Monday, 23 May 2011

Review: Asus Eee PC Seashell Netbook by Karim Rashid

Last week I was lucky enough to get my hands on not one, but two Asus Eee PC Seashell netbooks to play around with and review for you.

At first glance, it is hard to know what to think of these two tiny netbooks. Both wrapped in a 'wave-imitating' plastic, I can 'sea' how they came up with the name (see what I did there?). Though nice to the touch, I do wonder if wrapping a laptop in 'touch and feel' plastic is a tad juvenile, arguably this could be Asus' target market of course. I have to say, the matt-brown netbook reminds me ever so slightly of a chocolate bar, enough to make my tummy rumble. The pink one could easily be mistaken for an Essex handbag, if I'm honest. 

Opening up the Asus Seashell, I was pleased to see one or two shiny pearls hiding inside. For example, blatantly taking some inspiration from Apple, it has a multi-touch trackpad which allows you to scroll and zoom in and out easily. Considering they are only small gadgets and not the easiest to type on, I was glad to find that the keys are raised and well spaced, again taking inspiration from Apple MacBooks. This makes typing on such a small gadget bearable.

However, as I switched on the netbooks, the Seashell sank a little in my opinion. The 10.1 inch screen is a tad clunky and the resolution is ok for a standard netbook, but nothing spectacular. It's not all bad news though, a play around makes it clear that, whilst these are no office computers, they are well designed and targeted at younger audiences.

The 'Eee Dock' at the top of the desktop, with 'Eee Amuse', 'Eee Sharing' and 'Eee Xperience' are clearly aimed at the under 20's, with games and entertainment taking president over setting out documents and day-to-day usability. Again the colours and textures (and we all know how I feel about pink gadgets), are more suited to style conscious teen girls, than anyone else.

If you were to ask me whether or not I would buy one of these for myself, I would say hell no. However, if you were to ask me whether or not I would buy or recommend one of these for a younger relative, or a girly, pink obsessed friend - then the answer is yes. 

As for Karim Rashid, I'm a little bemused as to why a man who designs chairs as beautiful as this for Magis, created a wavy, sea inspired netbook range for Asus?

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