Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Mon 4th May 2009 23:46 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems The Acer Aspire reviews were getting a little old, so instead of adding yet another anectode of the popular netbook, I thought I'd shake things up a little by giving my view of Asus' slightly more expensive (but worth the extra money) EeePC 1000 HE for the enjoyment of all.
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darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

A very well-done review, and I have to agree with most of what you said. The 1000HE is the netbook I own, and I love it! In fact, I specifically waited for the 1000HE over any other model of netbook when I heard about it in November--I was going to purchase the 1000, but I held off when I saw an announcement about the 1000HE.
My Ubuntu experience differs slightly from yours, in that the camera on mine did work out of the box without tweaking. However, I know some users have had to turn it on manually, for reference here's the command to do it:
echo -n 1 | sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/eeepc/camera
Or, if you've enabled root and aren't using sudo:
echo -n 1 >/sys/devices/platform/eeepc/camera
The -n switch to the echo command isn't strictly necessary, it's a habbit of mine to use it when echoing parameters to sysfs. Another Ubuntu issue, and it's minor, is that the battery discharge times are extremely inaccurate, and I mean by a few hours. For instance, on a full charge I'm often told I have approximately five hours remaining, despite the fact that I easily get seven and a half hours with wifi and bluetooth enabled. Note that I haven't updated the bios yet, so this may be a bug in the bios's battery estimation. I didn't keep the preloaded Winxp--erased it immediately--so for all I know this problem could have shown up in XP as well. Another interesting thing is that the screen blank key in Ubuntu acts as a screen loc, i.e. instead of merely blanking the screen you are put at the unlock computer dialog and need to enter your password to unlock it.
Other observations: It's a bit thicker and heavier than I expected, though to me the extra battery life is well worth that little bit of extra heft, and I don't mind the thicker case since it prevents the battery from bulging out of the back like on some other netbooks. The fan seems to run a lot more than I would've expected, this is caused by the heat of the hard drive and may be an issue specifically with the hd in my unit. Has anyone else with a 1000HE noticed their fan running almost constantly once the hard drive heats up? Interestingly, the CPU itself never seems to get hot at all, so perhaps it's a preemptive measure so the hd doesn't warm everything else over time. I've ordered a 2gb stick of ram, 1gb gets a bit configning when running Firefox and Openoffice at the same time.
A very nice review to go with what, in my personal opinion, is the best netbook on the market right now. If you want value for your money (and who doesn't?), give the 1000HE a serious look.
One word of warning to potential buyers: The one that is sold by Bestbuy in the U.S for USD $349 is not the 1000HE, it's the 1000HEB. It lacks Bluetooth, uses the Atom N270 instead of the N280, and comes with a more typical battery that lasts about five hours rather than the high-capacity battery of the 1000HE. So, that "deal" isn't really a good deal after all, as it is mismarketed as the 1000HE.

edit: Wrong command, accidentally included the command to turn the camera off instead of on.

Edited 2009-05-05 00:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

aitvo Member since:
2006-09-03

For Ubuntu you just need EeePC ACPI Utilities. It'll take care of your CPU, FSB, Fan, all the extra keys, and it'll turn your hardware on and off (WIFI, Bluetooth, etc)

https://sourceforge.net/projects/eeepc-acpi-util/

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Thanks, will check this out. My battery life is good, but a little extra never hurts.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Ok, I've had a look at the eeepc-acpi-utilities and the eee-tray applet. This is awesome, exactly what I'd been googling for for quite a while and hadn't found. I could control all this from the command-line and had manually scripted some of the ACPI hotkeys, but this is so much more convenient. Much better than the old eee-applet that doesn't really work anymore.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Ok, I found something better, if anyone's still watching this thread. Have a look at eee-control:
http://greg.geekmind.org/eee-control
It does most of what eeepc-acpi-utilities does but also supports changing the speed of the FSB rather than scaling simply the CPU. It takes a bit of tweaking to make it work on the 1000HE, basically install it and edit /etc/eee-control.conf, copy the section for the 1000H but rename it 1000HE and start the service and panel applet. This also has a very nice smart fan control, so the fan doesn't run constantly anymore, and it also utilizes Asus's super-hybrid engine directly to do all these tasks. Using this and enabling Powersave, I get about 8.5 hours to a charge with Wifi enabled, and powertop confirms a power usage drop to 8-9 watts rather than around 11 watts before which, if the forums are to be believed, is the same power usage estimates you get in WinXP with the Asus drivers installed. 8.5 hours of battery with Wifi is very nice indeed... I didn't realize it could go that long. Even under XP most people are reporting 7.5 to 8 hours it seems.
One bug though: the Wifi toggle in eee-control only seems to work one-way. It will toggle Wifi off, but when you toggle it back on it will re-enable the card but it doesn't reload the ath9k module--I think it might be hard-coded to ath5k or the realtek drivers. This means I have to modprobe ath9k back into the kernel manually, which is a bit annoying. Eeepc-acpi-utilities doesn't have this problem.

Reply Score: 2

I was going to hold out for this.
by gfacer on Tue 5th May 2009 00:55 UTC
gfacer
Member since:
2005-11-10

The battery life was the biggest draw....but I could quite justify the price for something I might never use to it's fullest, no matter how great that was.

So, when a price drop on the AspireOne 8.9" came out at the same time I had a $30 coupon, I bit.....I was also looking towards the Aspire 11.2" model announced. Sometimes you can sit on the sidelines for a long time when it comes to tech.

I concur that the Ubuntu 9.04 is very impressive for someone that has dabbled in linux on laptops for some years. I will keep XP, but I doubt I will use it much.

Linux is ready for the desktop, maybe for those used to linux a little already, but I think every version here on in will only make it more accessable and commonplace.

Reply Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, the other draw for me besides the amazing battery life was that it seems built to last. I've had so many letdowns with Acer that they are now on my personal blacklist and are likely to stay there, no matter how low their prices get. Asus, on the other hand, I've had very good luck with having used their motherboards for years in desktops, and looking at the construction of the newer Eee PCs. Thank goodness they're not built like toys anymore as the original Eees were.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 5th May 2009 01:42 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Great review; what will be interesting is the emergence of 12 inch netbooks and the release of Windows 7, and the impact of those two on mainstream laptops. Are we going to see the end of those 17inch monsters that weigh a tonne but are popular because of the low price (that was the reason why my sister bought her 17 inch monster - it was cheap) gradually become a thing of the past?

What has surprised me about the netbooks isn't the success but how they are actually scaling up beyond a small screen to almost encroaching in on the territory of mainstream laptops. Vodafone is now really keen about getting customers to put people on a 24 month plan with a netbook and 3G Wireless internet.

Edited 2009-05-05 01:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by darknexus on Tue 5th May 2009 02:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Personally--and this is just my opinion--I think that 10 inch screens are about the maximum. Any larger than that and it becomes a full-fledged laptop, even if the internals are basically those of a netbook. To me, a netbook is something I can take out of the bag quickly, open up one handed if necessary, and do what I need to do. The current 10 inch netbooks are at that upper limit, any larger than that and you might as well go for a full laptop anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 5th May 2009 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Personally--and this is just my opinion--I think that 10 inch screens are about the maximum. Any larger than that and it becomes a full-fledged laptop, even if the internals are basically those of a netbook. To me, a netbook is something I can take out of the bag quickly, open up one handed if necessary, and do what I need to do. The current 10 inch netbooks are at that upper limit, any larger than that and you might as well go for a full laptop anyway.


Well that is just semantics anyway - to the end user they don't really care what one calls it; if they can get a 12inch laptop that is cheap, compact and does what they need - they'll buy it.

For the average user the Atom 280/270 is more than sufficient for their needs and if there are vendors out there who are willing to scale it beyond 10inchs then I say all power to them. Windows 7 is optimised for it and there is sufficient grunt for end users to run the applications they need. Its not going to be as powerful to play hardcore computer games or some high end application but for the vast majority it is more than sufficient.

I for one, if they came out tomorrow with a 12inch Notebook/Netbook with Windows 7, would be more than happy to purchase it. The reality is that I use it for little more than surfing the net, writing assignments and notes and occasionally listening to some music; I doubt those small number of activities are going to require a Core 2 Duo monster and hence the idea of never needing a laptop with such grunt, paying for such grunt and never using it to the full potential makes it a waste.

Edited 2009-05-05 02:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Funny?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 5th May 2009 03:23 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

. As a funny side-note, a boy I know came to me today, irreverently excited with his laptop that he bought for $75. It was built somewhere around 2003 or 2004, had Windows XP installed, had a 12-inch screen, was at least two inches thick, and took at least three minutes to start. I laughed at him when he said that it "starts pretty fast," and then again when he said that "the battery lasts about five hours." This boy is known infamously for his exaggerations.


Yeah... laughing at a little boy. Hilarious! Next time steal some candy from a baby and give it to a diabetic! Then take a picture of yourself throwing out your meal and send it to starving Africans!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Funny?
by weildish on Tue 5th May 2009 03:43 UTC in reply to "Funny?"
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

Um...

He's seventeen.

**shrug**

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Funny?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 5th May 2009 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Funny?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, typically in the US anyways we don't refer to a 17 year old as a boy. That's typically a male child of less than 13 years. Well, if it is used to refer to someone of teenage years, there is a modifier of "teenaged". Considering that 18 is the legal age of an adult, a 17 year old is more of a man than a boy.

But still, its not very funny to put down what others have, especially if they are particularly proud of it. I wouldn't do it to a peer, superior, or underling.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Funny?
by sgtarky on Tue 5th May 2009 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Funny?"
sgtarky Member since:
2006-01-02

Well, typically in the US anyways we don't refer to a 17 year old as a boy. That's typically a male child of less than 13 years.
I agree but it seems they are called boy/girl/kids well on into their 20's it pisses me off when there is some news report and they say these"kids" kids hell they are 20 maybe thats the problem they didnt grow up or we call them kids haha.

Reply Score: 1

Fan
by J.R. on Tue 5th May 2009 05:24 UTC
J.R.
Member since:
2007-07-25

I had one of these for 1 week before returning it. Turned out the fan was, after 10 minutes, running constantly without ever shutting down again. So I googled and found a bunch of others having the same problem with this particular model. Tried the eeectl after finding some desperate forum threads about the fan noise and it worked, but was a windows only program that was not really that mature and well integrated imho. So I returned it.

But other than that it would have gotten a 10/10 for me as well if it wasn't for the noise, which in fact was louder than my quad core gaming PC, even at idle. I have bought a couple of defective products before from asus (motherboard and graphics) where either the fan or fan controller has been physically broken, so I give them no chances to make a bios update to fix this.

Edited 2009-05-05 05:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Fan
by darknexus on Tue 5th May 2009 10:07 UTC in reply to "Fan"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

My fan runs constantly too, but it's nowhere as loud as a standard PC let alone a quad core CPU cooler.
For the interested, this is actually caused by the hard drive warming up, as I've said in my earlier comment. It's not a defective fan controller, nor is it an overheating CPU.

Reply Score: 2

.6 GHz
by jal_ on Tue 5th May 2009 08:45 UTC
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

The additional .6 GHz to the Atom processor in comparison with most other netbooks doesn't seem to give much, if any, noticeable increase in speed.


That's because it's just .06 GHz of course ;) . Still should matter a bit, as it's 60MHz. I remember when that was all my PC could manage ;) .


JAL

Reply Score: 3

75$ laptop
by z80a on Tue 5th May 2009 13:53 UTC
z80a
Member since:
2008-02-05

As a funny side-note, a boy I know came to me today, irreverently excited with his laptop that he bought for $75. It was built somewhere around 2003 or 2004, had Windows XP installed, had a 12-inch screen, was at least two inches thick, and took at least three minutes to start. I laughed at him when he said that it "starts pretty fast," and then again when he said that "the battery lasts about five hours." This boy is known infamously for his exaggerations.

That boy is simply not a consumer. I still have one laptop from 1995 and it runs W2K and MAME (doesn't have enough RAM for Linux). He found some value in 75$ notebook and he likes it, so please give him some respect for it.

Reply Score: 3

Too bad it lack of a pcmcia port ...
by dvhh on Tue 5th May 2009 14:41 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

which I badly need for my 3G connectivity card. don't talk me about usb dongle
I think I'll stick to my p1610 wich so far has been a road warrior champ for me till now ).
I might get an itch to change with the asus eee tablet pc.
I often hear complain about the screen size wich depending on the use has not been a problem for me ( I am not a heavy graphic app user ).

Reply Score: 1

My experience
by fretinator on Tue 5th May 2009 15:59 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought I'd add a few things that I have experienced.

Linux
---------------------
Ubuntu Netbook Remix - everything works out of the box, but the battery life is only 5-6 hours, despite tweaks (force-hpet kernel parameter, powersave acpi mode, powertop, etc)

Moblin - gave me the full 8+ hours of battery life, but it was just too alpha of a distro, many things missing.

Mandriva 2009.1 - the live-cd worked perfectly, but when I installed it I could no longer tap with the touchpad, two-finger scrolling disappeared. I did not like that, and didn't feel like playing with xorg.conf.

Fedora 10/11 - everything worked and I had better battery life, 7-8 hours. I chose to leave Fedora on as my Linux of choice for this netbook.

Windows
---------------------
Also, just so you know, I was also able to install Windows 7 RC. Everything worked, and the battery life was pretty good (7+ hours). Occasionally the Intel video driver would bomb, but Windows 7 would reload it and everything kept working. So, there is no problem running Windows 7 ultimate on a netbook.

Reply Score: 3

RE: My experience
by JPisini on Tue 5th May 2009 16:28 UTC in reply to "My experience"
JPisini Member since:
2006-01-24


Mandriva 2009.1 - the live-cd worked perfectly, but when I installed it I could no longer tap with the touchpad, two-finger scrolling disappeared. I did not like that, and didn't feel like playing with xorg.conf.


You can boot the CD live and copy the xorg.conf to a USB key and then copy it over to your system once installed. Providing that is the only reason it isn't working you will be fixed in minutes with no headaches. I would also check which modules are being loaded. I haven't used Mandriva since it was still Mandrake but I believe they still use /etc/modules.conf for that so you can copy that over as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My experience
by darknexus on Tue 5th May 2009 18:01 UTC in reply to "My experience"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Did you test Ubuntu's battery life or are you going by what the ACPI estimate tells you? I ask because on my 1000HE, the estimated time remaining is grossly inaccurate, though the percentage is not. I'm often told I have 6 hours remaining on a full charge, where as I actually get about 7.5 to 8 hours with continuous use of the wifi from a fully charged battery. I'm not running Netbook Remix however, but the standard Ubuntu desktop edition, so perhaps this is why my results are different. I would've thought, however, that netbook remix would have been better at battery usage than the standard edition...
I did tweak it a bit, my kernel command-line options are as follows (excluding the standard root uuids, etc):
pciehp.pciehp_force=1 usbcore.autosuspend=1 hpet=force
The hpet=force improves the accuracy of the battery estimates a bit, though not by much, though to be fair I'm not sure if this is a problem with the ACPI bios or with Ubuntu. I never booted the preloaded XP, so for all I know it may have been inaccurate there as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My experience
by fretinator on Tue 5th May 2009 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE: My experience"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I bought a new hard-drive (7200 RPM) so I will be reformatting soon anyway. I'll give it another go and add your parameters, and time it manually. Thanks for the input!

Reply Score: 2