Inside the ASUS Eee PC 1005PE

As you might guess from the model name, the new ASUS 1005PE bears a striking resemblance to the 1005HA. Our particular test unit is blue instead of black this time, but it's still a fingerprint magnet. Without powering the system up, there is little to distinguish the 1005PE from the 1005HA. The ports and port locations are the same, as is the battery. You also get the bumpy touchpad with a rocker mouse button. We are okay with keeping things the same, provided they work well in the first place. Our only complaint with the 1005PE is the keyboard, which flexes a bit when typing and has a generally cheap feel. This wasn't something we noticed on the 1005HA, but perhaps using better keyboards on 11.6" netbooks has changed our expectations... or it might simply be a case of this being early hardware.

One of the things we wish ASUS would have kept the same is the LCD. It could simply be a case of panel lotteries giving us a good LCD on the 1005HA, but after booting up the 1005PE it was immediately apparent that the high contrast ratio we loved on the 1005HA is gone. Now not only do you get a highly reflective LCD with a low 1024x600 resolution, but the contrast ratio is 300:1 instead of 1150:1.

The only easily accessible expansion option on the 1005PE is the memory slot. Our test system comes equipped with a single 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM, but other models will ship with a 2GB DIMM. If you wish to upgrade the hard drive, you'll need to go through a lengthier process where you disassemble the chassis in order to reach the HDD.

If you're already a fan of the ASUS Eee PC clamshell design, you'll be happy with the 1005PE. On the other hand, if you were hoping they would address a few of the shortcomings, you'll have to wait for the next revision - or perhaps look at one of the alternative Eee PC models like the ION-based 1201N.

Our full review of the 1201N will be completed shortly, but we can answer a few quick questions right now. First, the 1201N is significantly faster than any single-core Atom netbook thanks to the use of a dual-core Atom 330. Second, graphics are vastly superior to any of the Intel GMA options, including the GMA 4500MHD; the old GMA 950 and the "new" 3150 are less than half as powerful as the 4500MHD, which in turn is about one third as powerful as ION. Finally, dual-core Atom plus 9400M (aka ION) uses substantially more power than single-core Atom and a 945GSE or NM10 chipset.

Do you want more performance and a larger package, or do you prefer longer battery life? Those are the basic choices right now. We should also note that CULV (Core 2 Ultra Low Voltage) laptops like the Acer Timeline series can still achieve 8+ hours of battery life and offer graphics and CPU performance that is a big step up from even the new Atom N450. While 12+ hours of battery life is a lot more than 8 hours, you might decide that CULV lasts "long enough" as opposed to choosing Atom and "fast enough".

Index Mobile Test Setup
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  • krazyderek - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    the last two sentences pretty much sum it up for me. Reply
  • thornburg - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    I'm used to articles on Anandtech being more scientific and thorough than some of the recent fare, and particularly this article.

    If you're speculating about the differences between Win7 and XP causing performance issues, why not install the same OS on both machines and try it? It's silly and unprofessional to speculate when there is a fairly simple way to test.

    What's the story? Why leave the topic only half investigated?

    Reply
  • Zero110 - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    I imagine it's for the same reason that the battery life tests are "half-done." Limited time, and over a weekend no less. They'd rather have this and updates down the road then get scooped by every other tech site. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    Yeah, that's about it. Working over 24 hours over a weekend to post an article like this stinks, especially when it's close to Christmas. So I ran as many tests as I could squeeze in.

    More than that, there's really nothing special about the PCMark results. The detailed results table tells us what we need to know in most areas: Pineview is similar to Diamondville in most areas, and HDD, RAM, and other system components come into play with a composite score like PCMark. It's really not a big improvement from previous Atom designs, outside of the battery life issue.
    Reply
  • Zero110 - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    I actually wasn't expecting any updates this morning because of the season. I guess Intel screwed you on that one. For what basically amounts to a non-event for most people. But, thanks for all the hard work. Merry Christmas to you, and wish everyone else on the staff a Happy Soonest Applicable Holiday. Reply
  • crimson117 - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    quote:

    Working over 24 hours over a weekend to post an article like this stinks, especially when it's close to Christmas.


    And especially for such an underwhelming product... ;)
    Reply
  • R3MF - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    Hi AT team,

    How come the 3250 is SOOOOOOO bad?

    I know the GMA 3100 is pretty rubbish, but it was way better than the GMA 950, but that isn't apparent today.

    How has this come to pass?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    The X3100 was a much bigger step up from the 3100. X3100 is DX10 (supposedly -- drivers make this a questionable claim), and it has 8 pixel shaders vs. 4 on the 3100. When you couple an IGP like GMA 3100 with a single channel memory controller in a netbook, you cut bandwidth to the system in half, and it was already a limiting situation. The net result is that GMA 950 and 3150 are about the same, which is to say they're junk. Reply
  • R3MF - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the info, didn't know that. :)

    Regards
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    Just wondering, and would this chip work in the Ion platforms? Reply

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