We've just got our greasy palms on the brand-new Eee PC S101, netbook, but we really mean it this time. It's that awesome., and it is -- hands down -- the best Eee PC ever ever ever. Yes, we know we keep saying that with every new
Our first impression was that it's extremely well-built, and way more stylish than Asus' standard HP 2133 Mini-Note. The high-gloss mocha-brown lid, brushed aluminium wrist rest and electro-plated frame are all stunning, with the only questionable point being the inclusion of a small Swarovski crystal in each of the hinge edges.. In fact, it's the most stylish netbook on the market -- eclipsing even the
The S101's core specification is very similar to previous Eee PCs. It has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 10.2-inch 1,024x600-pixel display, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three USB ports and D-Sub video output. Surprisingly, it only weighs 1.06kg -- less than an MSI Wind or .
Storage is an interesting issue. The Linux model will come with a 32GB solid-state drive, but the Windows XP version will ship with a 16GB drive plus a 16GB SD memory card. The reason for this -- we're informed -- is that Microsoft won't give Asus as big a discount on the Windows XP licence if it supplies XP on a netbook with SSDs larger than 16GB. Bizarre. Both Linux and XP versions come with 20GB of free online storage.
The S101 uses a four-cell 4,900mAh lithium-polymer battery. This, we're told, is the secret to the laptop's extreme thinness. According to Asus, lithium-polymer batteries can be "shaped almost however we please", hence the 28.5mm thickness. Battery life is estimated at 4 hours, although we'll run our own tests to confirm this.
Asus is pitching the Eee PC S101 at those who want a less toy-like netbook, or anyone who doesn't want expensive alternatives such as the, , Panasonic R7, or even and . Considering these machines can cost in excess of £1,500, the S101's £449 price point isn't so bad.
We'll have a full review in the next day or so. In the meantime, go check out the lovely pictures we've taken. -Rory Reid
It's shiny and brown and pretty. If you don't agree, you're probably dead inside.
It's mad, crazy thin, yo. Asus says using a lithium-polymer battery, which can be shaped any which way the company chooses, helped keep the S101 trim.
Just to ram the point home, here it is next to a standard Eee PC 900.
Its footprint is a little bigger than an Eee PC 900, though. Official dimensions for the S101 are 266mm by 191mm by 28.5-38mm.
The memory card reader is located at the rear. In Windows XP models, this is pre-loaded with a 16GB SD card, which complements the 16GB SSD inside.
One of the best things about the S101 is the keyboard. It's absolutely fantastic -- so easy to touch-type on.