While tablet computers have grabbed the spotlight, thin and light netbooks still have plenty to recommend them.
If you need to type out more than the occasional email or angry blog post, you’ll quickly tire of virtual keyboards and start hungering for the real thing. Not to mention that netbooks still deliver great processing power for the price relative to their tablet peers.
Asus’ line of Eee PCs has been an early competitor in the netbook space and their 1015B is a value-oriented model pitched at college students or mobile surfers. There are no shortages of netbooks on the market, and the Asus Eee PC 1015B has plenty of competition.
Weighing in at just 2.8 pounds, the 1015B offers a very portable package at 10.31 x 1.43 x 7.01 inches. It achieves this slender build by ditching an optical drive. Instead, you can use one of three USB ports or the built-in SD card reader to view external media sources. The Asus Eee 1015B bucks the trends of netbooks stepping up to “full size” notebook keyboards: you’ll have to navigate a more crimped space as you hammer out emails and angry blog posts.
The Asus 1015B boasts a 10.1-inch LED backlit display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 in a widescreen aspect ratio – while you’re just a few pixels shy of HD, you should still have enough resolution for high-quality standard definition playback.
It is powered by a 1.2GHz AMD Fusion C-30 processor with an ATI Radeon HD 6250 graphics card. These are fine specs for web-surfing, YouTube-watching, photo-sharing and document creation, but gamers or video-editors will need to look elsewhere. There’s 1GB of onboard RAM but the enterprising owner can expand the memory with an extra 1GB of RAM, doubling the 1015B’s system memory.
As far as battery life goes, the 1015B is a workhorse, capable of up to 8.5 hours of operation on its battery. A 250GB hard drive provides a decent amount of storage, though other netbooks have upped the ante with 320GB drives.
While netbooks achieve their bargain-basement prices by cleaving off features, the Asus Eee PC 1015 still manages to deliver a few useful bells and whistles. There’s a built-in Web camera (0.3-megapixel resolution), microphone and stereo speakers, so you can conduct your Skype calls and video chats. The netbook also comes with a free 60 day trail of Asus WebStorage – a “cloud” based service that lets you store your files online in the event you lose data to a hard drive crash.
Asus Eee PC 1015B Bottom Line
The Asus Eee PC 1015B delivers a decent computing package at an attractive price. It’s slender and light, with a stand-out battery performance. You shouldn’t expect its 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM to power you through the latest 3D games or to tackle HD video editing, but for the student or traveler who just needs to get through the day’s emails and spreadsheets, the 1015B should fit the bill nicely.