Handling, design and build: nice materials, a well-finished machine
Whether you like it or not, you won't be left indifferent by the Asus Eee PC 1008P KR. The outside of the shell is textured with small raised rectangles (13 x 6 mm), which give it a nice, original look with a pretty play of light and surprising undulating effect. The matte surface is very soft to the touch: a pleasure to get your mitts on! We also like the way the material used doesn't pick up fingermarks. A really successful design! Inside, you get the same matte surface and soft feel. The screen itself and border are however glossy. The finish is excellent and it seems to be a robust product.
The keys on the keyboard are well spaced (14 x 13 mm) for good keying. Typing is quiet and rapid, nice and firm. The reduced size and positioning of certain keys is however regrettable. "Ctrl" left and "Shift" (capitals) could have been a bit wider. Overall it's nice to use and look at.
The multitouch touchpad is perfectly set into the shell. It takes up an area of 6.5 cm by 3.5 cm. Small raised dots allow you to distinguish it from the surrounding plastic. The glide and precision are both good, better than on glossy models from the same manufacturer (the Asus UL series for example). There's a good quality chrome click bar just underneath.
The webcam gives a good quality image though fluidity isn't perfect. The contrast and sharpness are however quite good.
The Asus Eee PC 1008P Karim Rashid is quiet. Almost inaudible when processing office documents, it remains discreet during more demanding tasks (photo work, video encoding). The machine doesn't heat up much at all though the space reserved for the fan is very small.
The connectors are hidden behind small panels that provide a homogenous look to the shell. This is obviously less practical than with ports that are directly accessible, although it also gives protection from dust. This netbook has been designed for users who want to carry it around a lot and who won't often be plugging accessories in.
There is nevertheless standard connectivity, with 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 RJ45, 1 headphones and 1 mic and a 2-in-1 memory card reader. Bluetooth is also included as is Wi-Fi b/g/n. There is also a proprietary connector for the VGA adaptor underneath the netbook (see photo below).
Access to the insides is limited to the RAM with a small panel accessible under the machine.
|Power, VGA, USB 2.0, card reader
||USB 2.0, mic, headphones, RJ45
|Touchpad and click bar
||Textured brown hood
Processing: mainly office docs
Windows 7 index: 2,3. Details: CPU 2.3 - Memory 4.7 - Graphics 3.1 - Gaming graphics 3.0 - Main hard drive 5.9.
The Intel Atom N450 now includes a graphics solution. While performance levels are no better than older netbooks (the Asus 1008HA generation), they are sufficient for office document usage. Energy consumption is however lower (and you therefore gain in terms of battery life and noise levels). The score obtained on our index is 19, compared to 100 for our reference machine, the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi3650 (equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400). You can still carry out tasks other than office work and Internet browsing (photo and video editing/encoding) as long as you're patient (processing takes between 3 and 6 times longer than on a standard machine).
You won't be able to play HD 1080p (Blu-Ray equivalent) on this one but will have to make do with DVD type videos or compressed DivXs. The graphics solution is limited to HD 720p video, which is a real shame when the Poulsbo platform (Intel Atom series Z processors) is able to give you 1080p playback.
3D gaming: old, undemanding titles
Generally speaking, gaming on netbooks is only for real enthusiasts willing to put up with highly compromised quality. Only models with ATI or NVIDIA ION graphics chips can handle a few recent games and even then as long as the CPU doesn't cut down performance too much (a single core Intel Atom is insufficient).
Audio: use the headphones for decent quality
As usual on netbooks, the audio leaves plenty to be desired. The speakers give very mediocre sound. It saturates rapidly and lacks precision. Treble dominates and there's a complete lack of bass. The headphones out is however clean (no hiss). We advise you to use headphones!
Mobility, battery life: number 2 on the podium for battery life!
The Asus Eee PC 1008P Karim Rashid comes with two 2900 mAh flat batteries. You'll get 3H06 video playback from each (Wi-Fi deactivated, headphones plugged in and brightness at 100 nits). Sure, this is 54 minutes down on the Samsung N210 but remains a good result.
The only regret is that you have to carry a second battery around with you, which is why the 1008P only scores four stars here.
In terms of size and weight, it excels at just 1.145 Kg and a tiny charger. Ideal for travelling.