The Asus Eee PC 1008HA more or less has the same innards as 1005HA, only they’ve sheared a good deal off its overall size and wound up with a netbook that’s only 1-inch thick at it’s thickest point and with the lid closed.
The two netbooks do have the same dimensions of 262mm in width and 178mm in depth, but they differ in height with the 1005HA being a lot bulkier looking than the 1008HA.
In order to make this change Asus have incorporated a non-removable battery inside the 1008HA, where traditionally their netbooks come along with a removable battery pack and in various sizes. These can be swapped over for a freshly charged pack when the netbook runs out of juice; this just isn’t possible with the 1008HA.
We mentioned in the previous review of the 1005HA that its keyboard measured in at 92% when compared to a regular keyboard. They’ve stuck with this same design in the 1008HA which is a welcomed. Also onboard is the same multi-function mouse touch pad, used to zoom in and zoom out of pictures and webpages, much like you can on Apple devices with its familiar pinching method.
Asus has also stuck with 10.1-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 display that is also very thin, which helps to achieve that 1-inch overall size. It’s a good bright screen in a glossy housing that matches the case's look, although it appears to be a little smaller in size than the 1005HA display.
Normally on netbooks and laptops all the ports are around the side, exposed and relatively easy to get to. On this netbook, Asus have hidden them away behind curved flaps that matches the rounded feel and design of the case. This makes for a suave-looking chassis to the 1008HA and does standout from the common looking netbooks they usually produce.
We noted the processor in the model of the 1005HA we saw didn’t have enough power behind it to run the likes of BBC iPlayer or YouTube’s high definition content. This has been addressed in this Eee PC and they’ve included a more powerful CPU, seen in the Intel Atom 1.66GHz N280, which gives it a welcome boost.
The 3-cell battery in 1005HA only lasted 2hrs and 30mins, where as the 6-cell built in battery of the 1008HA managed to cope with nearly 4 hours of continuous use before dying. Although Asus claim 6 hours of usage is possible, with the screen at 40% brightness, and no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or webcam enabled.
As with the 1005HA there’s a 160GB hard disc drive, wireless connectivity of b/g/n Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 2.1. Also an Ethernet port for wired networking, 2x USB 2.0, mic and headphone jacks and a card reader (MMS, SD, SDHC).
The Eee PC 1008HA looks as sleek as a high-end laptop, only without the price tag. Its looks are far removed from the OEM-looking netbooks of the past. This Asus Seashell does have the more powerful CPU that we wished for in the 1005HA and only at £80 more in cost, but it does make for a good all-round netbook.