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Hands-On With the ASUS Eee PC 1008HA


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eeepc1008leadASUS may have unveiled its newest Eee PC - the 1008HA — at CeBit in March but here in the U.S. we have been patiently awaiting its arrival. ASUS is now ready to launch its slimmest Eee on our home soil. The Eee PC 1008HA “Seashell” will be available later this month (pre-orders begin on May 18th) for $429. We got a chance to check out the ultra-sleek 1008HA a few days ago. Check out our first impressions along with hands-on video and photos below.

With all netbooks sporting the same Intel Atom, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP combo, the race is on to design a netbook that can stick out from the crowd. And while Samsung did a stand up job with the recently-reviewed N310, ASUS has done the same with the 1008HA Seashell.

The all-white glossy 10-inch netbook is incredibly thin (less than an inch thick) and, true to its name, looks like a white smooth seashell. It is even thinner than an Ethernet jack - which is why the patent pending jack pulls down. This isn’t the only unique port on the system though. There is a mini-VGA port on the left side, but ASUS also includes an adapter; hidden under the system is a VGA adapter that snaps off that allows you to hook the system up to an external monitor. These ports are joined by 2 USB, mic and headphone jacks, and a card reader.

ASUS continues on the track of providing solid keyboard and touchpad combos. The 92 percent of full size keyboard is spacious for a netbook and the matte keys are comfortable. Though we noticed a slight flex on the pre-production model we got a look at we were happy to see a full size Shift key located underneath the Enter key. The touchpad, which blends in with the deck, was smooth and there are dedicated right and left mouse buttons below.

When it comes to internals the 1008HA has the same configuration as the Editor’s Choice winning ASUS Eee PC 1000HE, including an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and Windows XP. It is outfitted, however, with a lithium polymer battery which is rated for six hours of use.

For $429, the Eee PC 1008HA may be $30 more than the popular Eee PC 1000HE but it has a more compact chassis and a breathtaking design. While consumers may be willing to pay a bit more for the head turning look, we suggest waiting for the full review to find out how the 1008HA performs and how long it can last on a charge.

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