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Asus Eee Seashell 1015BX review

Inexpensive, but how much bang do you get for your buck?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 600
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good value
  • Decent storage
  • HD video playback
  • Excellent battery life

Against

  • Grainy screen
  • Poor performance
  • Limited RAM

Continuing the Seashell line, the 1015BX isn't a radical departure from previous generations in terms of looks, but it uses an AMD processor.

There are three different processors available for this model - as well as the dual-core 1GHz C50 unit we're using here, there's also a 1.2GHz single core C30 and a C60 1GHz dual-core too. The middle unit we're using appears tremendously slow, however. Installing apps is a real drag, and even basic desktop functions can take a while to sort themselves out.

That said, a Windows 7 laptop (the Starter edition of the OS 7, admittedly) costing just north of £200 is a bargain by any standards. Despite its lack of grunt, it can play back HD video without fuss. That's thanks to the graphical component of AMD's Radeon HD 6250 processor. 1080p HD video is handled without issue.

The downside is that the laptop doesn't have the resolution to handle it at 1,024 x 600. The screen is also a little grainy for our liking - something that we also noticed on previous Eee generations.

If you're interested in outputting HD to a larger display, however, you are able do that via an HDMI port - a recent inclusion in netbook-level machines.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 453 minutes
Cinebench: 1299
3DMark 2006: 1880

Fuss-free HD

Connectivity is something Asus has thought about. As with previous generations of the Eee Seashell there's a VGA monitor port, Ethernet port with pull-down flap and an SD card slot.

Storage isn't too much of an issue, with 320GB on offer, though we would have thought that a bit more memory than 1GB would be a bonus - Windows 7 Starter can support up to 2GB.

The battery life is very impressive at seven and a half hours. We were, quite frankly, amazed that Asus' claims stood up to our tests. But power efficiency has always been a real boon of the Eee line and it's noticeable and a testament to the low power AMD chip that the air coming out - as well as the unit itself – doesn't get too warm even under extreme load.

Aesthetically, the Seashell chassis is appealing, with a glossy black lid and great keyboard that's easy to type on - it doesn't present you with the usual netbook keyboard issue of the keys being too close together.

As with its UX31 and UX21 Zenbooks, Asus has also included a lightweight power adapter with the unit, a superb addition.

Verdict

So should you buy the Eee Seashell? It depends what you're in the market for. If you need a cheap machine for casually looking up websites in the living room, or perhaps watching some online video, it's extremely good value.

If you're looking for something to use for work, performing various file edits or working in spreadsheets then it isn't quite up to the job.

But, it must be said, at half the price of many standard laptops, the 1015BX is fantastic value - providing it will do what you need.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6290
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time7.50 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEee PC 1015BX
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Processor ModelC-60
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Starter with SP1
Brand NameAsus
Processor Speed1 GHz
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.29 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-800/PC3-6400
Height36 mm
Width262 mm
Depth178 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series1015BX
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product Model1015BX-BLK215S
Product NameEee PC 1015BX-BLK215S Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineEee PC
Aspect Ratio128:75
Manufacturer Part Number1015BX-BLK215S
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing InformationSuperior performance with the AMD dual core processor

The latest AMD Brazos C60 processor provides users an unprecedented experience of the all new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). The APU combines a high performance CPU and discrete GPU giving users the best in multimedia enjoyment. With the super low power consumption that the Eee PC 1015BX draws, you can have fun anytime, anywhere.

Unbelievable HD multimedia experience

With the embedded AMD Radeon HD 6250/6290 graphics, the Eee PC 1015BX provides users the best portable multimedia enjoyment for its size. DirectX 11 support - exceptional 3D performance allows users to play games and video smoother than ever before. Users can enjoy smooth, Full HD 1080p content through the HDMI port to an HD display without any latency. Connect it to a home theater system to enjoy true 7.1 Surround sound playback alongside the Full HD content for the ultimate viewing experience

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Eee PC 1015BX-BLK215S Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter