Asus Eee PC 1015PW Review

If you have a penchant for style, you will love the Asus Eee PC 1015PW. It has same specs as much cheaper Asus 1015PEM but looks much more appealing – in terms of looks I mean. The 1015PW surely looks like a high class product. Let us find out more about this dual core netbook in the review!

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Design, Display, Ports

Like the Asus 1015PEM, 1015PW (also known as “Sirocco”) has a tapered matte casing, just much more fancier. Thanks to its unique surface, it does not catches any fingerprints and looks much more expensive than the rest of the Asus netbooks. It is available in three colors – Purple Rain, Gold Dust (I got this one) and Angel Skin which looks a bit too girly for my taste.

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Notice the texture on its lid. Excellent touch.

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Display – The display is glossy and runs at 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. While you can crank it up to 1024 x 768, it makes the screen look squashed. Otherwise, the display is fine for web surfing, video watching and almost anything that does not involves 95-100 percent accurate color reproduction.

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The speakers are located just under the 1015PW which produced good amount of volume for a 10 inch netbook. You can definitely share a YouTube video with the friend sitting next to you.

On the left, you will find power port, VGA and a USB 2.0 port (nope, no USB 3.0).

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On the right, there are two more USB 2.0 ports, LAN, headphone jack, microphone jack, SD card reader and Kensington lock.

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Keyboard, TouchPad

The keyboard is identical to the rest of the (recent) 10.1-inch Asus netbooks (1018p, 1015PEM and so on). It has chiclet style keys which feel solid for a netbook. There is no flex to the layout. However, the keys are a bit small but you will typing with your usual speeds in no time.

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The touch typists are surely going to lament the small and misplaced small right Shift key. This is the only blemish on the otherwise brilliant keyboard. If you can get used to that, you will love the keyboard.

The touchpad measures 3” x 1.6” and has a matte finish to it with a thin chrome strip that has integrated left and right click mouse buttons. I found them to a bit too soft for my liking. However, I love the fact that it does not produces those annoying click (‘tik tik’) sounds.

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(HTC HD2 – my AIRPLANE – ASUS 1015PW – ASUS 1201T – MACBOOK PRO 13)

Performance

Asus 1015PW boasts the dual core Atom N550 processor and before you get your hopes too high, I feel morally compelled to tell you that it does not feel much faster than the Atom N455 or Atom N475. That said, the system booted up fast and its processor seemed much more comfortable with multitasking and apps that use both cores. This is chiefly due to the presence of 4 threads (Atom N450, Atom N455, N475 have 2 threads and 1 core).

Another area where the Atom N550 shines is in the video department. Again, while it struggled to play 1080p videos (locally stored and stream videos), it handled 720p videos with no problem. I tested 720p YouTube on it and it ran smooth as butter (I prefer cheese though). Here is its WEI:

* Processor: 3.2
* Memory: 4.7
* Graphics: 2.9
* Gaming Graphics: 3.0
* Primary Hard Disk: 5.7

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Now, let me talk in terms of benchmarks. I conducted cinebench which is considered as one of the best tests for measuring the performance and here is how it compares with other processors in the market.

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Interestingly, it even surpassed the AMD K125 in terms of CPU processing! Note – The unit I got for review came with 2GB RAM (not 1GB) which is the maximum supported by it.

Battery Life

I used the netbook with brightness set to 50 percent in Windows 7’s balanced mode, high performance settings in SHE (super hybrid engine – Asus’ underclocking / over clocking utility) and was able to get 6 hours and 15 minutes  in web surfing. I did not bother switching to power saving mode as the system started to slow down, thus hampering the ‘user experience’.

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The battery has 4400mAh capacity (47Wh) and its color is same as its body.

 

Specs of the review model:

  • Atom N550 1.5GHz processor
  • Windows 7 Starter operating system (32 bit)
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM (max)
  • 320GB Hard disk
  • 10.1-inch display – 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
  • 1.25kg

Pros:

  • Looks great and expensive
  • Nice keyboard
  • Decent battery life
  • Supports 720p YouTube and local video playback
  • Fast startup (cold boot)
  • Handles multitasking better than single core Atom CPUs
  • Slider on webcam increases privacy

Cons:

  • I hate those mouse buttons
  • No HDMI port – it would have been nice inclusion since it supports 720p video playback
  • No WXGA resolution – stucked at WSVGA
  • No access to HDD (unless you completely disassemble the netbook)


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