Home' LAPTOP Magazine : December 2011 Contents Netbooks
ASUS is attempting to breathe new life into the
netbook market with the ASUS Eee PC X101. Powered
by the MeeGo operating system, this machine
offers deep social networking integration and
extreme portability for less than $200.
The ASUS Eee PC X101 is a vision in white. The
matte white plastic lid has a textured pattern remi-
niscent of canvas, with a chrome ASUS logo resting
in the center. The netbook’s interior completes the
all-white aesthetic with a canvas pattern displayed
on the palm rest and the top of the deck.
We found it difficult to type on the X101’s
island-style keyboard. Despite the generous spac-
ing between the keys with rounded corners, their
small size—including an extremely undersized
right Shift and Backspace keys—made it too easy
to miss the mark. Feedback on the keyboard was
slightly mushy, and there was a noticeable amount
of keyboard flex.
The ASUS Eee PC X101’s 10.1-inch 1024 x 600
resolution screen was moderately bright, achiev-
ing clear, vibrant images. Text on CNN.com and
Laptopmag.com was sharp and clear, but watching
video was a mixed bag. While we saw deep rich
reds and golds in the 480p YouTube videos of The
Immortals and The Three Musketeers, when we
attempted to view the trailers in 720p we noticed
Located on the bottom of the unit, the netbook’s
speakers were unable to fill a small room. When
we listened to Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1,000
Dances,” we heard clear and sufficiently loud
vocals. The horns and guitar were equally clear,
but we noticed that the X101 couldn’t compete
with background noise.
Getting MeeGo started on the X101 was pretty
fast and intuitive. After a 25-second boot, it took
about 10 minutes to get everything up and running.
Aside from installing DropBox and OpenOffice and
reading and accepting software user agreements,
most of our time was spent signing into our social
networking outlets including Facebook, Flickr,
Google Talk, and Twitter.
At first glance, the MeeGo OS will look and feel
quite foreign. Instead of a traditional desktop,
MeeGo takes us to MyZone, an interactive hub
with a major focus on social networking. However,
after a few minutes of use, we found MyZone
intuitive and easy to use.
The MeeGo UI displayed
our Twitter and Facebook feeds
on the home screen via two
large, dedicated widgets that
updated every few seconds.
A set of icons including ASUS
App Store, DropBox, E -mail and
Messenger sits in a 3 x 3 grid
in the top-left corner. The right
side of the hub displayed a few
of our most recent activities (i.e .
web surfing, videos, images) in
three large squares comprised
of an image and title.
Overall, MeeGo’s stripped-
down presentation made apps
and files easy to locate and
manage. Our biggest complaint
is the time it took to switch
between apps (a little clock
appears to let you know
when you’re going to wait).
Should You MeeGo?
the AsUs eee PC X101 offers extreme portability and a fresh interface for $199,
but the cramped keyboard and short battery life give us pause.
There were quite a few instances where it took
upwards of five seconds to switch between tabs.
On a few occasions, the OS froze, forcing us the
reboot the netbook.
ASUS claims that in optimal settings, the X101
should offer up to 4 hours battery life. In our tests,
the system lasted 3 hours and 25 minutes. The
HP Mini 1103 and the Samsung NC110 easily
outlasted the X101, clocking in 8:27 and 7:08,
The ASUS Eee PC X101 is a sleek and ultra-
light netbook with an engaging and intuitive
interface. We also like how the MeeGo OS puts
social networking front and center. However, we
were turned off by the cramped keyboard, slug-
gish performance, and short battery life. Yes,
$199 is cheap, but you can get a better-equipped
Windows netbook with much more storage and
endurance for just $30 more. — Sherri L. Smith
To navigate MeeGo’s UI, we used the top toolbar, which offers access to various parts of the OS.
CPU: 1.33 -GHz Intel Atom N435 operat-
ing system: MeeGo RAM/expandable to:
1GB/ 1GB Hard Drive size: 8GB Display
size/Resolution: 10.1 inches/1024 x
600 Graphics/Video Memory: Intel GMA
3150/256MB shared Wireless: 8 0 2.11b /g / n ,
Bluetooth3.0 Ports: Two USB 2.0 , headphone,
mic Card slots: micro SD size: 10.3 x 7.1 x 0.7
inches Weight: 2 p o u n d s Warranty/support:
One-year limited/24/7 toll-free phone
Sleek white design
Intuitive MeeGo OS
Some performance lag
Short battery life
Just 8GB of memory
Laptop | December 2011
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