Here are the key features and my thoughts.
- N280 1.66GHz Intel Atom Processor: The speed increase is not that much compared to N270, but N280 is more energy efficient. It also has a faster (667MHz) FSB, so you can use faster RAM.
- 6 cell battery: Up to 9.5 hours battery life. When I use it to watch video, the battery life dropped to about 7 hours. Note that the 6 cell battery adds weight to the model so it is heavier than previous models with 3 cell battery.
- 10 inch screen and chiclet keyboard: The screen is excellent. I am glad that they did not use a glossy LCD display which I don’t like. The keyboard is the kind that you find on the MacBook. The size is 92% of a traditional notebook. It’s bigger than previous model, but still it might take you some time to get used to the keyboard. I found that the right shift key is a bit too small. I often typed the wrong key when I use it.
- Bluetooth: You can now use Bluetooth devices with this model. I don’t use it often but it might come in handy. Remember to turn it off when it is not in use to conserve battery life.
- Multi-touch touchpad: I like the multi-touch touchpad on my MacBook, but not on 1000HE. I found it too sensitive on the tiny touch pad. A lot of times, my scrolling gesture translates to zooming gesture. You might want to disable it.
I am used to my fast Core 2 Duo MacBook, so I feel like the performance is not that impressive. However, it still performs quite well for doing email and web browsing which it is designed for. If you want to squeeze the performance out of it, try to plug it in. When you use the AC adapter, it operates in AC mode which is faster. You can also press Fn+Space Bar to switch to Super Performance mode.
I tried to view video on 1000HE, the 320×240 YouTube video plays smoothly either in the browser or full screen. The HD content of YouTube does not play smoothly, but still viewable. Hulu’s SD content plays OK only in the browser, when you play it in full screen mode, the motion is kinda choppy. The use of the AC adapter helps a little, but not much.
For those benchmark geeks, I did install and run PCMark 05 successfully on 1000HE. The score is 1568. I ran it after I installed MS Office 2003, FireFox, Thunderbird and McAfee. I also upgraded the RAM to 2GB. Please see this post about how to upgrade the RAM.
Overall, this is a fine netbook to own and it’s currently the top selling model on Amazon. The street price is around $379.00.
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