Although the netbooks are not meant to be powerful performers, we decided to run a couple of benchmarks on our review sample in any case. On Geekbench we scored a total of 890 and Cinebench R10 gave 561 CB-CPU rendering score for one CPU and 860 when both cores are being used. The latter score is somewhat better than what Atom N270 on 1000H achieved with single core (769).
The reported maximum battery life is astounding 9.5 hours, which is pretty impressive in itself. And, what's more, this almost holds true in actual use, as the little beast gave me an easy 7.5 hours of use with the wireless on and the usage varying between document writing and Internet browsing.
I didn't try the system with games, mainly since my first choice would be Oolite (the wallpaper on one of the attached pics is from Oolite) and that requires OpenGL support. Given the lousy score above, it is clear that Win7 has some problems still to fix and testing games on it would not be fair to the netbook or the OS. Still, the hardware in 1000HE and any netbook for that matter is very similar to 1000H that we've tested previously and games like Oolite and older 3D games like Jedi Academy run relatively fine on them at lower settings. These are no gaming machines, by all means, and gamers should only consider these their second or third computers.
Room for improvement
With every iteration, AsusTek makes the Asus EeePC line more and more attractive. None of the currently available netbooks are what I'd call my dream netbook, but they are getting closer by the day. The keyboard is one of the best seen to this date, but there's still room for improvement as far as the positioning of the arrow keys go and the size of the right side Shift key (although both are better than in previous models). The weight is still a definite downside of the 1000x lineup – whittle off two or three hundred grams and it would be a lot better. As is, it is naturally still a lot nicer to lug along than any existing laptop – even a 12 incher.
Also, what I'd like to see in my dream netbook would be better usability in dark environments: some laptops in the market come with a small led light at the top of the screen, pointing at the keyboard that actually makes typing in a dark room or airplane seat possible. Let's see something like that in the next Asus EeePC as well, eh?
EeePC 1000HE is a very attractive little netbook that shows improvements in many critical areas, even if there's still room for more of the same. The biggest pros are the great battery life that leaves nothing to be desired, the wonderful touchpad that makes living without a mouse nearly possible and the great keyboard that only needs to be improved very slightly to make it perfect. The biggest cons are the weight and the problems with the arrow and left Shift keys. Also, it would be nice if these netbooks were as affordable here in Europe as they are in the Americas – as it is, they lose some of their attractiveness on this side of the pond.
Our score 9/10