The very essence of a netbook is portability. Besides being just small and light, one other key point to portability is battery life -- something that Asus intends to take to the next level with its just-announced Eee 1000HE.
At first glance, the 1000HE isn’t any different from the rest of Asus’ 10-inch 1000H family. Besides the fact that it also comes in blue (reminding us of the Acer Aspire One), there doesn’t appear to be any external styling cues -- except perhaps a slightly bigger battery.
The 1000HE does feature slightly revamped hardware in that it uses an Intel Atom N280 instead of the old N270, so now the bus runs at 667 MHz, up from the previous generation’s 533 MHz.
You see, the trick up the Eee 1000HE’s sleeve is battery life -- that last letter “E” in the model number likely for “extended.” Asus claims that this upcoming netbook will run for 9.5 hours away from the wall socket -- an improvement over the 1000H’s 7 hours with the 6-cell, 6600 mAh battery. Asus didn’t reveal if any of the additional power of the 1000HE comes from an improved chipset, but the battery is beefier at 8,700 mAh. Even if real-world numbers don’t add up to what’s advertised, it still should be enough to qualify for “all-day computing.”
Of course, the next question is whether or not someone would want to spend all day computing on a netbook, even if the keyboard is a relatively manageable 92 percent full-sized.
Last year, Intel VP sales and marketing Stu Pann said, "If you've ever used a Netbook and used a 10-inch screen size--it's fine for an hour. It's not something you're going to use day in and day out."
While we’ve endured much more than an hour of netbook usage at a time, it’s definitely because we didn’t have anything else to work with. That said, there is a dramatic difference between working off an 8.9-inch screen compared with a 10-inch.
The Asus Eee 1000HE will retail for $399 (opens in new tab), but pre-orderers will be able to nab one for $374.