Is simple better? That's the question asked by the Eee PC 1001P, ASUS's most basic Eee PC model. Is the 1001P the best example of a netbook for the masses, or does its lack of features condemn it to mediocrity?
The Eee PC 1001P - Everything You Really Need?
The competitive netbook market has led to a dramatic and rapid increase in the quality of netbooks and the features found on them. While the early netbooks had small eight or nine inch screens, battery lives of four hours and didn't even ship with Windows, modern netbooks include Bluetooth, webcams, incredible battery life and the most modern Windows operating system, Windows 7.
But do you really need all that stuff? That's the question presented by the Eee PC 1001P. This is simply an Eee PC without the extras available at a cut rate price (typically under $300). How does it stand up against its competitors?
The Eee PC 1001P is basically identical to the Eee PC 1005 line with the exception of the color. This means that the 1001P uses ASUS's trademark "seashell" design which is tapered towards the edges. This gives the netbook the perception of being very thin, although the 1001P is actually almost 1.5 inches thick, very average for a netbook. The 1001P weighs 2.8 pounds which is again average for a netbook.
The left side of the Eee PC 1001P includes two USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and a Kensington lock slot. The right has an Ethernet port, two more USB 2.0 ports, a 3-in-1 memory card reader and headphone and microphone jacks. This represents a good selection of ports for a netbook in this price range. It comes with a 160 GB hard drive.
The display is a 10.1 inch matte screen. A webcam is located in the middle of the top bezel.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The Eee PC's keyboard is an example of how supposedly premium features are sometimes actually not better than less expensive alternatives. It is a simple bevelled keyboard, not the eye-catching island style found on more expensive Eee PCs. However, it actually feels a little better. Definition between keys has always been a weak point of small island style keyboards. It is easy to slip a finger from one key to another without noticing. The bevelled keyboard on the 1001P prevents this.
The trackpad is middle of the road. It is of average size and features a single rocker-style trackpad button. Why so many netbooks continue to use this style of trackpad button baffles me because it is always criticized as feeling spongy and cheap. Still, it gets the job done
While the hardware of the 1001P is very similar to the 1005PE, the 1001P has a smaller battery. This reduces battery life, but the 1005PE is already a stellar performer, so the 1001P is actually a bit better than average. Battery life can reach nearly nine hours with light use. This is much shorter than the eleven hours of battery life ASUS claims, but is better than most netbooks and is incredibly good for a netbook of this price.
The 1001P is a great overall value. While it is not remarkable in any respect, it easily beats out most other netbooks available under $300 dollars, and the battery life is exceptional. The 1001P is also better than some more expensive netbooks in keyboard quality. If you are looking for a basic netbook, the Eee PC 1001P is your best option.