ASUS Eee PC 1000HE Netbook - A Home and Office Powerhouse?

Bundled Applications and the Operating System

In addition to Skype 4.0, bundled software includes Sun Microsystem’s OpenOffice-based StarOffice. StarOffice includes word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation and drawing applications. StarOffice apps are able to save files in Microsoft Office 97-2003 format. If you and/or your users can overcome any Microsoft Office related biases, StarOffice or other free OpenOffice implementations will easily provide more than enough office computing functionality. Add Mozilla’s free Thunderbird implementation for email, and you’ve got a fully outfitted office computer for around $375 at the time of this writing.

ASUS Eee PC 1000HE Running Windows XP Home Edition

Well, there is one catch for business computing environments. The 1000HE comes with Windows XP, yes, but it’s XP Home. Computers running XP Home can’t log into or work easily within MS Windows domain networks. I have been able to access workstations and servers on my large, one segment test network, but I have to travel a tangled and winding road to get there. Because single domain logins are not possible, I’ve got to issue passwords for every device I connect to.

Because netbook vendors, including ASUS, see netbooks as simple home computers, netbooks aren’t available with Windows business oriented operating systems, such as XP Professional, that give you full access to domain-based networks. Netbook vendors don’t even offer such operating systems as upgrades. I have installed and successfully used both XP Professional and Vista Business and Ultimate, on my ASUS 1000HA. So, it can be done. If you use OS and application image cloning techniques to setup new business computers, you can certainly get XP Pro or another OS on your netbooks with some ease.

The cost of upgrading to a business oriented OS, of course, is another issue. If your company has licenses for your OS of choice, costs should be minimal. If not, upgrades could run you around $100 or more. That is, if you can find XP Pro, given that Microsoft has pretty much stopped selling it. Netbook vendors should work out a deal with Microsoft to make XP Pro available for their products, at least until Windows 7 is available. From my perspective, because its days are numbered, Vista isn’t an option for business-based netbooks.

There is, of course, another OS option, Linux. With Windows XP grabbing most of the action, fewer and fewer netbooks are available with Linux. My Eee 701 runs KDE’s very nice windows-based Linux workstation client OS. The 701 is bundled with OpenOffice and a ton of other apps, including Firefox and Thunderbird. Its mini-keyboard and small display aside, you can do serious business computing with it. It’s even possible to access MS Windows network resources, but it’s not always easy. If yours is an MS Windows shop, you and your users will probably find Linux workstation clients a bit daunting, at least at first.

  • cadder
    I have wanted a netbook for casual use and travel, because they are small and cheap, even though I have a very fast desktop and 2 15" laptops, one of which is pretty powerful. My wife wanted a small and light laptop for Christmas so I ended up buying her a 12" Toshiba. It cost 3 times what some netbooks cost, and even though it has a 1.4GHz processor, it is about twice as fast as a netbook. I wasn't sure if a netbook would be fast enough for her, and I'm sure she would not have been happy with the smaller screen and keyboard. I think the netbooks are probably plenty powerful, and eventually they will evolve more to blend in with the smaller laptops. Hopefully they won't get more expensive in the process. With good battery life as a plus, this ASUS seems like a good model and I agree that lots of people could use it as their only computer, even some business travelers.
  • caiusmartius123
    I want a netbook soooo bad, but I still feel that 1024 x 600 is UNACCEPTABLE, at any size. That is the 1 thing holding me back and has held me back for so long. Why can't they just use a 1280 x 800 (better) or a 1366 x 768 (optimal) panel? I'm not asking for full 1080p (and at screen sizes of 10" and 12" that would be stupid and unecessary).

    I can't be the only who feels this way after using a netbook with a 1024 x 600 screen.
  • From what I've read, XP is the problem. MS decided to restrict resolutions on the XP they allow for Netbooks to 1024x600, so manufacturers are making the screens that resolution.
  • cleeve
    1024x600 is a very usable resolution on this size of screen if you've ever tried it.

    Even the older 800x480 screens were passable to get the job done, although sometimes you'd have to scroll the screen. But with 1024x600, this is much less of a problem.
  • barryegerber
    I can remember far enough back to the days of the Compaq luggable portable with a 9 inch 25 line by 80 character screen, it weighed 28 pounds and was a great way to lengthen your arms. I carried two of them, one in each arm, across the San Francisco airport one miserable day. I always remember that day whenever I get misty about the good old days.

  • presto311
    I own a 1000H and love it. I successfully ran windows vista for a few months and now have the windows 7 beta installed. I did upgrade to 2 gigs of ram though. It runs the OS great, even with aero running. The 1024x600 resolution hasn't really been a problem. If it was increased anymore stuff would be too small to see. I highly recommend this netbook. Great all around. I have a powerful desktop for gaming and everything else, so this netbook is perfect for school to use for internet and taking notes. I occasionally watch tv shows on it too and it works fine!
  • radguy
    Netbooks are pretty neat but you should expect these devices to do what they are designed for. Its small low power very portable internet laptop device. Yes it can do a lot more than surf the web but it was meant as a device to pull out at the coffee shop and check email or go online. I waited for a long time and finally picked up the 3 cell msi wind for 300 bucks with a coupon. on xp it handels just about anything I have thrown at it but games ( I tried farcry, fear, and several others that I had problems with because they wanted a cd install and after 2 hours off trying to get around it gave up). But office, itunes, movies, the occasional time wasting games like snood and peggle). I installed win 7 and have been very happy. It doesn't have the speed of xp but it runs fine as long as you don't try to do too much at once. I put an extra gig of ram and turbo mode is really nice. I will note the battery sucked buy I bought a 6 cell.
    My problem with the eee 1000H was the looks more than anything. the 1000HE is a slight improvement but the 1002 would be better. However the N280 without the better chipset isn't worth the extra money so we wait for the new chipset. The battery life does make it a very nice deal for the price though.

    The product isn't really a laptop and even though you can buy a nice 13 inch laptop for 600 bucks which I would recomend if needed more speed. The xp, atom, gma 950 does more than what need for the basics. It should be noted that most of the people who would read this would want more than the basics so take that into consideration before judging the product. I am hoping for some better designs and upgraded tech for the 12 inch ish market at about 400-500 but intels atom and windows xp restictions are causing some major problems with that.

    Thanks for the review

  • bosjee
    I don't understand why all these manufactures cannot make the netbook any thinner.
  • presto311
    bosjeeI don't understand why all these manufactures cannot make the netbook any thinner.
    There are a few reasons. I think mostly they want to keep the cost down, since that's one of the main concepts. Cheap, basic, portable, simple. The parts and engineering for an ultra slim like the mac air require more money to produce.
  • randomizer
    Anyone tried running Visual Studio on this low resolution?