Take a brief glance at the 1005HA and you'll have trouble telling it apart from its pricier sibling. The glossy lid and smooth sleek design combine to make the 1005HA unmistakeably gorgeous.
Put the stablemates next to each other, however, and the differences are glaringly obvious. Indeed, where the 1008HA's captive battery allows it to remain impossibly slim, the 1005HA has a removable battery and this makes it more than a centimetre thicker.
It's a sacrifice worth making for the extra stamina on offer, not to mention the ability to carry around multiple batteries for long journeys. You probably won't need to resort to buying a spare, however, as its 4400mAh battery manages 6hrs 34mins on its own.
The 1005HA doesn't lose much in the way of features. Bluetooth disappears to make some room in the budget, but draft-n wireless is still present. The larger chassis also accommodates an extra USB port, bringing the complement up to a total of three.
The keyboard can't match those of Samsung's netbooks, but it's very close. With the keys stretching right to the very edges of the chassis, both the feel and layout is superb.
The dimpled trackpad might feel a little odd at first, but quickly proves very usable, and even manages to squeeze in a scroll zone along its right-hand edge.
The matte display is the only mild disappointment. Just like Samsung's NC10, the matte panel keeps reflections to a minimum at the cost of a noticeable grain across the panel. It struggles to differentiate both the lightest and darkest of shades too. But, this is no deal-breaker, and especially not considering the high brightness and strong colour reproduction.
In the final reckoning, it's easy to overlook the 1005HA's less-than-stellar display. It's a good-looking, incredibly well-featured netbook at a price that leaves many of the pricier models on test looking distinctly out of touch with reality.
Samsung's N110 noses ahead at the final furlong, but Asus deserves hearty congratulations for keeping the low-cost netbook dream alive.