The ASUS Eee PC 1005PE is based on the same external design and features as our previous favored Eee PC, the 1005HA. While the external shell is nearly identical, what lies under the hood is a whole new platform from the improved power consumption of the Intel Atom N450 CPU and slightly improved graphics with the Intel GMA 3150 integrated GPU. Since the Eee PC 1005PE is based on the same seashell design we have seen from ASUS, the 1005PE was easy for us to get used to the slightly reduced keyboard size and unique raised-dot touchpad.
When we began testing the ASUS Eee PC 1005PE, we quickly realized the new Pineview Intel Atom processors and platform were all about further reducing power consumption in order to continue to increase battery life. We were impressed to see the ASUS Eee PC 1005PE was able to meet the same battery life duration as the ASUS UL80Vt notebook which featured an Intel CULV SU7300 processor. While they tied on the idle test, we were further impressed that the Eee PC 1005PE was able to still have over 7 hours of DVD playback time. This is a great improvement over all of our other notebooks and netbooks we have tested to date!
When it came to performance, the ASUS Eee PC 1005PE performed right where we expected it to, for the most part. While it would have been nice to see a performance bump in the new Intel Pineview Atom processors, it seems Intel was not interested in competing with its own CULV product line which features similar battery life without sacrificing performance or price. The end result is that the Intel N450 processor offers the battery life performance of the CULV processors while keeping the same Intel Atom computing performance.
The last note we want to make is the limitations of Windows 7 Starter edition. While it is a great alternative to save on costs, there are certain limitations that may leave consumers wanting more. Windows 7 Starter does not have the Aero Look and Feel. So many of the nice Aero features like the window preview when you alt+tab through windows is not available as well as the overall glossy theme. Another key feature that is not available is the ability to play DVDs through Windows Media Player. We were able to install VLC Player though to play DVDs and is how we conducted our DVD playback battery life benchmark on this netbook. Other features that are missing in Windows 7 Starter include multi-monitor support (you can still clone your desktop or turn off the LCD monitor when connected to another monitor), streaming content from other Windows PCs and Windows Media Center. You can, however, run as many applications as you wish. You also have the option to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium at any time through Windows’ Upgrade Program. So while Windows 7 Starter may not be what you are looking for, you still have options.
With the outstanding battery life performance of the ASUS Eee PC 1005PE, we have been comparing it to the battery life of the ASUS UL80Vt which we have reviewed previously. Besides performance and size, the next key difference is price. The UL80Vt is currently going for $800, while the Eee PC 1005PE is going for the same $380 price point that the Eee PC 1005HA went for when we reviewed it back in June of 2009. So for less than half the price of a CULV-based system, you can get the same or better battery life in a netbook.
Legit Bottom Line: The ASUS Eee PC 1005PE uses the tried and true Seashell design with the new Intel Atom N450 processor to provide expected performance and outstanding battery life in a highly portable, affordable and compact package. It is because of this that we have decided to award the ASUS Eee PC 1005PE our Legit Reviews Value Award!