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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.
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.
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.