The Karim Rashid Collection ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P is not your ordinary Eee PC, it has been revamped by designer Kim Rashid, essentially transforming it into one of the nicest notebooks on the market. Available in hot pink or matte coffee brown, the Karim Rashid Collection ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P is covered in a Digi-wave design that not only looks luxurious, but also feels great because it has a soft-to-the-touch finish that surrounds both its cover and bottom side. The bottom layer of the Digi-wave design is sprinkled with gold glitter, and is made of a soft-to-the touch upper layer that is covered in translucent rubber paint. The design also includes Karim Rashid’s signature to the right of the trackpad. The body also measures just 1″ thin and weighs 2.46lbs. Under the hood you also get your standard Intel Atom N450 processor, Wireless N, Bluetooth, a 320GB hard drive 2GB of ram, a 1.3 megapixel camera, 2 USB ports, a mini VGA connector, and a memory card reader. Speaking of all of the ports, another subtle touch of the 1008P’s design is that all of its ports are concealed by its Digi-wave design.
The Eee PC Seashell Karim Rashid Collection reflects Karim and ASUS’ view that function, material, form, performance, texture, color and ease-of-use are inseparable in any object of beauty. It is designed to stimulate all five human senses, including the sense of touch, which is often overlooked in the PC domain. The Eee PC™ Seashell Karim Rashid Collection thus sets itself apart from other netbooks through its innovative finishes that pamper users’ palms and fingertips.
Turning on the netbook for the first time is a pretty arduous process, that is because it took almost a half hour to start up and configure Windows. But after that, shutting down takes about 24 seconds booting up takes an average of 46 seconds. The system earned a 3DMark06 score of just 152 3D Marks and a PCMark05 score of 1529 PCMarks. The system also runs on a dual OS, so it can boot up almost instantly on the Asus Express Gate OS that offers quick access to make Skype calls, browse the web, photos, play online games, and sending instant messages. As for video playback on the 1008P – you can forget about playing back HD videos. 480p is the limit here, and even 480p experiences the occasional stuttering.
The 1008p’s chicklet style keyboard is cramped, but very comfy. This is coming from someone who generally hates netbook keyboards. But the tactile feedback on the keyboard is great and there is a healthy amount of space in between its keys. The system’s multi-touch trackpad also lets you zoom in/out, rotate, page up/down and scroll easily.
We do like that the 1008P sports a 0.1” frameless LED backlit display. Unfortunately the display itself could be better. We think that it doesn’t get quite as bright as it could be, colors don’t pop, and it also suffers from a silveriness/graininess that we’ve unfortunately seen on too many notebooks. That said, it should be just fine for most people, and maybe we are just very picky about displays. The built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam is decent and produced average quality images and video. The included YouCam software comes with cool animations to overlay over your mugshot and also features direct YouTube uploads.
Battery life is supposed to be able to reach unto 6 hours, but with WiFi on and the display set to its brightest setting, we got a little over 3 hours on average.
The system’s speakers are fair, they get the job done, they aren’t too tinny and are pretty balanced, that said, they don’t get very loud and lack bass.
The system comes with an extra 500GB of online ASUS WebStorage which you can use to access, share and back up files and media. It also comes preloaded with free trial of trend micro internet security, Adobe Reader 9, Boingo, Cyberlink YouCam, Dr. Eee, an Eee Dock that offers quick Access to some bundled applications and settings, Skype, Microsoft Works, Game Park, and a 60 day trial of Microsoft Office. We recommend downloading Intel’s AppUp for access to more netbook optimized software. We especially appreciated that the system actually comes with a physical Windows 7 disc, which is something that many netbooks and laptops don’t include anymore.
At the end of the day, the Karim Rashid Collection ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P is a beautiful, if not, spectacular netbook. As a matter of fact, this little netbook is so lovely that it resembles a luxury gadget. Overall, the Karim Rashid Collection ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P is bit more expensive than the average netbook, but the extra cost is worth it since it looks good enough to be a clutch purse – kind of like the Vivienne Tam Edition netbook. That said, it is let down by a mediocre display and battery life. You can pick up the Karim Rashid Collection ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P for $419 at NewEgg. NewEgg also has the Targus Black 10.2″ Slipskin Peel Netbook Case available for $19.99 which makes a great fit for the Karim Rashid Collection ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008P netbook.
Special thanks to Newegg for providing this loaner unit to review.
The Good: Looks like a luxury laptop, its stylish finish offers a great grip plus concealed port, chicklet-style keyboard has great tactile feedback
The Bad: Battery life could be better, mediocre display