Asus Eee Seashell 1015BX £230
21st Apr 2012 | 08:30
Inexpensive, but how much bang do you get for your buck?
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.
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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.
Battery life: 453 minutes
3DMark 2006: 1880
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.
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.