Asus Eee PC 1015PEM review

13 Dec 2010

Asus shows its pedigree with a netbook that's stylish, usable, practical and affordable

Asus Eee PC 1015PEM
Price when reviewed: 
300(£300 inc VAT)
4

Asus kickstarted the whole netbook craze back in 2007, but it hasn't rested on its laurels since. Its netbooks have continued to impress, and the latest addition to the firm's Seashell range of netbooks is no exception.

The 1015PEM makes a very good first impression. Its curvy chassis has a clean, bright, white finish all over (aside from the black screen surround), and the whole thing looks elegant and expensive. It isn't the daintiest netbook, measuring a fairly chunky 36.5mm at its thickest point, and weighing 1.27kg, but build quality is solid; for us, it strikes a good balance between portability and hardiness.

The clean white finish extends to the Scrabble-tile keyboard, and while you'll have to work hard at keeping it clean, it's generally a pleasure to use. The keys feel comfortable under the hand and the touchpad is extremely responsive too. Even the addition of a rocker-style button doesn't detract from the usability, which is impressive given they're usually one of our pet peeves.

Asus Eee PC 1015PEM

Internally, the line-up of components is as you'd expect, with one of the latest Intel's 1.5GHz dual-core Atom N550 processors, and 1GB of DDR3 RAM on board. Applications run smoothly in Windows 7, and the addition of the dual-core technology means that it's noticeably more responsive when running multiple applications than a single-core Atom. The overall benchmark score of 0.42 indicates, however, there still isn't much raw power on tap.

There's plenty of storage, with a generous 250GB hard disk, and the 10.1in 1,024 x 600 matte-finish screen is bright and clear too, but it's the 1015PEM's range of connections that really stands out. There are two USB 3 ports (a first for netbooks) one USB 2 port, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11bgn Wi-Fi. Asus doesn't scrimp on the battery either, with a six-cell 5,200mAh battery in place, going for an impressive 9hrs 5mins in our light-use test.

It's hard to fault this stylish little netbook: it delivers on all fronts and it comes in a good price too. At £250 exc VAT, the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM is an excellent choice for anyone looking for style and performance without breaking the bank.

Details

Price ex VAT £255
Price inc VAT £300
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4
Performance 2

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 262 x 178 x 36.4mm (WDH)
Weight 1.272kg
Travelling weight 1.5kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N550
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 3150

Drives

Hard disk Seagate ST9160314AS
Battery capacity 5,200mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
USB ports (downstream) 1
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 9hr 5min
Battery life, heavy use 6hr 13min

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
OS family Windows 7