Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005HA netbook

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POWER CONSUMPTION

The 1005HA has a a power management utility called Asus Super Hybrid Engine. It has several profiles which set CPU clock speed and voltage.

When plugged into AC:

  • Power Saving: 850MHz, 0.950V (idle), 1.42Ghz , 1.063V (load)
  • High Performance: 1.02Ghz, 0.950V (idle), 1.66Ghz, 1.063V (load)
  • Super Performance: 1.02Ghz, 0.950V (idle), 1.70Ghz, 1.063V (load)
  • Auto: High Performance

When running on batteries, the CPU speed stays downclocked, regardless of load.

  • Power Saving: 850 MHz, 0.950V idle/load
  • High Performance: 1.00Ghz, 0.950V idle/load
  • Super Performance: 1.02Ghz, 0.950V idle/load

The system power consumption was measured by running it off the AC power adapter without the battery. There is some AC/DC conversion loss through the power supply, but it's about the only simple and practical way of measuring notebook power consumption.

System AC Power Consumption Measurements
State
Power Savings Mode
High Perf. Mode
Sleep
1W
1W
Idle (screen off)
9W
9W
Idle (screen on)
10W
10W
CPU load
12W
13W
CPU + GPU load
14W
16W

The power consumption of the 1005HA actually improved over the smaller, less well equipped Asus Eee PC 4G sample from two years ago, which drew 14~17W AC. This is very impressive.

BATTERY RUN TIME

The Seashell 1005HA is equipped with a 6-cell, 63W/h battery that Asus rates for 10.5 hours of continuous use. Actual run time depends so much on the way a notebook is used, so we never take the claimed run time seriously.


The removable 6-cell 63W/h battery is one of the 1005HA's biggest strengths. Note the small cover which provides access to the RAM expansion slot, which can take a 2GB stick of RAM.

To ascertain portable usability on battery power, the 1005HA was used casually in ways that a typical user might do, as well as tested more rigorously. The general impression of battery life was very positive.

In one casual use session, the unit was first fully charged, then unplugged from AC. The screen brightness was set to 50%, a perfectly usable setting that would help maximize run time. The system was used initially for a couple of hours for email and web browsing, then left on for it to fall into sleep mode by itself. It was awakened periodically to check email, web browse, view video clips, etc. Used in this way, the battery lasted nearly three days without needing a recharge. In another similar casual use session, the unit was deliberately powered off between uses; the battery lasted three days off a single charge.

More controlled tests for were also conducted for surfing the web and watching movies. Critical and Low battery power management actions were disabled, so the system would simply shut down once the battery was exhausted. Super Hybrid Engine was left on Auto.

For the web browsing test, three websites into Firefox on separate tabs: Google News, Yahoo News, and CNN International. Using the ReloadEvery add-on, the tabs were set to perform a staggered reload once every minute, the equivalent of refreshing a page every 20 seconds.

For video playback, an XVID encoded AVI (1324kbps video, 448kbps AC3 audio) files was played with VLC Player, one of the more efficient media players for files of this type. WiFi and Bluetooth were disabled during video playback.

Battery Run Time (hrs & mins)
Web browsing
8:18
XVID playback
6:34
Battery Charge
2:03

Our web browsing test may be a bit more extreme than that of other reviewers, most of whom obtained longer run times with the 1005HA. (A web page refresh every 20 seconds for over 8 hours is not "normal"; it's probably close to the behavior of a hyped up teen.) Regardless, these are excellent run times and suggest that for more typical use, the Asus 1005HA can run the length of the daylight hours.

ACOUSTICS & HEAT

A small cooling fan ran almost continuously in the 1005HA. It's overall quality was smooth and benign, with very little in the way of annoying tonality. The overall level was also quite modest, about 24 dBA at the ISO 7779 standard seated user measurement distance (about 0.6 meters from the center of the keyboard). The idle noise of the hard drive was obscured by the fan noise except when it was seeking or writing intensely, when some drive chatter would become somewhat audible. Surprisingly, the fan rarely shut off. When it did (mostly just after turn on when ambient was cool), the noise level fell to ~18 dBA at 0.6m, quiet enough not to be noticed except in the dead of night in a quiet bedroom.

Noise was generally not perceived to be an issue. For a computing device whose foremost quality is mobility, the overall noise level does not have to be very low for it to be quiet enough. An ultra mobile notebook will be used in many places with acoustics that are noisy and well beyond the control of the user. The Seashell 1005HA could always be described as quiet, in any acoustic ambient.

Like all laptops, the bottom of the unit became warm over long use, but it never felt much more than warm, which means it probably did not exceed 40°C by much. This was in ambient temperatures of 22~26°C. The small size of the netbook actually makes in-lap use quite awkward, and except in unusual circumstances, it is hard to imagine anyone intensely using a 1005HA (or any other 10" netbook) in his lap for very long.



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