Review: The New ASUS Eee PC S101

When ASUS first released their mini laptops (with the smallest storage spaces, at a meager 2 gigabytes), the company established itself as one of the first to reach and supply a truly international market. However, with the advent of more and more mini laptops or “netbooks”, just how is ASUS faring against the less expensive rivals?

The new ASUS Eee looks promising; it has increased storage capacity, more features, and even that rare VGA port that everyone is still missing with the newer mini-laptop assemblies. The S101, though more expensive than the others in the Eee line-up, is decidedly more powerful, and is built for more intensive work than the first ones.

For example, the S101 has a larger screen, and has a more streamlined external architecture, with smooth corners and a thinner look. The new Eee has a 10 inch screen (as opposed to the smaller screens of the mini-Eee models) and has a more type-able keyboard. Larger keyboards mean more space for the hands to move about- something that everyone could use, especially the ones who are suffering from so-called “fat finger-ness”.

Specifications and Performance

If you’re looking for a comfortable working laptop, the S101 definitely has something going with the newly revamped keyboard, which actually feels like a notebook’s own keyboard. But with all this going for the S101, it is extremely light and therefore extremely portable because of its weight: a notch above 1 kilogram.

Being portable, this one has definitely been built to be transported in suitcases and other amply-cushioned bags. The ASUS Eee S101 comes pre-installed with Windows XP Home Edition; which is sort of a let-down for those expecting something more substantial, like Windows XP Professional Edition or even Windows Vista Premium. But there is a reason for this- if you install something more substantial Windows XP Home Edition, the price of the unit will spike upward again.

As for security of the unit, the S101 lacks basic external security measures, like biometric fingerprint readers.

The S101 runs on an Atom processor, running at an ample 1.6 gigahertz. Unfortunately, with the kind of memory this one has, it’s not surprising that it really is more of a business machine than an entertainment machine- the memory is only 1 gigabyte. This memory is enough to play DVDs but not to play memory-intensive games like Doom 3.

There are actually two models to choose from:

  • The first model is the one being described in this review: 1 gigabyte memory, 16 gigabytes of storage space plus the Windows XP Home Edition.
  • The second model has 2 gigabytes of memory, 32 gigabytes or 64 gigabytes of storage space, and is shipped with Linux.

As was mentioned earlier, the choice for the operating system has a lot to do with the over-all cost. Licensing authentic operating systems is actually very expensive.

As for power and battery life, under normal use the battery can last for up to 3 hours, give or take a few minutes. Now, if the user of the laptop uses the S101 for just reading, the battery can last for more than 4 hours, give or take a few minutes again.


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