ASUS Eee PC 1005HA Seashell Netbook ReviewMon, Jul 20, 2009 - 12:00 AM
Layout and Impressions
When closed, ASUS EeePC 1005HA (Seashell) has the trademark stylish “Eee” written on the shiny black top.
When viewed from the side, you can see that the netbook is shaped like a bivalve. You can get a better idea of this in the next image:
When compared to the ASUS EeePC 1000HE, the 1005HA Seashell has a sleeker design with a narrower front that earns it the name “Seashell.”
On the left side of the 1005HA, we have the power input, display monitor output, USB 2.0 port, Kensington Lock port, and air vents. I must say that as a righty, I enjoy having the power cord on the left side of the netbook. I often use a mouse instead of the track pad, and when I need my netbook plugged in, the power cord can easily get in the way of my mouse when it is placed on the right. The Kensington Lock port allows you to secure your computer to the desk, often with a metal cable and lock. This comes in handy if you don’t trust your roommates or if you need to leave your netbook in a hotel room.
On the right side of the netbook, from left to right you have your memory card slot, headphone output jack, microphone jack, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and the LAN port.
Here is a picture of the keyboard layout. In the upper right corner is the power switch, the touchpad on/off key is in the upper left, the touchpad and buttons are centered at the bottom, and the indicator lights are at the bottom right under the LR watermark.
In our review of the ASUS N10Jc-A1 Netbook, I stated,
“One feature that is lacking on this and many other laptops is an “off switch” for the touchpad for people with clumsy thumbs like me. Several times while writing this review I’ve found myself accidentally clicking in another part of the page and typing in the wrong spot.”
I’d like to say that ASUS added the touchpad on/off key just for me, but that would probably be a falsehood. Nonetheless, kudos to ASUS for adding this feature!!
Another thing to note on the keyboard is about the arrow buttons. Notice that the up and down arrows are half the height of the other buttons. At first I did not think this was going to be very convenient, but it did not take long to get the muscle memory to use these effectively. I feel this was a very efficient way to conserve space on the keyboard, and it allows the other keys to be large enough to type without trouble.
Here is a touchpad unique enough that it deserved its own picture. Instead of being just a simple rectangle stuck at the bottom of the keyboard, ASUS decided to get stylish. Notice in the keyboard picture above that you cannot really see the touchpad. That is because it is made up of rows of tiny raised dots! Is this a good thing? Well, I think it looks very smart. As for usefulness, out of the 5 people I had try it, 2 liked it better, 2 disliked it, and one person was indifferent, citing that he hates all track pads. It is definitely a personal preference, but I think it is something that anyone can get used to. The buttons at the bottom appear as one long bar, and it is wide enough to tap without very much concentration. Oh, and did we mention that it is multi-touch? Like the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE, you can use two fingers to stretch or shrink your photos or scroll on your favorite website.
Like many of ASUS’ previous netbooks, the 1005HA does have a removable battery unlike its slightly older brother, the 1008HA. Another thing to take note of, though, is that ASUS has continued to restrict access to the hard drive on the 1005HA.
Here is a picture of the 6-cell, 5600 mAh, 11.25V, 63Wh li-ion battery. This battery is rated to last about 10.5 hours, whereas the 8700mAH, 7.2V, 62Wh battery in the ASUS Eee PC1000HE is rated to last about 9.5 hours.
Here you can see the memory underneath the memory compartment cover. With just removing a single screw, you can easily upgrade the memory to 2GB if you wish.
The 1005HA comes equipped with 1GB DDR2 memory that is removable just like any other SO-DIMM.
We wanted to show the power adapter here because of how frail it looks. The part that plugs into your netbook is very thin compared to other netbooks we have looked at, and it appears to be easy to break. We will be very careful with this…
On to the battery tests and benchmarks!