Mini Portable Laptop – ASUS Eee PC X101

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Many people consider that the inventor of the netbook is Asus and for this reason it shouldn’t come as a surprise that from time to time the company launches a special model that stands out from the rest of the crowd, trying to reinvent the genre. A fine example would have to be the Eee PC X101 which is the first netbook in the world to run on MeeGo OS. At the time when it came out it was the cheapest netbook on the market, featuring a price tag of just $200.

Combining the MeeGo operating system with deep social network integration and a high level of portability, the Asus Eee PC X101 is a mini laptop designed for those with light productivity needs who are in the market for a cheap netbook to do the job, along with providing the necessary support for using Facebook and Twitter.

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

Available in various color finishes, the Asus Eee PC X101 adopts a matte plastic lid that features a textured pattern that looks a little bit like canvas. In the center of the back lid is the company’s logo which adopts a chrome look. The inside of the netbook continues the exterior them as it has the same canvas pattern on the top of the deck and on the palm rest as well. There’s a glossy white bezel surrounding the screen, while the deck of the keyboard is sitting in a white matte panel. The power button along with the blue function symbols are surrounded by a strip of blue light. It measures 10.3 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches and weighs two pounds, making it slimmer and more lightweight in comparison to other netbooks.

Asus has fitted this model with an island-style keyboard which doesn’t provide a good typing experience, even though there is plenty of space between the keys which feature rounded corners. The reason why typing won’t be that good is because the keys are on the small side, especially the Backspace and the right Shift key which are very small. In addition, the feedback of this keyboard is quite mushy plus you will notice a worrying amount of flex.

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

Below this modest keyboard is a clickpad that measures 3 x 2.25 inches and manages to offer enough space for various maneuvers, while the left and right clicks are performed with a decent amount of feedback. The problems occur when scrolling and selecting lines of text. In addition, some of the users have complained that their palms kept coming in contact with the clickpad.

The Asus Eee PC X101 has been equipped with a 10.1-inch display that has a native resolution of 1,024 x 600 pixels. It manages to be a bright screen that can provide vibrant and clear images. However, on higher resolution videos you will probably notice a small amount of pixelation, but this isn’t a major issue on a netbook like this one.

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

The speakers have been installed on the netbook’s bottom and are quite underpowered since they can barely fill a small room which makes that these speakers are not able to cover the background noise, but at least the sound is clear.

On the right spine of this netbook you are going to find the microSD card slot, a USB 2.0 port, the secure lock slot and a microphone / headphone combo slot. Another USB 2.0 port can be found on the left side, the place where Asus has installed the power jack. Also available is a modest 0.3 megapixel webcam which although can provide bright images, most of the photos are going to have a grayish hue.

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

At the heart of this Asus Eee PC X101 is an Intel Atom N435 processor clocked at 1.33 GHz. It comes along with 1GB of memory so it shouldn’t come as a shock to you that the netbook can’t provide a smooth 720p playback. For storage it comes with just a small 8GB solid state drive, while other features which we should mention include an integrated Intel GMA 3150 in the graphics department, along with Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

If you have been using only Windows or Mac OS, expect to find a totally different experience in MeeGo OS because instead of having a regular desktop, this operating system will take you to MyZone which can be considered as an interactive hub which emphasizes mostly on social networking. This user interface is capable of displaying your Facebook and Twitter feeds on the mini laptop’s screen through two generous dedicated widgets that are updated in just a few seconds. In the top-left corner of the screen you’ll notice a 3 x 3 grid which holds the following icons: Messenger, E-mail, DropBox and the Asus App Store. Below the icon widgets you will have access to the Unread Messages and Panels for Appointments and Tasks.

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

On the hub’s right side you will find out details about your recent activities, such as images, videos and web surfing which are displayed in three squares. In order to navigate through this operating system you will have to utilize the toolbar which can be found at the screen’s top that can be accessed if you move the mouse over it. Another way to go would be by pressing the Home icon. That bar will provide you access to eight of the ten icons for various areas of the interface.

If you click on the Media icon it will take you to a rather simple media manager where you will be able to view & play songs, videos, podcasts and radio stations by using the Banshee Media Player. Also available is the People hub where you have the possibility of sending an IM by using the bundled all-in-one client which supports Facebook Messenger, AIM and Google Talk. Once you access the Internet option it will fire up the Chromium web browser from where you can install a bunch of useful applications, such as Google Reader and Gmail Offline.

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

ASUS Eee PC X101 (Source: asus.com)

In the top navigation bar you are also going to find Applications which will redirect you to a page where all of your applications grabbed from the Asus App Store are organized into several categories, like System Tools, Games, Office and Media.

The battery of the Asus Eee PC X101 can last for 4 hours according to the manufacturer which is considerably less than what mini laptops have to offer in this segment.