ASUS Eee PC Seashell Netbook launched in UK

ASUS leads where others follow in the Netbook field

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
London, UK: On Friday, May 15, 2009 ASUS finally launched the Eee PC Seashell 1008HA in Britain. The launch happened on three locations in London's busy Tottenham Court Road, where members of the ASUS marketing team were busy promoting this new Netbook.

Members of the media who attended ASUS' post CeBit event in London a couple of months back got a sneak preview of this new ASUS Netbook though the models then were not as yet for the UK market and indeed all bar one, I believe, were but mock-ups at that time.

Now the time has finally come that the Seashell is going to be available in the UK though the only reservation that I have is the price attached to it of over £350.

I hope, though, to be able to, as the first samples are about now, to be able to get a-hold of one for review in the not too distant future.

The ASUS Seashell 1008HA is extremely thin and light – lighter, I would think than even the ASUS Eee PC 900 – but has a 10-inch screen as compared to the 900's 8.5-inch one.

The operating system currently is XP Home only. The keyboard has much larger keys than the 900, for example; something that people have been asking for, so I understand (it was not me, though), though I personally am happy enough with the keyboard on the 900 as it is as I find that it enables me to type faster than on my full-sized Laptop, for instance.

On the other hand the keyboard on the new Eee PC Seashell is not too big either and it should still be a good size really.

When it comes to the operating system I would rather have Linux on it in the form, ideally, of Ubuntu from Dapper Drake upwards, than any version of Microsoft Windows.

It is said that the battery life of this shiny new Seashell Eee PC is up to 6 hours due to the ASUS exclusive Super Hybrid Engine which optimizes power use.

While I have to pour water on any flames in this issue I would fist have to test out the battery seeing that the one in my Eee PC 900 is not even giving an hour and a half and not the three that it is claimed that it has.

The battery on my Eee PC 900 when fully charged prior to restarting it with only the battery will drop immediately to 80% or even less. I am still awaiting someone telling me what might be the reason for this. It will work a lot better when using the suggestion that a fellow journalist who uses a Netbook from a competitor to start the computer plugged in at the mains and then close the lid and put the machine into hibernations/standby and use it that way.

Having tried this I must say it does work a lot better but, I am sure the battery, in itself should hold a better charge.

Therefore, I am afraid to say, I take claims of battery life with a rather large pinch of salt.

© 2009