Laptop Reviews: Asus Eee PC 1018PB-BK801 and the Toshiba Satellite C655-S5049
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Today we'll be looking at two laptops, the Asus Eee PC 1018PB-BK801 and the Toshiba Satellite C655-S5049. The first offers a netbook form factor, while the second is a budget-priced laptop that comes in at $30 cheaper than the netbook. Which will give you more bang for the buck? Keep reading.
The Asus Eee PC 1018PB-BK801 is a 10.1-inch netbook that offers competitive performance, a standard feature set, and a satisfactory design. The 1018PB-BK801 is available at retail stores for $379.99. It comes with a standard one-year warranty on parts and labor.
A 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 processor with 512 KB of L2 cache powers the 1018PB-BK801. This processor is nothing special, and is found in many netbooks currently on the market. The N450 processor gives the 1018PB-BK801 a performance that is similar to that of competing netbooks. It will suffice for common daily tasks such as composing email, surfing the web, editing documents, and some multimedia. Avoid running too many applications at once, or you will notice definite performance hiccups. Only 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM is on board to help with multitasking, although it can be upgraded to 2 GB once the netbook is finally in your hands.
A good amount of storage is handled by a 250 GB hard drive. Graphics are supported by an Intel UMA card. Battery life on the 1018PB-BK801 is quite good. You can expect to receive around eight hours of usage on a full charge if you are not performing too many intense activities. Otherwise, expect less than the rated eight hours. Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition is the operating system that comes pre-installed.
The additional features of the Eee PC 1018PB-BK801 are highlighted by 802.11n Wi-Fi. This is a must for any netbook, especially since the device is normally purchased by frequent travelers. For video chatting, the netbook comes equipped with an integrated 0.3-megapixel webcam and microphone. If you need to transfer data from other devices such as digital cameras, there is a 3-in-1 memory card reader on board. The reader accepts formats such as MultiMediaCards, SD cards, and more. If you want extra entertainment on the go, you will have to invest in an external DVD drive, as the 1018PB-BK801's small size cannot accommodate a built-in drive.
The look of the 1018PB-BK801 is mostly standard, although it does incorporate a brushed metal finish on its lid and wrist rests that adds a nice aesthetic touch. The netbook is very portable and great for travel, measuring 10.3 inches wide by 7.1 inches deep by 0.9 inch thick and weighing just 2.4 pounds. The 10.1-inch display has a resolution of 1,024 x 600. Although there are netbooks out there with higher resolutions, the 1018PB-BK801's display does produce good graphics and vibrant color.
The keyboard is relatively spacious for a netbook. It features wide keys that are flat and easy to type with. The touch pad is also spacious and responsive. It has a scrolling area along its right side and also supports some multi-touch gestures. Last, but not least, is the netbook's connectivity. You will find the standard fare here, with a VGA port and a USB port on the left side. Meanwhile, the right side houses the media card reader, microphone and headphone jacks, two extra USB ports, and an Ethernet port.
The Asus Eee PC 1018PB-BK801 is a solid choice for those looking for an entry level netbook. Its price point is a tad high compared to others, but that may be due to its semi-premium brushed metal design. The features and performance are also good enough to make it worth a look for potential netbook shoppers.
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