Asus Eee PC 1005HA netbook review

Are you fed up with netbooks costing almost the same as fully-fledged laptops? Asus brings the concept closer to its humble beginnings with the 1005HA.

Asus Eee PC 1005HA
Price
£240

If you're in the market for a netbook and have wondered what's happened to the low cost, budget focused machines that originally kick-started the genre then you're not the only ones.

Nowadays prices routinely soar ever closer to the 400 mark. In fact, it's got to the point where the market is crying out for a truly budget-priced netbook. Asus has heeded your call and with the Eee PC 1005HA you might just be in luck.

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We liked Asus' premium-priced netbook, the Eee PC 1008HA for its slim, sexy and oh-so-desirable design, but weren't too keen on the price. The 1005HA offers the best of both worlds, blending the affordability of the Eee PC's humble beginnings with the styling of the Seashell.

It's available in two versions: a premium model that squeezes in an Intel Atom N280, Bluetooth, a huge battery and glossy screen; and a cheaper version that settles for an Intel Atom N270, forgoes the Bluetooth, opts for a slightly smaller battery and has only a matte display.

This, the cheaper of the two models, is of most interest. Although it costs a reasonable 286, it looks very similar to the more expensive Seashell. Its smoothly contoured form and shapely curves look good and is available in black or white.

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Set the 1005HA next to its slender stablemate, the 1008HA, however, and it won't be the trickiest game of spot the difference you've ever played. The 1005HA is noticeably chunkier - a testament to the freely removable lithium-ion battery at its rear. It's a sacrifice worth making for the extra stamina on offer, not to mention the ability to carry around multiple batteries for long journeys (the Seashell's battery isn't user-replaceable). The 4,400mAh battery manages a decent 6hrs 34mins away from the mains.

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The 1005HA extra girth tips the scales at 1.16kg, or 1.41kg if you're envisaging carrying around the petite and portable power supply too. It might be a little heavier than some of the competition, but its extra bulk is allied to sturdy build quality. Pick up the 1005HA by the corner and the chassis feels stiff and creak-free, while both the lid and chassis feel well up to fending off the daily abuse a bag-bound netbook has to suffer.

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