It’s seems that every time a company announces a rival to Asus’s Eee PC crown, the Taiwanese company sees this as a direct challenge and announces another model in the Eee PC range.
So, hot on the heels of the 901 comes the 1000. It takes the same styling as the 8.9-inch model, so packs in a six-cell battery and the same design styling around the screen and hinge and even uses the same high-gloss plastic.
The main difference is the use of a 10-inch screen, which supports the standard 1024 x 600-pixel resolution we've come to expect from netbooks. The quality of the screen is sharp and if you just want to use it for surfing the Internet or answering email, it’s more than enough.
Microsoft recently stated that it would only offer Windows XP to those machines that came with a screen no larger than 10 inches, so this will be the largest Eee PC we're likely to see in the range.
This larger screen does mean the overall design is bigger and heavier. Sure, 1.5kg is still ultraportable but when you think back to the 701 and its sub-1kg size it is easy to see that the idea of true portability is slipping away.
That said, this machine really delivers in terms of battery life. We’ve been using it for a week or so and found the battery easily delivers 5 hours at any one time, making it a great machine to use out and about every day.
The screen may be great but what it means is that Asus has finally released a machine that offers a near-full sized keyboard. The company claims the keys are 95% full-size but you’d never notice, as the keyboard is a sheer pleasure to use.
As with previous models, you can choose between Windows XP or Linux formats. While earlier releases had the same price point, this time around we’re starting to see slight changes appear. Our Linux-based test unit is the high-end model and comes with a 40GB SSD, while the slightly cheaper Windows XP (£349) has a standard 2.5-inch notebook hard drive, similar to the MSI Wind or Advent 4211. Just like those models, it packs 80GB of storage onboard.
When it comes to performance, it has the now familiar Intel Atom N270, which runs at 1.6GHz, in place. It's supported by 1024MB of memory and as with other netbooks it’s more than usable for basic tasks.
When it comes to usability, this is a great machine as the extra space makes it far more comfortable to use. There are three USB ports, VGA-out adapter and SD card slot that still supports high-capacity cards.
The only problem with have with the Eee PC 1000 is the size of it. The bigger chassis may be comfortable to type on and use but it lacks the all-round portability of the smaller 901.
The largest Eee PC to-date, the 1000 may be suffering from size creep but it’s still a fantastic machine to use. The battery life is impressive and the build quality is still as high as ever. The only problem is, you need ask yourself, at this price, would you be better off opting for a standard notebook? We have a feeling the answer will be no.