Asus Eee PC X101H review: Asus Eee PC X101H

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Typical Price: $399.00

Asus Eee PC X101H

(Part #: CNETAsus Eee PC X101H)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Slimmer form factor. Inexpensive.

The Bad Same old netbook performance. Battery life could be better.

The Bottom Line Asus has only tinkered around the edges of its netbook design with the Eee PC X101H. It's a fairly priced model, but it's getting hard to get excited about netbook performance any more.

6.1 Overall

Design

The all-white Asus Eee PC X101H sent in to us looks like much of the rest of Asus' long line of Eee PC models when open; you're still talking the basics of a small notebook with a 10.1-inch LCD display. Where the X101H stands out is in how thin and light it is; where many previous netbook models have tended towards the small and chunky side, the X101H is relatively slender, with dimensions of 262x180x22mm and a stated carrying weight of 1kg. It gives the unit a slender, almost ultrabook kind of feel, but at a fraction of the asking price. One caveat with this particularly thin device is that the power plug for the X101H is very thin, and this makes it a little bit fiddly to plug into the system.

Features

So how can Asus offer up the X101H with an ultrabook form factor at a fraction of the cost? As with everything else that could be called a netbook, it's because it's not a performance machine. Underlying its thin exterior is a 1.6GHz Intel N455 processor, 1GB RAM and the Intel GMA 3150 graphics processor; in other words, a very simple solution for a very simple netbook. Connections on board include VGA, 2x USB 2.0, Ethernet, audio and an SD/MMC card reader, and from a networking viewpoint it's got 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. With only 1GB of RAM on board, it's not surprising that the offered operating system is Windows 7 Starter Edition 32-bit; while Asus does offer a variant of this hardware running MeeGo, this isn't that particular machine.

The resolution of 1024x600 is frankly frustrating — with many applications designed for something taller, we miss the 1366x768 resolution that had crept into some netbooks, meaning less window-repositioning acrobatics just so you can hit an "OK" button.

Performance

The X101H performs exactly as you'd expect a netbook to. The keyboard is small but acceptable for short form work. The 1024x600-pixel display is acceptable for most tasks, but not stunning. Even from a benchmark viewpoint there are few surprises, with a PCMark05 score of 1382 and a 3DMark06 score of 152. Netbooks have never been huge performance machines, and the X101H doesn't buck that trend.

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