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on March 13, 2012
I bought this ASUS netbook to use mostly for travel, especially out of the country. I have had it for a week. My overall impression is that this is a well made product that also looks more expensive than it is. It is lightweight, but solid. The setup is automatic, just turn it on and it does the rest automatically and with prompts. There is not too much bloatware, and I removed the Bing Bar and a few ASUS entertainment addons easily. It fits well in the Case Logic 10.2 netbook case and is very portable. It will be very easy to use for travel.

The screen resolution is good, but very angle dependent, and the 10.1 inch screen size is adequate for email, web browsing, looking at photos, etc. Those are going to be the main uses for me, so I am pleased so far. The keyboard is surprisingly easy to use, and I had been concerned about the small size. I find the keys good sized and well spaced.

The battery is lasting about 3 - 3.5 hours from a full charge currently. It is a bit less than advertised.

The computer has an instant on function, which is like a sleep mode, and starts up quickly, both with instant on and from complete shutdown. It is surprisingly fast in opening up web pages and other programs. Windows 7 starter is a pretty basic operating system, but functional and not limiting for me. There is an easy way to change the operating system with a preloaded desktop icon, but I havent't found the need to do this.

Overall, this netbook meets or exceeds my expectations, and I would call it a bargain at $269.

Addendum: I have taken this laptop on multiple trips since owning it, including Europe and South America. It has worked flawlessly. WiFi connections, which are very important in travel, were always detected and connected. This has been a great travel computer, small, lightweight and easy to use with international WiFi connections. I also recently began using Chrome as my web browser. It is much faster than Internet Explorer on this computer.
77 comments| 92 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
My husband bought this "netbook," a small, inexpensive laptop, for his own personal use. But from the moment I first laid eyes on it, I was completely captivated by it, and I've been using it a lot, too. I never imagined a 2.2 pound laptop could be so functional. Here is a list of its main features:

--10.1 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display (some might be bothered by this relatively low resolution, but we do not feel it is a problem)
--1 GB of RAM
--Storage: 320 GB HDD, 3 GB Web Storage
--3 cell, 23 Whr battery
--1.6 GHz Intel Atom N2600 dual core processor
--802.11b/g/n WiFi connection
--0.3 MP webcam
--3 GB of free web storage space
--Multiple Ports: VGA, HDMI (for sending HD video to an external display), 2 USB 2.0 microphone/headphone jacks
--SDHC card slot
--Ethernet jack
--A single mono speaker located on the bottom of the machine whose sound is surprisingly good

Our favorite features:
--Extremely light weight of 2.2 lbs, making it easy on the back when carrying it around
--"Instant On" capability, a real boon to the impatient
--Outer casing of beveled matte plastic, preventing glare, resisting smudging and fingerprints, and creating a very attractive look
--Currently one of the lowest-priced netbooks on the market
--One of the first netbook models with a Cedar Trail processor (developed by Intel Corp. to provide improved battery life)
--Easily handles 1080 p HD video
--Slightly quieter than a regular laptop due to lack of a fan (though its hard driver is louder than a regular laptop, somewhat negating that benefit)
--Can run Windows 7 Home Premium, available through "Windows Anytime Upgrade"
--Can run multiple operating systems, including Linux

Some minor complaints:
--The operating system is Windows 7 Starter edition. Microsoft has fixed a former constraint it contained of being able to only run three programs at a time. However, Microsoft gives this consumer warning, which we have found to be very true: "There's no set limit to how many programs Windows 7 Starter can open at once. But keep in mind that Starter only supports up to 2 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, which can affect your [netbook's] performance if you're running lots of programs at once. A more advanced edition of Windows 7 that can use more RAM will help your [netbook] run multiple programs more smoothly." We purchased Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade. (See more on this subject below in my addendum to this review.)
--It has a relatively small screen for its size compared to bigger laptops.
--It inevitably has a very small keyboard, which means some keys have to serve multiple functions.
--A speed of 1.6 GHz for the processor is rather slow.
--The 1 GB of RAM isn't much for today's needs, and there are no slots to upgrade to 2 GB.
--Even with a Cedar Trail processor, its battery life is only a little over 3 hours, and there is no option to purchase a higher-capacity battery as is the case for larger laptops.
--Without a fan, it can get a bit warm, but not enough to burn you.
--It bogs down running large desktop programs such as Microsoft Office due to insufficient horsepower.

The main reason I rate this netbook at 4 stars rather than 5 stars is that the ability to increase the RAM that it lacks would have significantly increased this netbook's performance at a relatively small upgrade cost. However, I would not rate it lower than 4 stars because this is a terrific piece of equipment if you accept it for what it is--a netbook rather than a full-sized laptop. It is stripped down to the bare minimum in order to keep the weight down and the price low. If you expect too much from it, you'll be needlessly--and unfairly--disappointed.

6/24/12 Addendum: After we purchased Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade, we noticed no appreciable improvement in how many programs we could run effectively. Based on a comment to my review received this date, it occurred to my husband and me that we had only noticed in a general way the RAM issues we'd been having with multiple programs open. We became curious about the specifics and ran several tests of how the functionality of the netbook is affected based on how many programs are open.

Test 1. Using a stopwatch, we timed the netbook's response while opening one program at a time, using that program, and then opening another, until we had 6 total programs open:

1 program open: Took 12 seconds to open Google Chrome (GC). Took 2-3 seconds to respond to commands.
2 programs open: With GC open, took 12 seconds to open Windows Media Player (WMP). Took 10 seconds to respond to commands.
3 programs open: With previous two programs open, took 30 seconds to open Thunderbird mail program (TMP). Took 15 seconds to respond to commands.
4 programs open: With previous three programs open, took 53 seconds to open Internet Explorer (IE). Took 6 seconds to do a search on Google, 22 seconds to bring up a web page when clicking on a link.
5 programs open: With previous four programs open, took 53 seconds to open OpenOffice Write (OOW). Noticeable lag in letters appearing in document when typing words.
6 programs open: With previous five programs open, took 23 seconds to open OpenOffice Calc (OOC). There was a lag of 10 seconds in response to commands. GC now had a response time to commands of 30 seconds and WMP 8 seconds. TMP was slow in typing and took 23 seconds to send mail. IE took 15 seconds to open a tab and 25 seconds to bring up a web page when clicking on a link.

Test 2. We closed all the programs and double-checked in Task Manager to make sure they were actually closed. Several programs had to be killed in Task Manager as regular exiting from them had not fully shut them down. In this second trial, we did not use a stopwatch to record the response time. We simply opened 6 programs one after the other, IE, GC, Firefox, Kindle for PC (KPC), WMP and OOC. Then we tested response time within those programs and experienced the following: Gmail would not open in GC. OOC would not respond at all. Firefox had a very sluggish response. KPC was nonresponsive. WMP worked as well as in the first test. IE was very slow in response.

Test 3. Once again we closed all the programs and double-checked in Task Manager to make sure they were actually closed. Several programs had to be killed in Task Manager. We then opened 15 programs, one after the other, without trying to do anything within any of them, attempting to see if the netbook would crash from the sheer weight of so many programs. It did not freeze up or crash. However, the programs were completely unresponsive. We did ALT-TAB back and forth between the programs to see if that would crash the netbook. It froze up for 25 seconds, but came back.

Speaking of ALT-TAB, my husband and I tend to be very impatient when a program is running slow. We have learned the hard way that using ALT-TAB to jump windows from a slow-running program to another program, hoping to keep working while the netbook gets around to responding, is a recipe for more problems with this netbook. It spreads the dysfunctionally slow response we are getting in one program to the next program, as if lag-time were a catching disease. In fact, if we ALT-TAB enough, this in itself can cause the netbook to freeze up entirely. Most times if we wait 20-30 seconds after a freeze, functionality will return. Other times it does not, and we are forced to reboot.

Another functional problem is this: When playing either audio or video the netbook sometimes will suddenly develop a loud hum that sounds like a distant lawnmower. When this happens, the audio or video we are playing stops, and the netbook freezes up.
1717 comments| 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 26, 2012
The X101CH comes with a tiny power adapter (4.6x 2.8x 6cm) that plugs right into the wall. The keyboard is somewhat improved from the N455 based X101H. All surfaces are matte, non-reflective, including the screen. The older X101H and fanless X101CH are two of the thinnest and lightest netbooks due to a 7mm height hard drive and 3-cell battery.

The 1GB RAM cannot be upgraded, as it is soldered on the motherboard. This makes a big difference in use. Compared to another netbook upgraded to 2GB, hard drive noise never ceases due to memory swapping activity.

If you value lightweight and thinness (IMHO the raison d'tre for netbooks), also consider the Acer D270 which has a slightly larger power adapter, is slightly thicker with upgradable ("regular") 9.5mm hard drive and RAM. BUT the D270 has a 2 year-old, 3-generation design that is due for a refresh soon. The screen and lid is also glossy. If you can wait for 6 months or so, perhaps an updated Asus X101 (non-H, non-CH variant), Acer, or Toshiba will come along that supports standard mSATA SSDs for best performance, silence, in an even smaller design.
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on June 25, 2012
I purchased this item on April 7 and received it about a week later. It was always slow and seemed to be loaded with tons of "bloatware" but I put-up with it because it wasn't a high-end machine.

Yesterday it spontaneously went into something called "utility start-up" mode and we contacted customer service for help. After 15 minutes on the phone the computer was still in "utility start-up" and essentially broken so we expected to be able to return it for repair. We were told we would need an "RMA" number but that the ASUS customer service center "system was down." Not very reassuring. We were told to call back "later" for the RMA number but when we did, of course, the system was still "down." We were never given a case number or the names of any contacts and so today we tried to communicate via an online chat which the website offers and waited 10 minutes for someone to respond. We finally emailed the company and hope to hear back soon.

I think it is unfortunate that this computer "died" after only a few weeks of normal use. Worse, however, is the terrible customer service we have encountered so far. I therefore cannot recommend this computer.
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on April 26, 2012
I bought this ASUS netbook the first day it was available on Amazon so I could have it in time for our trip to Italy. I'm so glad I bought a couple weeks before the trip because the OS it comes with is horrible! My husband installed Windows 7 Professional on it and now it works much better. The size is absolutely perfect for traveling and the internal memory card slot also works really well to for long trips so you can clear out your card before going out. My husband has an iPad that we could also use for traveling but I prefer having a keyboard and actual computer than the touch screen and this allows us much more flexibility as far as installing programs and loading pictures as opposed to the tablet while still having the compact size. This isn't a replacement for a fast laptop or desktop computer but I would definitely recommend it for vacationing and simple photo editing, web surfing, Skype etc. It also works really well for streaming movies from Amazon Prime or Netflix. One thing we were hoping to use it for that it doesn't work with is the Direct TV web app.
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VINE VOICEon November 14, 2012
In my household - we've purchased 3 Asus laptop's so far and all are 5 star products. This one (bought by my friend and dropped off at my end for RAM upgrade) unfortunately has to be rated one star because of a fatal flaw. Its RAM is soldered on and that too - only 1 Gig. That is the bare minimum for Win 7 32 bit to run (imagine running Win XP on 64 megs - its minimum requirement). You will not note the problem when you firt buy this computer, but once you start loading up antivirus and other essential software, it will run out of memory and the netbook effectively slows to a crawl - so much so that programs will takes minutes to open or do any action. This computer is bit like a car with a great engine/transmission - everything - but with bad tires. Once you load up this car, the tires go flat and you can barely crawl..This netbook is the same..
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on June 14, 2012
After 3 months of using this netbook, I am still happy with it. The March 13, 2012 review of this product titled "Bang for the Buck," parallels my sentiments, except that I don't have the problem with angle viewing he had. The screen is matt so there isn't the awful glare from glossy screens, especially helpful when you're on the road.

Right out of the box this netbook was extremely easy to set up, and like the other reviewer, after getting rid of BING as the search engine and its annoying pop-ups, as well as the extra entertainment stuff Asus gives at the top of the screen, it was off and running.

Asus includes, for free, Word for Windows STARTER. After making the mistake of spending an hour reading and not finishing the infinite license agreement and its links, and discovering that it seems Microsoft will force the netbook to report personal info to Microsoft, and that you HAVE TO accept their advertising interjected into Word as often as they feel like it, I finally just bought a cheap word processor and installed it. For my needs, there has to be a hefty word processor for all the saves, etc. (Or, you can download Oracle's free Office product which seems to have most of the same qualities and features as Windows Office and then some.)

Which brings me to the next point. In order to install that Word Processor, I had to buy a cheap CD/DVD player (from eBay) and after downloading some free software to run the plug & play CD/DVD player, I was able to install the word processor. You will need a player to install or run CDs or DVDs as this netbook doesn't come with one. However, there are 2 USB 2.0 (not 3.0) ports.

The small screen is so clear and perfect, I hardly miss a larger screen. Internet is fast and easy access. I find everything works well. It's nice and quiet because there is no fan.

Had slight trouble with Internet Explorer (seems very complicated compared to Firefox), so just downloaded Firefox and no problems.

This netbook is more user-friendly and easier to use than previous laptops I've encountered.

The white color inside and out is beautiful. It is sometimes difficult to find white computers without paying a fortune. The material of the exterior is apparently easy to mar, and mine came with a couple of little scratches. The lights are a nice, unotrusive blue and yellow, with a small orange light when the battery is charging, but none of the morbid red colored lights that make you think something is wrong by their very color!

The convenience of using a small laptop/netbook cannot be overstated. My only real complaint is the keyboard. I've used an awful lot of computers over the years and I have to say this keyboard was inconvenient, especially at first. The size of the keys is fine, but for some reason when I type, often it misses the letters (don't have this problem elsewhere). So I have to type the keys "harder" then check to ensure the screen has what I typed. Logging into something requiring a password can be annoying when your whole password didn't get typed. If the keyboard worked properly in this regard, I would have given this netbook 5 stars. Since I press the keys harder now, and manage to get everything I typed, I can overlook this in favor of all the other benefits that come with using this particular netbook.

Overall, it is superb for the low price Amazon charges.
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on June 30, 2012
we bought this computer because a friend recommended Asus. after a couple of weeks it started freezing and making strange noise. we thought something might have been damaged during shipping and asked Amazon to replace it. The new replacement computer had the same issue after a week of use. So we returned it altogether and bought another model.
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on January 8, 2013
I ordered this laptop as a gift for a 16 year old, and it set it up for her before I wrapped it inside its box. The computer is very nice and sturdy, the one thing I really liked about it is that it has no fan, it has some new technology and a hybrid engin that keeps the CPU cool without a fan it stayed cooler longer than my older netbook that gets hot in just the first 30 min of being on. It also has a HDMI outlet. Over all this was a great buy, its a nice netbook for a girl, but I can see any one with it. I reccommend this one for adults as well as a teen or a kid.
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on November 24, 2012
I purchased this for use at school. useless. takes FOREVER to boot up, opening a word document takes anywhere from 1-4 minutes depending on if another window is opened.
very light weight and portable but not suitable for college due to low functionality. It also runs extremely hot and loud.
single speaker is low quality, hard to hear recorded lectures even at full volume.

I tried it for maximum amount of time within the return window to give it an honest chance and get used to it.
Didn't matter--its getting shipped back Monday and I am willing to pay faster shipping fees to get rid of it!
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