The Asus Eee PC S101 is clearly the most attractive looking netbook in the Asus Eee PC line. It’s got a nice polished design, brushed metal on the wrist-rest, and even some tiny crystals lining the end of the hinge. It also weighs just 2.4 pounds and measures just an inch thick. The S101 is also rumored to be the most expensive netbook in the Eee PC line, with a price tag that could range from $699 to $799.
But is it worth the price (if that is actually the price)? Mobile Computer Magazine got a chance to spend some time with an Eee PC S101 and they say it’s pretty. Like really really pretty. And that’s abut it. Under the hood, it’s practically identical to the Eee PC 1000. It’s got a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, a 10.2 inch display, and the same keyboard as the 1000/1000H.
In terms of performance, it behaves pretty much as you’d expect with those specs. Just like all the other netbooks currently on the market.
Asus does include a 4900mAh battery with the S101, which provides more juice than the company’s typical 3-cell batteries, but not as much as the 6-cell battery that comes with the 1000H. According to the Mobile Computer review, the netbook runs for about 3 hours and 45 minutes under heavy use, and up to 5 hours under lighter use conditions.
One nice touch is the fact that Asus has finally decided not to break up the SSD into separate chips or partitions. If you buy the Windows XP model with a 16GB SSD, you get a single 16GB SSD with the operating system and room for storage. If you pick up the 32GB Linux version, you get a single disk there as well. Mobile Computer Magazine says the mythical 64GB version remains a rumor for now.
So is the Eee PC S101 worth the extra money over the 1000H? Well, you’d be hard pressed to find a laptop with a 10.2 inch screen and 2.4 pound weight with more powerful specs for under $800. But most of the things that set the S101 apart from its far cheaper cousins like the Eee PC 1000H are cosmetic. So if that matters to you, yes. Or if you don’t want to lug a 3.2 pound laptop around with you yes. If you value your money more than design, then maybe not.