Netbooks are pretty easy to come by these days but one gripe I've always had about them was their awful battery life which for most netbook owners is around 2 to 3 hours. All in all pretty comparable to a regular  full sized backbreaking notebook which seems to make the selling point of power sipping Atom processors being able to consuming significantly less power for longer uptimes away from the mains a bit pointless really.

Even the term notebook suggests something fuss free, slim, light and easily held in your hand whilst on the move which is far from the reality of the lap burning slabs were more used to which netbook have kind of helped us gradually move away from for computer notebooks to finally actually begin to resemble something like an actual notebook in size and portability.

In the initial rounds of their release onto the market beyond Sony's been there, done that, worn the t-shirt but not so cheaply supplying to a niche segment status, the designs on them were a lot to be desired to say the least. In fact I'll go further to even say they all looked like they'd been beaten with an ugly stick and told they could go to the ball for all the more eye pleasing designs worth drooling over being left on the drawing board as mere concepts limited by constraints of budget, politics due to other devices currently on the market, and specification of hardware limitation in order to bring it to market at a reasonable price within the original intent. Also as I mentioned some time back one of the other main claims for trying to bring netbooks to market being that they were also meant to be an exercise in helping to recycle usable surplus electronics and computing components that would have otherwise just been wasted at the time. As to how true this is today is only known by the manufaturers themselves.

Obviously power users wanting a better viewing experience via a larger screen will just have to put up with the slabs for obvious reasons, since its definately a better alternative to lugging a full blown desktop around with you. But if internet browsing, light office work and light media viewing is your main intention then read on.

But now it’s a different story. Asus seems to have now finally delivered with a design that seems to borrow a little from the now relatively long released but not forgotten Macbook Air with its tapered and subtly cambered contours with their Sea shell range. Throw in one of the latest Intel N450 Atom processors clocking in at 1.66Ghz thats claimed to be even more power sipping then the previous generations (whilst slightly upping the speed) and a multi-touch trackpad, and you've got something that barely resembles the first relaunch of the netbook genre in its more accessible form. Sure the Asus 1001P/px claims up to 11 hours of uptime without any mains outlet lovin' but I reckon that the longer uptimes are most likely going to be down to the fact it comes with a larger battery capacity then any nominal improvemnts in power efficiency over the previous iteration of the Atom (although very much appreciated and commendable all the same). At a guess you'd most probably expect to get around 8 or 9 hours out of it but hopefully actual users of Asus 1001P's will prove me wrong and will get something close to 11 hours. But anything opto or more then 8 hours would be amazing compared to the 2 or 3 hours most people are used to.

With this they've gone for the carbon look over the gloss finish. Meaning it won't scratch as easily and will generally be a little more durable. It'll definately look good for longer without you needing to constantly wipe it down of smear marks and fingerprints amidst any potential constant on the go use. The problem with plastic gloss surfaces is that even if you'd been extra careful not to get any scratches on it, it'll most likely still accumulate those all annoying fine scratches that become more pronounced over time with the general cleaning of it which is not so much of a problem with glass. However with glass you've got the problem of potentially shattering more easily. Basically I reckon the carbon look over the gloss finish was a good idea given its intended pattern of usage on this thing. I guess if you just want a straight forward netbook experience then the versions pre-installed with Windows 7 starter will do just fine. However for others the XP version might be better for all those that want to have a broader range of compatibility with useful but slightly older applications that won't run on 7.
All this for just over 200 GB pounds which undercuts the competition with the exact same or even lesser specs by almost half in terms of pricing, and with a much better eye pleasing design to boot.(plus others won't have a multi-touch track pad like this does, although I can't actually think what I would need a multi-touch trackpad for)

Specs break down like this...

- 1.66GHz N450 Intel Atom processor
- 10 inch LED 1024x600 screen
- 1GB DDR2 ram (2GB max)
- Wired LAN
- Wireless LAN 802.11b/g @2.4GHz
- Bluetooth
- 0.3MP Webcam
- Lithium ion 6 cell 11 hour battery
- 1.27Kg with 6 cell battery
- 2xUSB 2.0 ports
- XP home
- Dual OS for instant on and instant internet browsing with expressgate


229 quid here with XP Home.
Asus 1001PX 10.1 inch netbook (Atom N450 1.6GHz, 1Gb, 160Gb, LAN, WLAN, Camera, Win XP Home (Black))

239 quid here with Windows 7 starter. Asus 1001PX 10.1 inch netbook (Atom N450 1.6GHz, 1Gb, 160Gb, LAN, WLAN, Camera, Win 7 Starter (Black))

... or if you prefer it in white with Windows 7 start try here. Asus 1001PX 10.1 inch netbook (Atom N450 1.6GHz, 1Gb, 160Gb, LAN, WLAN, Camera, Win 7 Starter (White))