Asus EeePC 1008HA Seashell

Asus EeePC 1008HA Seashell

Feature

Netbooks become ever more popular. Asus has been instrumental in the success of these small notebook alternatives. With the Seashell, they aim to maintain their lead.

User interface (cont.)
We also tried Ubuntu and some other Linux distros on the machine, but encountered difficulties with the wi-fi and LAN connectivity. It seems that we'll have to wait until the newer Kernels get included in the actual Linux distros to fully enjoy Linux on the Seashell. Until then, unless you are willing to compile your own Kernels, we are pretty much stuck with XP.

Specifications
The specs of EeePC 1008HA are: Intel Atom N280 processor running at 1.66GHz, 1024x600 10.1” display, 1024Mb system memory, 160GB HD and Intel Express 945 Chipset family. In addition, you get 2 USB ports, an MMC SD/HD card reader, 802.11n, Bluetooth v2.1, Lan port, VGA port (mini, and the normal through a separate dongle stored inside the unit) and the usual headphone/microphone plugs. The EeePC also has a 1.3 megapixel web camera, speakers and a stereo microphone built-in so you don't need any extra gear for making Skype video calls.

Performance
Asus EeePC 1008HA Seashell
On Geekbench we scored a total of 910, which is a clear improvement upon the score of 890 that we got with 1000HE. Cinebench R10 gave 559 CB-CPU rendering score for one CPU and 863 when both cores were being used. These are about the same scores we got with 1000HE. The OpenGL score was 282 which is also a slight improvement when we compare it to the 274 of the Atom N270 on 1000H (we didn't get a reliable score from our review sample of 1000HE).

We didn't try the system with games, as the scores above indicate that we can expect results similar to what we've received with practically every other netbook. Basically, older 3D games like Jedi Academy run relatively fine on them at lower settings. These are no gaming machines, by any means, and gamers should only consider these their second or third computers.

Room for improvement
EeePC 1008HA is getting closer and closer to what we see as the perfect netbook. Still, even as the newer models make great leaps ahead in some areas, they tend to take some tentative backward steps at the same time. In 1008HA Seashell, some might consider the glare-type screen a step backwards, as it makes the machine harder to use outdoors and in other brightly lit surroundings. Also, enthusiastic modders may see the sacrifices made for the sleek design (no access doors to the components underneath the unit) a drawback, but for those who have no intention to mod the unit, this is a non-issue. The internal battery, however, could bother more users as it requires you to actually open the unit up or send it in for maintenance if the battery were to break down over time. If this makes you worried, you may want to hold off until the 1005 series hit the market (they are out in some regions already), as they offer replaceable batteries at the expense of 200 grams or so of extra weight.

Overall
EeePC1008HA Seashell is definitely one of the best netbooks out there, if you are not put off by some of its limitations that we described above. If light weight, excellent keyboard and touchpad and relatively long battery life are all you need from a netbook, this one is definitely something you should try. After almost 2 years of testing various netbooks, this was the one that made Wolfwood (the main author of this article) finally go and buy it for himself.

Our rating: 9.5/10