Asus Eee PC 1005PE: Pine Trail-Powered Netbook Gets Reviewed

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I’ve been waiting for Asus to come out with its own Pine trail-powered netbook for the longest time, and since the advent of Intel Atom, the Asus Eee PC 1005PE is probably the first significantly different Asus Eee PC. It’s the first one in a long time to not have the first-generation Atom 1.6 processor. Again, we know that we’re not supposed to expect any difference off the new chip, but everyone is obviously curious as to how the new processor stacks up.

The Asus Eee PC 1105PE is actually a slightly updated version of the Asus Eee CP 1005HA, and since there isn’t that big a difference from the previous iteration, we’re expecting the reviews to focus more on the new processor over the laptop itself. Now let’s see if the hype surrounding the Asus Eee PC 1005PE is indeed worth it.

According to Engadget,

So, what kind of difference does the new single-core 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 make? Coupled with 1GB of RAM and a 5,400rpm 250GB hard drive that boots Windows 7 Starter, the 1005PE felt slightly snappier than netbooks with Atom N270 or N280 chips, but not by much. We didn’t wait around for programs to launch or have any problems running Firefox 3, TweetDeck, and iTunes simultaneously. It’s possible to run Photoshop, but editing a batch of photos still requires the patience of a grade-school teacher — just like on N270 or N280 machines. The benchmarks say the same: On Geekbench the 1005PE notched 942, while the 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280 powered 1008HA scored a lower 756. Either way, the performance gain isn’t going to blow you away, and keeps netbooks in line with their original purpose — light productivity and web tasks.

Okay, so do you think getting a pine trail netbook a great idea or would you rather stick to your current netbook? Tell me about it!

Panda Cloud Antivirus: First Impressions

One of the biggest concerns I had when switching from the default Linux installation to Windows XP on my Eee PC 701 is that I’m moving from a world of relative security by obscurity to an operating system targeted by virus makers and hackers from all over the world. I had to look for a free anti-virus software that will be light enough and will not spam me with ads to upgrade to the paid version.

For more than three years, Avast! has been my anti-virus of choice. What’s not to love about it? It’s free and it has an amazing detection rate. It doesn’t even muck up my system, unlike some users of Norton and McAfee that I encountered before.

However, as any longtime Avast! user knows, everytime it updates its virus database, we get a slowdown before we hear the notification “Your virus database has been updated.”

Okay, for netbooks running on limited resources (particularly the Eee PC 701 – which I own) this slowdown could mean crashes. And it has happened way too often for me.

Fed up after a bad day when all my apps just kept on crashing one after the other, I went ahead and downloaded Panda Cloud Antivirus. I’ve been pretty much apprehensive of cloud applications. Especially when it means you have to entrust your entire security to a cloud-based app.

But I went and installed it anyway. The installation was pretty quick and painless, which was surprising for an anti-virus. The initial setup was pretty simple too: sign up for a Panda Cloud account, and log in to activate the anti-virus. There was a bit of a problem with the initial connection – it looked like Panda Cloud Antivirus took ages to connect (check out the screenshot on top) but somehow it was just a bug and the UI just didn’t refresh to display that it was already connected.

After a couple of hours testing this thing (doing scans, checking out my Panda account), my system was running way lighter than before. Now I haven’t done anything heavy duty yet. I’ll get to that in my next post. For now, all I can say is that I still won’t trust Panda Cloud Antivirus with my main system, but for netbooks it’s perfect.

A more in-depth review soon.

Download Panda Cloud Antivirus here.

ASUS UL30A-A1 Deemed The Best In The Battle Of The 13-Inch CULV Notebooks

Joana Stern of Gizmodo pitted a bunch of the newfangled Windows 7 13-inch CULV notebooks against each other, and guess who won.

If the title of this blog (and blog entry) doesn’t give away the answer yet (poor you), it would be the ASUS UL30A-A1.

It was stacked up against the Acer Aspire Timeline AS3810T-8737, HP Pavilion dm3, and Toshiba Satellite T135.

The ASUS UL30A-A1 is our number one pick for a 13-inch ULV based system. It is thin, light, and comfortable to use for its over 6 and a half hours of juice. The Acer keeps a close second to the ASUS with its long run time and sleek bod. The HP Pavillion dm3 and the Toshiba T135, while still affordable and adequate performers, simply aren’t the best.

[via]

Asus UL30A: Unboxing and first impressions [Video]

Brad of Liliputing was able to get his ands on Asus’s snazy new 11.6-inch laptop, the Asus UL30A.

He got a model with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and a 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display and Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics.

The Asus UL30A with Intel integrated graphics gets a higher Windows performance score (3.9).

Here is the unboxing video, by the way:

Eee PC 1101 HA Reviewed

I’ve been eyeing the 1101 HA to be my next netbook for some time now, and Brad of Liliputing’s review of the netbook only strengthened my conviction to buy it when Windows 7 comes out.

The Asus Eee PC 1101HA isn’t the fastest Intel Atom computer around. And in fact, it feels kind of sluggish at times, even with the CPU running at top speed. But by allowing users to overclock the processor to run at 1.73GHz, Asus has made the Eee PC 1101HA feel significantly faster than the Asus Eee PC T91, which features the same processor and a lower resolution display.

What do you guys think?

PC Magazine goes hands-on with the Asus Disney Netpal

Hey guys, remember the Disney-branded netbooks Asus teased a few months back? Well, PC Magazine was able to get its hands on one of these babies, and… well, unless you’re below 12 or into these things, it’s probably not for you.

It features Disney themed lids, including a pink princess design and a blue Mickey design. Users can choose from a number of Disney themes for the Windows XP interface with options including Cars, Lilo & Stitch, and Hannah Montana. The kid-themed applications feature tight parental control software that let you limit how and when your child uses the computer.

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Arora: Lightweight Browser

Eee users, a little poll here: who else dropped Firefox after 3.5 turned out to be a bloated monster that crashed on underpowered computers every other minute? Sure, I disabled a lot of addons, but still it crashes like crazy. I’ve been using Chrome as my primary browser for a while now, and it’s been good to me so far. Heck, even the beta versions (yes, I took a big leap and installed a beta release; I lead an exciting life) even with their tendency to crash and being unpolished and well, being so beta-like, is even better than Firefox.

In my quest to find a better browser suited for netbooks, I saw Arora. This browser is:

a lightweight cross-platform web browser. It’s free (as in free speech and free beer). Arora runs on Linux, embedded Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Windows and any other platforms supported by the Qt toolkit.

Arora uses the QtWebKit port of the fully standards-compliant WebKit layout engine. It features fast rendering, powerful JavaScript engine and supports Netscape plugins.

This new browser also boasts of these features:

  • very fast startup
  • integration with desktop environments
  • smart location bar
  • session management
  • privacy mode
  • flexible search engine management
  • ClickToFlash plugin
  • download manager
  • WebInspector, a set of tools for web developers
  • 30 translations

However, this browser has serious stability issues, kind of like that creepy ex you dumped that one time. It won’t open the My Asus Eee PC homepage without crashing halfway through. Maybe it works on a stronger system, but I won’t be using Arora until it stabilizes. But an exciting project like this is worth keeping an eye on.

Download Arora here.

The Eee PC 1101HA’s battery life is awesome

Asus’ first 11.6 inch netbook’s battery life is great, according to a review by Laptop Magazine. Come on, it can run for 8 hours and 44 minutes on a charge with the included 6 cell battery. How cool is that?

Well, not really. Because it runs on the 1.33HGz Intel Atom Z520 CPU and Intel GMA 500 graphics, you sacrifice a bit of computing power for longer battery life.

But really, if you don’t mind losing some juice for longer battery life, go ahead and get the 1101HA.

Also, it’s pretty.

Asus Eee PC T91 Review

Brad of Liliputing has posted pictures and a review of the Asus Eee PC T91.

The netbook’s sluggish processor makes the Eee PC T91 too slow to perform some tasks like playing HD video or even viewing some web pages in Internet Explorer, which Asus has optimized for touchscreen navigation. Still, this netbook is one of the only tablet PCs you’re likely to find for under $499, so if you’re looking for a touchscreen on a budget, it might be worth checking out.

Read the rest of the review here.

Eee Seashell 1101HA Review

Eee Seashell 1101HA

Eeeuser has posted a review of the brand-new Eee Seashell 1101HA. And here are the things they liked :

  • 1366 x 768 resolution – which is obviosuly a huge step forward from other netbook resolutions
  • Intel GMA 500 graphics chipset – capable of processing high definition video if you have the right software
  • The new Intel Atom Z520 processor
  • 160GB hard drive storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Draft-N Wi-Fi
  • 4,440mAh battery (8.5 hours!)

Sadly Asus apparently took a step backwards with their keyboards and the right shift key is back to being small.

Check out the entire review here.

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