Asus launched it’s new line of Eee PC’s today they call the Seashell. I was able to get a first-hand look (and touch) of the high-end model of this line which is the 1008HA and I have to say it’s one of the most gorgeous ultra-thin netbooks I’ve seen.
First, let’s get out the basic, boring specs that netbooks of today have: 10″ (1024 x 600) display, Intel Atom N280, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 160GB SATA HDD, b/g/n WiFi, and the usual data ports. It also weighs just 1.1kg.
So what’s good about this Seashell?
To achieve the slim profile, the subtly curved lid slides over the body instead of the typical simple flip type. It’s only 18mm thick at its thinnest and 26mm at its fattest point.
The ports on the each side are hidden and protected by flaps to achieve a somewhat smooth exterior design. Admittedly, sometimes you wish you don’t have to perform an extra step just to plug in a mouse or a flash drive but still, those flaps are a nice touch. Seems sturdy too.
From a 1000HE user, I have mix feelings with the keyboard for the 1008HA. It’s huge, it’s matted and it’s a different chiclet style which is quite comfortable to type with.
The difference with the 1000HE is that the right-shift key is now full-sized similar to the HP 2140 which I envy. But in order to do this, they had to remove the right Fn key which prevents you from doing one-handed Page Up and Page Down. Hmm, that is a big deal for me.
Asus claims that the Seashell can give you 6-hours from its 3-cell battery. I guess that’s the best case scenario so for a real-life scenario with WiFi always on, expect only about 3.5 to 4 hours before the battery is completely drained.
To achieve a seamless design, they had to put the battery inside which means it’s not that easy for a user to replace it. You have to go to a service center for a replacement.
However for the Seashell line, Asus is putting in Lithium Ion Polymer batteries which can give you faster recharging time. A representative says that it can go from 0 ““ 100% in just 30 minutes. That’s impressive and can certainly offset the short battery life that is common in ultra-thin portables.
Initially, the price is set at P32,950 but I would suggest waiting for a bit if you’re planning to get this. It will most likely settle down to P27,000 which is quite a decent price to pay for something as attractive as the 1008HA.
The Asus 1008HA and its little and cheaper brother, the 1005HA, is slated to be available in mid-June.