Asus Eee PC1005PE, Atom N450 Pinetrail Launch
Eee PC1005PE Bundle and User Experience
What's perhaps the most impressive part of the bundle actually, is the tiny power brick that comes with this Eee PC. It's fittingly minuscule and is indicative of how miserly the machine is with respect to power consumption. More on this topic in our battery power performance section.
Though with respect to its hardware bundle, the Eee PC 1005PE may be a bit sparse, from a software perspective Asus delivers a number of useful utilities to complete the experience. A trial ware version of Trend Micro Internet Security comes installed on the machine but utilities like CyberLink YouCam, which allows you to capture video and stills as well as upload directly to Youtube, offer key functionality to take advantage of the netbook's primary features. Asus also bundles in tools like Eee Splendid for enhancing image quality of video and still images, as well as Asus WebStorage. Asus WebStorage provides consumers an additional 500GB of cloud-based backup storage and its free for the first year. After the first year, the service costs $29/year and your data will reside at an Asus-owned hosting facility. Basic backup software utilities installed on the Eee PC 1005PE can then automate backups of critical data. It's a nice touch actually.
Asus Game Park is yet another Asus-built destination on the web that allows you to download a number of games that are built to run on this Eee PC. These are all pretty much novelty games targeted toward the younger crowd, like Farm Frenzy Pizza Party. For sure these aren't cutting-edge titles, but then again, it's a netbook, so the extent of your gaming experience is definitely going to be limited. It was actually interesting to see what this Eee PC was capable of graphically speaking and though it wasn't much (no Call of Duty here boys and girls), there is actually a 3D engine resident on the Atom N450 and it does have a base level of support for Shader Model 2.0 effects. More on this later as well.
What this new Atom N450-powered machine couldn't do so well, was play streaming flash video content from our distribution partner, Viddler. We fired up a standard resolution video file from HotHardware's archive and it brought the machine to its knees. We're unclear as to why, if NVIDIA and AMD can offload flash to the GPU, that Intel couldn't figure out a way to get their IGP in on the assist for flash decode processing work or at least optimize an algorithm for the processor core. Hopefully with time, Intel can deliver something here in the future. That said, we were able to stream some medium resolution Youtube content as well as content on Hulu, so it wasn't that cut and dry. Viewing flash video content on sites like Viddler, Blip.tv and Vimeo proved very challenging for this little machine, however, to the point that they were pretty much a showstopper.