Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review: Asus eee 900 ha



With M$ 's live cashback at Ebay at 30% and my birthday coming up, I couldn't resist the lure of an Asus Eee Pc 900ha.

I currently have a Nokia n800, which is perfect for quick take along, but text entry on it is a beast and I couldn't watch netflix on it. I wanted a cute little laptop that I could use to type messages, check the internet, and watch online content. The Asus eee 900ha fit the bill, and with its $250 price tag (after rebate), it fit in my budget.


I opted for the hard drive model because of the extra space. With 160 gigs, I wouldn't have to play games like others do on the ssd models to get Windows to fit gracefully. Personally, I think the idea of SSD is more impressive, but the lure of no space worries (and my husband's recommendation) led me to settle on the hard drive. (My other concern with the harddrive was that if dropped it would be more likely to scatch and an ssd would be more likely to come out intact. But, my husband pointed out laptop hard drives were pretty sturdy.)

Specs

Size: 8.9" screen
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Processor: intel atom
Ram: 2 gigs
Harddrive: 160 gigs
Os: Windows XP
Other cool stuff: webcam, sd slots, usb slots, 802.11 (wifi)

Here's some pictures to show how small it is.
Look how huge a regular sized mouse looks next to it.

My Eee next to 2 paperback books. It's about the same size as the larger paper back book.


Pros:
  • small, it fits in my purse. I can stick it somewhere out of my kid's reach pretty easily. My husband can balance it on one leg and I don't fear for its safety.
  • cute. It is so tiny.
  • fairly quiet
  • Windows XP (yes, I like linux, but to get certain websites to run, I need Internet Explorer and I didn't have a spare xp license laying around)
  • Netflix playback is good
  • Mythtv playback is good on non-hd channels (note: this problem is a limitation of the software and my wireless hub, not the eee itself)
  • plenty of room on the harddrive
  • screen is crisp and clear
  • decent battery life. I seem to be getting about 3.5 - 4 hrs with wifi on and webcam off
  • runs skype with video conferencing
  • different power profiles
  • comes with a pouch to put it in
Cons:
  • touch pad is touchy. I keep hitting it accidentally while typing. I can't tell if the Eee is particularly bad or not, I've never gotten along well with touchpads.
  • Keyboard layout takes getting used to. The up arrow is where my fingers think the left shift key should be. Page down requires the use of the function key. I accidentally hit capslock a lot. I'm getting better though, I just have to retrain my fingers.
  • can get pretty toasty if running it on Super performance mode. I just put it on a book, then put that on my lap. (It's small enough I can do that :) )
  • shiny exterior looks cool, but is a finger print magnet. It does come with a cloth for cleaning them off.
  • If the screen is open too wide, the laptop will tip over backwards. This only happens on a soft / not flat surface like a bed or lap.
Other notes
  • The Eee has no optical drive. This has occasionally been annoying. But most of my favorite dvds are ripped anyway or recorded from tv, so it isn't hard to get them on via the network or a thumbdrive.
Why pick the Eee 900ha (compared to other netbooks/Eee)
  • lots of space on the harddrive
  • 1 gig of memory - plenty to let multiple programs run smoothly
  • higher resolution screen than earlier Eees
  • the 2.5 lb weight is just right. Any heavier/larger and I wouldn't be able to take it with me easily.
  • good battery life
  • Intel's new power saving processor the Atom
  • great price
  • Windows XP license
Really handy uses
  • Watching on-line content where ever I want
  • Video conference with my husband while he was at PDC. Built in webcam came in handy.
  • Entertaining children. The Eee worked great at the airport while I was waiting for my sister; my kids watched a Blues Clues movie on it instead of asking "how much longer?"
Conclusion
All in all, I'm happy with my purchase. It is very convenient and just what I wanted.

(updated: 12/08) So far I'm still loving my eee.
(updated: 1/10) Unfortunately my beloved eee has become almost unsuable. After being dropped 3 times and having a glass of water dumped on it by my toddler, about half the keyboard and the mouse buttons have stopped working. I expect with an external keyboard and mouse it would be just fine, but that defeats the purpose of small and portable :)

11 comments:

Nikhil said...

Thanks

Josh said...

Great quick review. You sold me, I'm picking this up for X-Mas.

richs said...

do u know where (online or at a store) i can buy one? i cant find it anywhere

rcstanley said...

Amazon has it sometimes. I bought mine on ebay, but that was in October.

booda said...

booda ebay has them at 324.99

paul mcnamara said...

ebay has them at 324.99

Justin said...

Thankyou so much for the great review, I will be getting this!

badboy said...

I bought one for myself!! its in US and i am in Dublin. Will take some time to get here!

karenCA said...

thanks for the helpful comments and the comparison with Pamela Aidan's "Fitzwilliam Darcy - Book 3". Recognized it immediately.

Sister Girl said...

I purchased this item recently for my nephew & I've never been more pleased. I agree with everything you stated about the practicality of the netbook.

BTW, I love your site & will visit more often(smile).

T.

Shoubhik said...

got the same colored notebook last week that you have. Its n awesome handy mini notebook and I love it. Its very handy and works best because of the new Intel Atom processor. Its got the complete capability of a x86 based desktop cpu!!! The only drawback, it gets very hot!! Battery backup is very good as compared to any other 4 cell battery.