ASUS 10.1" (160 GB, Atom, 1.66 GHz, 1 GB) Notebook Reviews

ASUS 10.1" (160 GB, Atom, 1.66 GHz, 1 GB) Notebook

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The little netbook that could

Sep 8, 2009 (Updated Sep 8, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:

Pros:Lightweight, compact, powerful, sleek, great wireless range/download speed, long battery life.

Cons:Touchpad can be unreliable at times

The Bottom Line: Great for bloggers and front-end web developers who need something portable, but powerful enough for light graphics and speedy web surfing.


*note: this is the same exact netbook as the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA-PU1X-BK Netbook only in blue.

I needed a portable tool for front end web development with just enough power to perform some light graphics work (touch-ups/resizing/optimization/flash).

Vanity points & appearance...

The netbook is small and light, nicely profiled, no rough edges and you can tell there was a lot of love involved with the design. While I don't think this is the most pimped-out netbook on the market, it does turn heads when I use it in public.

The color is a deep ultramarine with reflective, metallic speckles- almost like car paint. The netbook is a fingerprint magnet, so keep a soft cloth around for cleanup. You should also be careful not to stick the netbook in a bag without protection (the surface will scuff and scratch easily), but it comes with a nice neoprene-like zippered sleeve. No need to buy any protective carrying accessories.


Screen


The screen is wide enough where you won't have trouble viewing websites, but the shorter length may annoy individuals who aren't accustomed to scrolling. Netbooks are only so big and one should be well aware before purchase that a compact size means no screen panoramas. I don't see it as a drawback since I needed something portable, and don't really care too much about viewing poorly designed (and graphically intense) websites that don't respect the 900-1k pixel width limit- pffff, amateurs. Screen resolution is limited but sufficient, and the screen is capable of displaying 32bit colors... 16bit is just fine unless you're creating beefy graphics for which a netbook is wholly inappropriate.

Battery


Battery life is impressive, although the 10 hour claim is a little bit of a stretch. There are a lot of performance settings you can tweak to get more juice out of the little bugger- screen brightness and contrast, power saving mode vs. high performance mode, screen color and resolution, sleep settings, etc. I usually get 7-8 hours doing a lot of websurfing, reading and typing/coding. If you plan to do anything which keeps the hard drive or screen heavily engaged (installing software, copying large media files, streaming media), expect your battery to deplete more readily. I'm glad I paid a little more dough for the extra battery life, it really makes this netbook headache-free.

Ports

There's 3 USB connections, 1 ethernet, heaphone and microphone jack and a monitor connection to hook up with a larger display. Plugs are easily accessable.

Storage

This netbook has a 160gig hard drive but purchase comes with some free online storage (for the initial year, then you have to pay for it going forward) to it is technically more then that. The 10gig online storage isn't really enough to be practical for backups, although it may come in handy for other things (overflow storage, file transfers, etc). There is no CD or DVD drive, but I don't miss it though it makes backups slightly annoying- you need a portable drive or connect it to another computer.

Wireless web


I'm VERY pleased with the download speed and range on this little beastie. On one occasion I was *ahem* forced to borrow some broadband from an unsuspecting halfwit who didn't protect their network (which happened to be named "linksys"- that should tickle some of you in the know), while the signal was supposedly weak (one measly little bar) even moderately graphics-heavy pages loaded instantly- or close to it. If I didn't know better I'd suspect steroids.

Just how much punch?


This little bugger can run CS4- though not very well for resource-heavy tasks. Provided you're not trying to do animation/video editing/heavy graphics, this netbook might make a laptop obsolete. I strongly suggest you upgrade to 2gigs of ram should you decide to install any CS4 application. Ram is so cheap you may as well! For general, light graphics work (for the web) this netbooks fine (provided you buy a mouse). But I wouldn't recommend doing any digital matte painting in photoshop on this thing. It is no replacement for a graphics workstation, so if that's what you need buy something else.

RAM

Speaking of ram, it was easy to upgrade to 2 gigs, but out of the box the Eee netbook only comes with 1 gig- which is certainly enough but if you want it to operate more smoothly you'd want to upgrade the ram. The ram slot is covered by a small, easily accessable panel on the bottom held by a couple of screws, and the ram just snaps in place. Painless!

Touchpad

My only problem thus far has been with the touch-pad. Even after tweaking the sensitivity settings, it can be jumpy and difficult to control precisely. This isn't really a problem for pointing and clicking, but scrollbars are a real pain. I'm not sure if my touch is too light, too heavy, or if the touchpad is just quirky/jumpy on occasion. But for long sustained use I strongly recommend getting a wireless mouse, if not for better control this will prevent hand cramping.

Keyboard

When getting a netbook, again, one should expect a small keyboard. However, it's actually well designed and I don't have any problem typing on it. But I can't speak for someone with large hands.

The verdict

Overall I'm thrilled with my purchase and I use it every day for several hours. It is reliable and surprisingly peppy on 2gigs of ram. My Eee and I are inseparable, hubs is jealous of the time we spend together.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 370
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Other
Processor speed: over 1000
Screen Size: 10 inches
RAM: More than 256
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50


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