New Technologies (Asus 1008HA)

So, yesterday as I was just walking out the door for my job interview, UPS pulls up in front of the house and lo! my new Asus 1008HA netbook arrived.

I spent nearly the entirety of the day packing it full of the programs that I use and getting acclimated to its vast improvements and moderate shortcomings.

And, of course, a mini-review of the product is necessary.

First off, this this is light. I know that’s what everyone says when they talk about the 1008, but you just don’t realize how small they made this thing until you get it in your hands. It’s so thin that I’m amazed they packed everything in there.

They keys are the biggest improvement over most all other models by Asus. They’re just the right size to where your hands reach everything naturally and you aren’t squeezing your fingers together just to type. Granted, on the 900HA (my first netbook) I adjusted easily enough to the keys even with my fairly big hands. But this is like putting on a pair of new size 11s after walking around in 10s. (Girls, imagine getting a proper bra fitting and realizing you were in a B when you should have been wearing a C.)

The other thing I love: battery power. It’s running on a lithium-polymer, so you get more charge cycles out of it over time. It’s the same as what is standard in the new Macbooks. I’m running at 95% right now and my indicator says I’ve got about 5 1/2 hours of power left. Pretty fucking spectacular, especially since my 900HA averaged 3. And when you like to spend your free time in overpriced cafes trying to drain every last ounce of creativity your body has, that makes a big difference.

Another great addition is the bluetooth. I can now use my Jawbone headset with Skype and I couldn’t be happier. Though now my phone and the netbook fight over who can connect with it first. But hey, I can always drop $25 on a new headset just to use with this.

Now, for the things I’m not happy with:
The screen—It’s still has 1024×600 resolution, which is fine, but at 10inches some things start to look a big pixely. Though this is hardly a deal-breaker. The other thing is the glossy screen. I HATE glossy screens on portable computers. Who the fuck though this was a good idea? Yes, lets create a product that people are going to probably at some point use outside and make the screen a mirror, making it impossible to see what you’re doing in anything but complete darkness. I’m currently sitting in a shady spot outside Barnes and Noble and I’m squinting to see the words I’m typing through the pattern of my own shirt, even at max brightness. Hey, Asus, I DON’T WANT TO CONSTANTLY SEE MYSELF WHEN I USE MY COMPUTER!!!! Please understand that. Matte screens are the way to go always and forever.

The touchpad—The thing I LOVED about my 900ha was multi-touch. I could scroll and middle click with two fingers and right click with three. It was amazing. I had trouble adjusting to other peoples’ laptops afterward because I kept wanting to do everything with multi-touch. But for the Seashell series, Asus decided to take all that away, even though it clearly says on their website you can do it. The only multi-touch ability this has is to pinch photos to make them bigger or smaller, as in the iPhone or iPod Touch. Fortunately, some smart kids found a work-around which I promptly downloaded to get this functionality. Now, part of me thinks this isn’t Asus’s fault entirely, as Apple has gone lawsuit crazy over anyone doing anything even remotely similar to multi-touch. So, fuck Apple for that.

Really, those are my two major complaints about this the 1008HA. Everything else it does spectacularly and I’m looking forward to working on my current manuscript using it.

If you’re in the market for a netbook, I would seriously tell you to consider this one.

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