When I first pulled the Hercules eCAFE EC-1000W from its package, I really liked the squared edges of the netbook with the silver and blue color scheme going on. I could have done without the floral print on the side of the lid, which makes the machine look a bit too feminine for my tastes. After opening the lid of the netbook up I realized what the big issue with the Hercules eCAFE EC-1000W will be for many netbook users -- the keyboard is tiny.
Most netbooks in the 10.1-inch screen range are able to cram in keyboards over 90% of full size. For some reason Hercules decided to go with a keyboard that looks better than the average netbook keyboard, but has tiny keys. The small keys make typing on the netbook much less comfortable than any other netbook in the size range I have tested.
Keys this small are typically reserved for netbooks in the 7 to 8-inch screen range. The part that seems so strange about the keyboard is that there is plenty of space to make the keys larger, Hercules just didn't. The size of the keys is a big issue for me, but tactile feel from the keys is decent and the keys are all where they are supposed to be.
The screen is glossy as I mentioned before and will produce glare in bright rooms. The glossy screen does well on video playback with good colors and skin tones. Without HD capable graphics the machine won't be showing your favorite HD clips, but SD clips and YouTube look good.
The sound system is average for the class with good volume and sound skewed mostly towards mid-range sounds with decent highs and no bass. The track pad sits in a slight recess in the center of the wrist rest. The buttons are split and sit directly below the track pad. The buttons are recessed a bit too much for my tastes, I often found I was hitting the edge of the recess rather than the buttons when trying to press them.
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