated “chiclet” keys, and has a slight flex to it. The keys themselves have a light action, with adequate feedback, but are a little too small for our liking and touch-typists will strain to adjust to the cramped space. Thankfully, the keyboard’s layout is fairly standard, so each key is where you’d expect it to be. However, the touchpad is poor, with a shiny, sticky surface and the see-saw button has a stiff action and little travel.
The N450 processor is clever technology, but used here offered no benefits over the previous range of netbooks. That said, the Eee PC 1005PE is a decent 10in netbook, but Samsung’s N140 is thinner, lighter and has a better keyboard and touchpad. As long as you don’t mind the fact that it comes with Windows XP, it’s ever-so-slightly the better netbook.
|Intel Atom N450
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Intel GMA 3150
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|minijack audio output, minijack microphone input
|Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
|Microsoft Works 9
|one year collect and return