Most of us would agree that this whole netbook thing started with the first batch of Asus Eee PCs in late 2007. At the time, we were offered just a few gigs of storage, a tiny 7-inch display, and a keyboard that was anything but full-sized. My, how things have changed.
Since that time, Asus has been stocking the shelves of stores with a steady supply of new and exciting netbooks, adding more features and improving the overall quality with each successive iteration. One of the most recent introductions is what Asus calls the Seashell line. These are supposed to be slimmer, sleeker, and better than ever.
Today, we have the opportunity to check out the Asus Eee PC 1005HA, the more business-oriented of the offerings from the Seashell line. Now that the netbook market is so much more crowded, does this newest Eee still stand out as a winner? Let's find out.
Have I Seen This Eee Before?
With Asus releasing so many variations on its Eee PC line of netbooks, it can be pretty hard to tell the difference between all of them. While the Eee PC 1005HA Seashell comes in a slightly different form factor, you'll find that the spec sheet is nearly identical to that of the Asus Eee PC 1000HE. You may recall that the 1000HE earned an Editor's Choice Award here.
- Microsoft Windows XP Home
- 10.1" LED Backlight WSVGA Screen (1024x600)
- Intel Atom N280
- 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM RAM
- 160GB HDD + 10GB Eee Storage
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- 1.3MP Camera with Digital Array Mic
- VGA Port, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x LAN RJ-45, 2 x Audio Jack, MC/SD/SDHC Card Reader
- 6-Cell Li-ion Battery, 10.5 Hours
This has largely become par for the course. There isn't much here, spec-wise, that makes the 1005HA emerge as an undisputed leader in the niche.
Do You Need Some Netbook Accessories?
If you are expecting to get a bunch of extras out of this package, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Beyond the Eee PC itself, the box will contain the battery, power supply, AC cable, and basic documentation. It's nice that Asus also included a basic suede-like sleeve, but that's about it.
This isn't completely out of the ordinary for this market, so you may want to consider something like the Targus Netbook Accessory Kit to help you get started with the mobile computing experience. At least the webcam, mic, and Bluetooth are all integrated.
The Seashell Side Shot by the Sea Shore
What's in a name? Why did Asus decide to create something that it dubs the Seashell line of Eee PC netbooks? Well, I guess you could say that the netbooks take on a clamshell-like appearance.
Over in Cupertino, the Apple MacBook Air has a characteristic teardrop-like profile, being a little chubbier in the back and tapering to a point in the front. Although the guys in Taiwan may not completely acknowledge it, I'm thinking that they derived a little bit of design inspiration from Apple on this front. At least it isn't quite as blatant as what MSI came up with at CES 2009 with their effort dubbed as the "MacBook Air Clone".
I don't have the older Eee PC on hand for a side-by-side comparison, but the profile does appear to be slightly tapered on the 1005HA. The overall thickness has been marginally reduced, but this is pretty marginal based on my memory.