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Asus Eee
Asus Eee
The second netbook I tested was the Asus Eee PC 1000HE ($399).

Asus launched the first true netbook in 2007, and this latest model is very much focused on battery life. The Eee powers on longer than any laptop I've ever seen. In battery-saving mode it can go for up to 9.5 hours without needing a charge. This is a remarkable achievement, which makes the Eee the model of choice for long-haul frequent fliers. I loved the peace of mind of knowing I could rely on this netbook for a full day's work -- and not have to carry a charger with me. It changes your behavior. You start thinking about your laptop like your cell phone: Charge it at night, use it wirelessly by day.

The downside is the Eee's thickness and weight -- it's a half-inch thicker and a pound heavier than the Mini. That may not seem like a great difference, but I felt it made the device ugly. Like the Mini, the Eee features the new Intel Atom processor, but you can also opt for the slightly faster N280 processor (1.66GHz) for the same price.

The screen, although very usable, was less vibrant than the Mini's. A 1,024 x 600 resolution may be enough for most people, but I thought more pixels might come in handy. As with the Mini, Asus claims that the Eee's keyboard is only 8% smaller than a typical laptop's, but there must be a difference in the way the keys are laid out, because I found the typing experience quite strenuous after a few minutes. I wouldn't write this review on it.

NEXT: Sony Vaio

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