19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2011
I've had about a week to play and work with my new ASUS Meego X101 and I must say that I am quite impressed with it's quality for costing only $200.
Right off the bat, I want to point out that I threw out the built-in Linux Meego operating system in favor of Ubuntu 11.10. Meego is a great, user-friendly OS for those who are not familiar with Linux; however, for those who want more, I can confirm that Ubuntu operates smoother than ever on the X101. Both OS' come with pre-installed full versions of office, mail, and entertainment software that are fully compatible with a Windows and Mac machine. I've heard you can run Windows 7 on this netbook as well but why would you want to go and do that?
The most amazing feature of the X101 is its size and design. It's roughly the same size and thickness as a Macbook Air with a textured outside that resists smudges and fingerprints. The battery pack is easily replaceable as well as being small and unobstructive. Not everything is perfect about the design, though. The X101 loses a star for its keyboard and mouse which are not ergonomical to say the least. The keys have to be small; I understand that. But the layout of the keys cause you to frequently mistype, especially considering the Back Space and Delete keys are small and virtually next to one another. Furthermore, the mouse buttons are not really buttons at all. They are built into the touchpad, meaning you often have to guess whether or not you're clicking or accidentally making a touch gesture. Nonetheless, these blemishes are not deal-breakers, they simply require some getting used to.
As far as performance is concerned, the X101 continues to impress me. It comes equipped with the latest Intel Atom micro-processor. The fact that it boots in under 8 seconds is mind-blowing (with both Meego and Ubuntu). While not screaming raw performance, it multi-tasks surprisingly well for its size. I can listen to my music--either streamed or personally owned, browse the web, and do my office work without any noticeable slow downs. The web browsing, by the way, is also surprisingly fast. Even graphic and animation intensive sites load in little-to-no time. There are slight hiccups while streaming video off of sites such as YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu; however, netbooks such as these are not meant to stream videos such as these. If you're in the market for portable entertainment, upgrade to a laptop or a tablet.
The battery life is about average, commonly running 4.5 hours. Both Meego and Ubuntu OS' have smart, battery-saving operations such as automatic dim and plug-in disabling which help extend the life of the battery. Fortunately, as mentioned before, both the battery and its AC adapter are very small and easy to carry.
Overall, I would recommend the X101 to those who are looking for portable office solutions; those who want to be able to check e-mail or type-up documents on the go without having to carry around an entire office. Some of the design features are hard to get used to, such as the keyboard and mouse, which can always be remedied by buying and external USB mouse. For $200, this is the best value netbook on the market I have ever owned or tested. Nothing about it feels cheap. There are a lot of cheap electronics in the market; however, there are not a lot of good cheap electronics. This, fortunately, is one of them.
(By the way, this was typed on my X101)
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2011
I picked up one of these at a brick and mortar store. I had ecently handled a friend's Macbook Air and was exceedingly jealous of its size and weight. So for 6 times less the cost of a Macbook Air I got exactly what I wanted: A thin netbook that is light as a feather. But to cost 6 times less, some compromises must be made. The disk size is 8 GB, which is big enough to hold your operating system and some documents. It is solid state though and you can upgrade via any mini PCIe SSD. 32GB disks go for about $90 as of this writing. I keep a 16 GB MicoSD card in the MicoSD slot that holds my music and movies. The OS is Meego, which is a Linux system recently abandoned by Intel and Nokia. It has a little app marketplace, but I didn't explore it for more than a few minutes. I uninstalled Meego and replaced it with openSUSE 11.4 which not only runs faster, but gets better battery life. Linux Mint 11 was also tried with great success. The CPU is the Intel Atom N435, which is a budget CPU, even for netbooks. It is single core, dual threaded, with a clock speed of 1.00 to 1.33 GHz. It won't break any speed records, and high def movies on the web will likely studder. However, standard definition movies play just fine. The display is bright and crisp. It has a matte finish which makes it better for using outside as compared to glossy screens. The sound is delivered through a single speaker on the bottom. The speaker isn't too quiet, but the placement on the bottom muffles the sound somewhat. The laptop itself feels somewhat cheap and plasticy. However unlike the Macbook Air, the case won't dig into your hands. The keyboard feels cheap and is laid out funny. Gone are the F1 to F12 keys at the to row. They are now function keys which are accessed by holding down the Fn key. I personally welcome this change, but it does not result in a bigger keyboard. The backspace key is located between the delete key and the = key. The \ key is where you might expect the backspace key. I adapted very quickly to the keyboard but your mileage may vary. This review is being typed on the keyboard. The mouse is functional, but the buttons are extremely loud and cheap feeling. The webcam is a 0.3 megapixel cheap camera that works amazingly well in low light. The battery gets about 4 hours in a real world scenario (WiFi on, surfing the web, reasonable display brightness.)
All in all, for what you pay for. It feels cheap because it IS cheap, currently the cheapest netbook out there and way below the cost of premium tablets which would still not deliver the same performance. I personally love my X101. I feel like it is a return to the roots of the original EEE PC 4G that launched the netbooks. It isn't a Macbook Air or one of the new Ultrabooks, but it is at an untouchable price. If you don't mind a funny keyboard, an underpowered processor, or getting your hands a little dirty dealing with the OS, the EEE PC X101 is a great bargain.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2012
I purchased this little computer for my travels. I'm a frequent traveler, and I wanted something that could play videos and surf the Internet. I also wanted it to be *light*- I travel with only one carry-on-sized backpack, so any additional weight goes straight on my back. Given these requirements, the X101 comes through beautifully. It is thinner than many magazines, just wide enough to accommodate the USB port (although a bit bulgier at the battery), and unimaginably light. The (8GB) solid-state hard drive ensures that the OS won't be borked by being jostled around, which is important when you're tossing your bag on and off public transport, or riding re-purposed school buses around Belize and Guatemala (which is what my summer should look like.)
I want to make clear that there are a few caveats here. First, the click buttons (really, sections of the touchpad) are loud and take significant force. Get used to tapping the touchpad, and I find it's often easier to use the context menu key for right-clicks. Second, the keyboard will take a little getting used to. It's laid out slightly differently, and it seems to take a bit more force on a keypress than my usual laptop. I've gotten used to it over the course of the last several days, however, and can now manage nearly full typing speed on it (although I wouldn't want to use it for extensive data entry). Third, I have no experience with the included MeeGo OS. I wiped it in favor of XUbuntu, which runs quite snappily on the device. It's quite easy to do, and I recommend it. All you'll need is a blank USB drive, or USB CD drive. Every piece of hardware works 100% out of the box with Linux, so geeks like myself can rejoice.
The matte finish is a nice touch. The speaker isn't the best, but the sound from headphones is crisp and clear. The display brightness will get *very* dark and *very* bright, and the screen is matte rather than glossy, making this the perfect machine for toting about in daylight. Battery life is in the 3 hour range, which doesn't bother me too much. Everything else works just as you'd expect, and it's a fantastic deal for $200- especially if you'd rather eschew tablets in favor of a real computer.