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Review of the Asus Eee PC 1000HE

I’ve had my Asus Eee PC 1000HE for a couple weeks now. I’ve used it for some real work at this point, so here’s my take on this machine.

It’s awesome!

Before I dig into the specifics of the Eee, remember what a netbook is. It’s a mini computer. It can do virtually anything a full-size machine can do, except it has limited processing power and screen size.

I purchased the Eee to use as my travel computer. I have a beefy Dell Inspiron laptop for in-office computing needs. But it’s too heavy and bulky to easily carry around. I wanted a lightweight computer that I could take to court with me, grab for a quick meeting at Business Playce, or easily use on an airplane. The Eee meets my needs.

Since your needs and wants are probably different than mine, here are some specific observations about the 1000HE.

Battery life

I need a netbook that can easily make it through 3 or 4 hours at court. Ideally, I wanted something that could last longer for an all-day meeting or seminar.

The Eee’s battery easily lasts six hours, and it’s supposed to go for 9.5 hours. The best gauge I have is when I bring the Eee to the living room in the evening for some light catch-up work. I bring it down around 6pm and head to bed around midnight. The battery lasts all that time and still has more than an hour left on the meter.

As with any laptop, you can squeeze more juice out of the battery by turning things off. Right now I have wireless and Bluetooth off. The screen is set to about 45% brightness (which is my usual setting – plenty bright). I’m typing this blog post in Word. I’ve had the Eee running for about 15 minutes, and the meter shows 8:12 hours remaining.

In addition to the awesome battery life, the Eee recharges fast. I use it all day on some Saturdays. A couple of 30-minute breaks to recharge give the Eee enough juice to make it. If you had an all-day seminar, you could easily use this machine with a quick charge-up on your lunch break.

Screen size

The Eee’s screen isn’t big, but it’s quite workable. I’ve started using a couple tricks to maximize what I see:

  • Minimize the Microsoft Word ribbon (right click to the right of the toolbar titles and select “Minimize Ribon”). This gives you plenty of space to see the document you need to manipulate.
  • Use Firefox in full-screen mode (F11). The window title, toolbar, Awesome Bar, tab list, status bar, and Windows task bar take up a lot of screen space. Do you really need all that when you’re just writing an email or browsing Facebook? Nope. You can still use keyboard shortcuts in full-screen mode: CTRL+Tab to change tabs, CTRL+L to go to the Awesome Bar, etc.


Small computers come with small keyboards. The Eee’s keyboard isn’t full size. But it’s perfectly sufficient.

I’m a fast typist with large hands. I use a regular keyboard at my desk. But I can easily type just as fast on the Eee.

Admittedly, it’s hard to quickly switch back and forth between the Eee and regular keyboard. But I only stumbled with that while I was customizing the Eee, installing programs, etc. Typing is really no problem whatsoever.

One caveat: the Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down buttons. I use Home and End quite frequently to go to the start or end of a line or input field. I didn’t realize how much I used them until I started using the Eee. And they weren’t there!

The Eee keyboard has these keys assigned to the arrow keys. You press the “Fn” button and the appropriate arrow key. It took me a while to get used to this, but it’s workable.

Computing power

The main programs I use on the Eee are Firefox, Word, and Acrobat Reader. They hum along just fine.

I haven’t upgraded my RAM, so it’s still at the default 1 GB. But I’m very happy with the performance I’m getting. It sometimes takes a second for Word to open, but that’s to be expected.

The one performance issue I’ve noted is with Remember the Milk in Firefox. I guess RTM is using lots of AJAX or something because it bogs down a bit on the Eee. It’s still usable, but annoyingly slow sometimes. It runs fast on my Inspiron, so I think the Eee is just a little under powered for it.


Since netbooks are primarily for travel, how does the 1000HE stack up? It’s great!


I’ve written this entire blog post on an airplane in a cramped non-first-class seat. I’ve tried using a regular laptop on a plane, and it just isn’t easy. The screen and keyboard are too big to fit on the tray table and still leave room for typing.

The Eee easily fits on the tray table, leaving plenty of room for my long arms to reach the keyboard comfortably. And my drink still fits on the table too!


The Eee has a matte screen. This was one big reason I went with it instead of a Dell Mini (in addition to the Eee’s superior battery life). My Inspiron has a glossy screen (as do the Mini’s), and it’s impossible to see in bright light. I wanted a netbook that I could take outside and use on the patio or wherever.

I used the Eee on our patio a couple days ago. It was awesome! I sat there, enjoying the morning breeze, checking my email, and drinking my coffee. That’s a good life.


I now take my Eee with me every time I go to court. All my client files are on it. I take notes on it right in front of the judge’s bench. It’s small and light enough to hold in one hand to review a document. And you can hunt-and-peck with the other hand to type a quick note. Plus, it’s discreet.

Any questions?

That’s about all I can think of to write for now. Do you have any specific questions about the Asus Eee PC 1000HE? I’d be happy to answer whatever I can.

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14 Responses to “Review of the Asus Eee PC 1000HE”

  1. Adam
    June 27th, 2009

    My wife has the 1000HE, too, and loves it. Go ahead and grab the RAM upgrade and this little netbook should take care of your portable computing needs for some time to come. It’s a steal for just about $25 from Amazon, with free shipping.

  2. Andrew Flusche
    June 27th, 2009

    @Adam – I hesitate on the RAM because I’m not convinced it will really give a noticeable boost. $25 is cheap, but little expenditures like that do add up.

  3. Mark Shead
    June 28th, 2009

    You should be able to check your memory usage to see how much current RAM is being used. On a normal computer, RAM speeds things up because it doesn’t have to write virtual memory to a slower hard drive. If you have a fast solid state disk, this is less of an issue because they can be quite a bit faster than a hard drives with movable parts. If you are using a traditional drive, more RAM has a pretty good chance of speeding things up for you.

    You also might try using Opera, Safari, or Chrome for RTM. I think some of them use a different javascript engine and might give you a performance boost for AJAX processing.

  4. Great post – and I completely agree. I grabbed one of these in March from Amazon and love it. I’ve got a big laptop that is now just my home computer. I take the Asus with me most everywhere. I’ve got a medium sized “hand-bag” that now serves as my purse, as well as always being loaded up with the Asus, my Kindle, and a 500Gb portable hardrive.

    The battery life was the clincher for me, and then icing was bluetooth, wireless-n, and a webcam. My son has also loaded on a netbook version of Ubuntu – so I can dual boot; my summer goal is to become more adept at Ubuntu.

    But I do love the Asus! I am still on the fence about whether to upgrade to the 2Gb RAM.

  5. Andrew Flusche
    July 1st, 2009

    @Mark – I’ll have to look into exactly how much RAM is being used. That should be interesting.

    @Carol – Why do you carry around a 500gb hard drive? The 1000HE has 160gb, which is darn big in my opinion.

  6. Open XML Document
    July 2nd, 2009

    Thanks for the review, im really considering getting this!

  7. I guess I don’t always ‘carry around’ the 500 GB drive; but I’m using it for my media (movies, music, pics); I’ve got a 250 GB drive (not portable) that I’ve mostly filled up. I’m digitizing a LARGE LP collection from the 60s and 70s.

    But you are quite right – for everyday use, the HE’s HD is quite sufficient.

  8. Kalani
    July 7th, 2009

    I have the 1000he also. Bought it specifically for a trip to Bali where weight restrictions were a major hassle. Loaded it up with movies and tv shows (downloaded) to watch on the plane, and had a blast! (Hint: the free/open source Media Player Classic Home Cinema edition is your best friend for watching movies and tv shows with the slower processor that netbooks offer… google it!) It was a photography trip, so it was also great to dump my digital photos to review, and backup. Worked like a champ. No problem for Photoshop CS2 to do light editing. The battery life is awesome and the keyboard is excellent… MUCH better than the Acer Aspire One I purchased (and returned) first. With Bluetooth, 802.11n and otherwise identical specs, I don’t get why every (other) tech reviewer out there is no enamored of the Samsung N120 when this little fella beats the pants off of it, and is noticeably cheaper. Hint: J&R Music World has free shipping and no tax for anyone who doesn’t live in NY, so the price is great! Go for the memory upgrade. I only spent $20 on a 2gb ram chip, and I’m glad I did. It’s really the only upgrade this little ‘book needs, so there’s really nothing to “add up”.

  9. Cooper
    July 7th, 2009

    I love my EEEPC – I bought the first generation of it released by Asus and had no regrets.

    I am sure the new ones are even better. My advice to anyone who is looking to grab one is to go with the RAM upgrade. I didn’t and mine gets bogged down once in a while.

  10. Andrew Flusche
    July 8th, 2009

    @Kalani & Cooper – Thanks for your suggestions about the RAM upgrade. I might have to put that on my shopping list.

  11. I found the 2Gb RAM upgrade for under $25 on Amazon this evening & placed an order.

    Has anyone tried out the BIOS update? It’s supposed to render media better, but I haven’t taken the time yet to fully read up on this.

  12. Miami Marc
    August 3rd, 2009

    I was wondering what kind of netbook to get for traveling, and you have made a good case for the Eee PC. The Dell i have from two years ago is a freaking brick compared to modern laptops, and my newest ACER is too expensive to carry through customs and TSA screeners, who want to strip search everything, lol

  13. david
    August 21st, 2009

    i have a 1000HE PC. I upgraded the RAM to 2gb recently but have not noticed an increase in performance. I am running a program called rainmeter which shows you real time the % capacity of CPU and RAM being used and my CPU is always the bottleneck and my ram is never used past 47% of 2GB.

  14. MF
    August 30th, 2009

    i dont know if the question will sound stupid,, but.. what exactly does the RAM memory provides…
    and in the specific case of the eee pc 1000he,, how good is it?

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