Product Type: Asus Netbook
Newest Review: ... sorts of situations, for me sitting on a couch or using it in bed being the two most common, it actually sometimes causes problems not bei... more
Asus Eee PC Seashell Notebook
Asus Eee PC 1015PX
Member Name: Seredipity
Asus Eee PC 1015PX
Advantages: Good screen quality/viewing angle, keyboard, battery performance, neat charger
Disadvantages: Badly weighted, affects ergonomics, not so comfy to use
I've had this notebook for several months now. Main use is for internet browsing, with some wordprocessing which I do using freeware. It came supplied with Windows Starter and the bare bones Windows Office suite, which I soon stopped using as it annoyingly keeps plugging at you to buy the full package, keeps linking to the internet for various things, basically getting in the way of your word processing tasks. I don't play games, though doubt anyone would choose to purchase this for that particular reason...
I won't go into performance particularly as the uses I have for it aren't very processor-intensive. I've never used the webcam either. The most useful info I think I can impart here is about the physical aspects of the machine. A close relative has a very similar Acer notebook and it's very interesting to compare the two side by side.
The screen quality on this notebook is very good. It's matte for one thing, and easily viewable from a wide range of angles. It's much sharper and the colours are better than the Acer, by far. The Acer has a high-gloss and very reflective screen - not great! One thing I dislike about the Eee screen however is that the hinge stops it being folded out more than about 45 degress backwards. Because you want to use it in all sorts of situations, for me sitting on a couch or using it in bed being the two most common, it actually sometimes causes problems not being able to open it out further.
Another physical issue which detracts is the weighting of the laptop, because of the battery. If you open out the screen to its maximum, the keyboard will tip up at you, and this can make it an ergonomic nuisance particularly if balancing it on your lap or the armrest of your chair. That way lies problems with RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome. My sister's Acer, on the other hand, never does this, because the battery unit projects slightly and give a counterweight to the screen. Also her screen folds out almost flat.
With a small device like this, those limitations actually make a big impact on the comfort factor. One problem with the weight I have discovered, is that it can tip over even if you put it on a flat surface with the screen out to my usual viewing angle. I nearly had a disaster one day as I put it down, went out of the room, and there was a crash - it had tipped over slowly and fallen on the floor! Thankfully it still works ok, apart from one odd thing. Ever since that happened, it now boots into a grey Eee PC splash page instead of directly loading Windows, and tell me that Boot Booster won't work. Worried, I looked this up on the net, and it seems to caused by a myriad of reasons. It's not really a fault as such, as it's a feature for starting up the machine faster and can be disabled at BIOS level. I've opted not to tamper with it as the machine still works perfectly ok. But it could well worry people and lead them to fiddle and cause other problems. Forum discussions seem to indicate this has been coming up on Eee PC's for years, so I'm not going to worry too much about it. But it seems a superfluous function and more of a problem than a feature!
Still on the subject of weight, although I don't think of this machine as being particularly heavy (it's only a notebook after all) it's distinctly heavier than the Acer. If you need one while travelling that might be a factor to consider.
A good thing about this notebook is that the mains connection doesn't have a big bulky charger or transformer compared to other similar notebooks. It's very neat and that's useful for carrying around. The battery life is holding up well I think in comparison to the Acer. Another very positive feature, is that you have to use it for quite a long time before it becomes notably warm, and it never gets really hot, so you can use it directly on your knee without scorching skin. That's probably its best feature of all.
The touchpad is ok to use, overly sensitive but I find that with every laptop I've ever used. The two silver buttons below the touchpad, which replicate mouse buttons are kind of stiff to click, tapping the touchpad to do double clicks etc is probably better and will invoke less RSI.
The speaker on this machine is located underneath, gets totally muffled and the sound is very poor quality, and can't be turned up very loud. Almost completely useless. If listening to audio, I plug in Sennheiser headphones, and the sound then is actually fairly good.
The keyboard is very good. Very low profile keys, just a nice level of pressure to operate, much better than the Acer. Also there's no big gaps between the keys and the underlying base, thus nowhere much for dirt, crumbs, etc to get in and affect the function of the keys, and easier to clean as well.
To sum up, I'd say this is quite a decent notebook at a very competitive price. It's got some design pluses but also some flaws such as the weighting which really do annoy when you're using it for extended periods.
Would I recommend it? It's not a five star machine, and I struggle between awarding 3 or 4 stars because some features such as the screen and keyboard quality, battery heat and life are very good indeed, but ergonomically the weight issue and limited screen hinge movement are a permanent irritation. Recommended, with reservations I guess.
Summary: Good value for money, definite pluses, just some things that could be improved