Hands on Usage
Now that we have talked a bit about the benchmarks for the performance of the ASUS Eee 1002HA, we can get into some of the most important aspects of a netbook or notebook computer. The performance a computer offers is very important, no matter if you are using a notebook, netbook, or desktop. However, there are many more factors that constitute how good a notebook or netbook is that aren't such an issue with a desktop.
One of the biggest differentiators in the netbook market is the keyboard. With a chassis sized for a 10-inch screen, keyboards on most notebooks are very compressed by normal standards. A netbook can live and die on the market by how well the keyboard works.
With that said, the 1002HA has a fairly decent keyboard. It excels in general typing feel and has nice tactile and audible feedback with a slight click as you push the buttons. There's also a little flex to make things comfortable during extended use.
However, the ASUS 1002HA keyboard still falls short; this no thanks to a very strange layout for the right shift key. Rather than placing the right shift key directly under the enter key and to the right of the question mark key, ASUS moved the shift key all the way to the right of the up arrow. Touch typists and others used to a normal keyboard layout will certainly not like the location of the shift key.
Sure, you can get used to where ASUS crams the shift key, but users shouldn't have to learn a new layout. ASUS has remedied the shift key placement in its newer netbooks, but you should try out a 1002HA in a store before you buy or be ready for a learning curve until you get used to the keyboard placement.
Another important factor to consider with any netbook is the on-board sound system. The 1002HA has a decent sound system given its size. It lacks bass for sure, but there is enough volume that you can comfortably listen to audio from movies and music.
The screen of the netbook is bright and uniformly well lit all around. At times screens will have bright points that can be annoying, but I can say that the 1002HA I tested did not suffer from that issue. The screen was bright, offered good color reproduction and images were clear and sharp. I noticed no issues with pixilation or tearing of images. The most observant may notice that the black levels leave a bit to be desired, but overall the 1002HA has a very good screen.
Another important aspect of a netbook is its track pad. The 1002HA uses a conventional track pad layout with the mouse buttons beneath the track pad rather than beside it like the Acer One. ASUS actually gives the 1002HA one of the best track pads I have tested on any netbook.
The cool thing about the track pad is that it supports multi-touch input and gesture control. You can use one finger to navigate a web page; scrolling a web page is done with two fingers on the track pad and tapping the pad with three fingers acts like right click. The track pad offered good sensitivity and just plain worked well. ASUS has hands down one of the best track pads on any netbook or notebook out there.