The Asus brand has been building its name in the netbook category of computers for several years now. EeePCs have a reputation of bringing a good quality product to the market and offering it at a lower price than the competition. Often, this can mean that they have to forgo certain features that some users consider necessary. Other times, however, users are happy enough to get the fast reaction time that they want from a netbook.
The newest in Asus’ line of netbooks is the 1015PEM. Priced at $370, the 1015PEM stands out in store netbook line ups for having such a low cost. It also stands out for having a sharp look. The company has solved the jutting-out battery of the older model by making it flush with the inclined tapering of the body. The color remains a calming matted maroon, the chalky finish offering it protection from fingerprints and the like. The plastic that most netbooks use, the 1015PEM also employs.
That plastic makes this machine lightweight, and at just 2.7 pounds, it’s a fraction lighter than its predecessor, the 1015PE. Netbooks are already ideal for the traveling type, but the 1015PEM takes it to the next level.
The 1015PEM comes with the (what has become) standard 10-inch widescreen display. The image is crisp, with a 1,024×600 resolution. The 1015PEM continues the EeePC tradition of cutting down on glare, making the screen legible even in the direct rays of the sun. The usability continues to impress with the large area that the company has dedicated to the touch pad.
However, sitting above that generous touch pad is a keyboard that has been cut down to 92% of the actual size. Though ergonomic, with smooth Chiclet keys that feel great, the smaller size keyboard is hard to get used to, and makes it difficult to switch between it and a regular-sized one. What’s more is that the mouse click is a tad too resistant.
In terms of hardware, the 1015PEM comes ready to represent its brand, albeit its price as well. It comes with the modern day must-have SD and multi-format card slot, the VGA port, Ethernet, microphone and headphone inputs and 3 USB 2.0 ports. Its price means there’s no HDMI port. All the connections it does boast are serviced by the first dual-core Atom processor that Asus has included in a netbook.
That’s right; the 5,400 rpm, 250 gigabyte hard drive is complemented by a 1.5 gigahertz Intel Atom N550 processor with 1 gigabyte of memory. This means that simple multitasking programs run simultaneously without a hiccup.
All this glorious stuff is kept working for upwards of 8 hours by that conveniently-hidden 63WH battery. As the battery life is the icing on the cake, the 1015PEM is a fast, portable and worthy machine.