The Asus Eee PC X101 hasn’t gone on sale in the US yet, but it’s expected to hit the streets in September. Meanwhile, the folks at Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn have already managed to get their hands on the mini-laptop. The Eee PC X101 is one of the first netbooks from a major computer company to ship with MeeGo Linux instead of Windows. But that’s only one of the things that makes it special — it’s also expected to sell for under $200 in the US (or about 169 Euros in Europe).

Asus Eee PC X101 unboxedIn the unboxing video, you can see that the Vietnamese version will come with several different power adapters. I suspect US customers will get just one. The reviewer also shows off the tablet’s thin sides (it measures less than an thick), 2 USB ports, Ethernet jack, and VGA port.

The Eee PC X101 has an 8GB solid state disk instead of a hard drive and runs MeeGo Linux. It also uses a 1.33 GHz Intel Atom N435 processor, which is one of the least expensive (and least powerful) Intel Atom chips available. Those decisions were made to keep the laptop’s price low. Asus will also offer an X101H model for a higher price. That version will be available with a 250GB hard drive and Windows 7. In fact, it looks like this video may actually show the Eee PC X101H, since the laptop has VGA and Ethernet jacks — which are both expected to be absent on the cheaper X101 model. It looks like Asus will offer X101H customers a choice of MeeGo or Windows.

MeeGo is an operating system optimized for netbooks, tablets, and in-vehicle entertainment systems. The user interface feels like a cross between a desktop OS such as Windows and a mobile OS such as Android. Most apps, for instance, run in full screen mode instead of in smaller windows.

There’s no start menu or taskbar, per se, but there are a series of tabs at the top of the screen that you can use to switch between different parts of the operating system. One window shows a list of installed apps, while another shows system settings. A third area shows networking settings, and a fourth shows updates from your social networking sites.

While the unboxing video is in Vietnamese, it’s worth watching with the sound off if you want an overview of how the first MeeGo Linux netbook from Asus will work.

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10 replies on “Asus Eee PC X101H MeeGo netbook unboxed in Vietnam”

  1. An unboxing video of the X101, without VGA or Ethernet, was posted last night on newgadgets.de; the site is in German, but the blogger also posted the video in English (easier to pick out the link via

    https://www.pcr-online.biz/news/36926/Asus-Eee-PC-X101-unboxed

    which is where I found it via Google).  There is a long door on the bottom, as in the images on the FCC website; the blogger identifies it as being for RAM replacement, but I don’t know if that’s an assumption or if he read the manual or unscrewed it off camera.  I also don’t know if, as claimed by the Asus rep I quoted earlier, opening it up voids the warranty; I saw no stickers to that effect on the bottom of the computer.

    As in the Vietnamese video in this article, it looks like a retail box, so Brad-san, I hope they send you a review copy (of the X101H too!) soon so you can clear this up!  If you get a chance to boot it from an Ubuntu LiveUSB stick and see if everything (particularly WiFi) works, I’d be doubly grateful.

  2. A few days ago you linked to a Q&A about the X101 on techinstyle.tv; the Asus product manager being interviewed specifically said that the X101 lacks VGA and Ethernet, and noted that the X101H has both, including “a slimmer Ethernet socket with a closing flap,” as seen in the video linked above (time index 3:19).  So this is an X101H.

    Bad news — the door on the bottom (time index 3:25) looks smaller than the one in the X101 manual (image 5 of 28 in your post on July 27th about the X101 showing up at the FCC).  A reply in the comments of the techinstyle.tv interview, apparently from an Asus spokesman, specifically states that the RAM and SSD in the X101 can only be upgraded by removing the whole bottom cover and voiding the warranty (so what’s the huge door in that manual illustration for?); he’s not sure about the X101H, but the door in the video doesn’t look large enough to pull out a RAM module or HDD (SIM card slot for 3G, perhaps?).  So we may be hosed on upgrades with either model, though the spokesman in the comments page holds out hope for the X101H somehow.  Well, we’ll know in a month or so.

    1. The X101H utilizes the same basic design as the Asus Eee PC Seashell systems.  Since the hard drive is nestled between two separate parts of the motherboard and has interconnecting cables going over it that Asus only allows user access to the RAM.

      So only the X101 gives additional access to the SSD and WLAN with the larger bottom panel, which shouldn’t void warranty.

      Asus provided the user manual with both models to the FCC, along with both external and internal photos.  So these can be clarified.

      According to the manuals though, creation of a recovery USB drive has to be done when the system is first powered on, recommending a drive larger than 8GB, and won’t work with a hard drive or memory card.

      1. Again, there’s a comment in that techinstyle.tv blog post from Nick Holland, an Asus spokesman (at least, he’s listed on the “masthead” of the website, which appears to be owned by Asus), stating that he has confirmed with the project manager that neither the SSD nor the RAM of the X101 can be replaced without opening up the bottom shell completely and voiding the warranty.  So what the heck is that big door in the picture there for, then?

        Anyway, it looks like the X101 wouldn’t suit my purposes anyway; I need to install IDL, whose license is linked to the Ethernet MAC address, so an Ethernet-less X101 wouldn’t let me run it.  Huh – I wonder if the IDL folks, and other folks with hardware-linked DRM, have a workaround for MacBook Airs…

        1. I looked at that site and the interview didn’t mention opening the system.  Only a later Anonymous user comment that claimed it was from an official source and that relies on how the question was worded.

          I would trust the FCC photos more anyway, it’s too close to release for them to change and shows both the internal and external photos that clearly show the bottom panel gives access to the WLAN and SSD.

          Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time that there has been some misinformation from so called insiders.  First, Asus doesn’t want end users to upgrade these systems as that can lead to more tech support and higher costs for them.  Second, they could just be confusing the X101H with the X101.  Since the X101H definitely requires opening the whole thing to get to the hard drive and the comment just before that post was asking about the X101H and not the X101.

          Asus also has been known to put warranty seals on the bottom panel as well, not as severe as the internal warranty seal but could be what they were thinking about as well.

          Though the comment was definitely wrong on installing Windows 7, people have been able to squeeze it onto even 4GB with vliting.  It’s just hard to do by default. 

          Check out the EeeUser forum, lots of people with the early SSD models have managed it and even posted how-to’s.  Forum also allows a lot of fellow user tech support that is typically better than what Asus offers, along with experiences from modders and those willing to void their warranty to get the most out these systems.

          IDL works with either NIC or Ethernet, and Wi-Fi/WLAN is still a NIC.  So should still work, otherwise a workaround would be VM.  Also adding a USB Ethernet adapter should also work.

          1. I’m referring to the interview at

            https://techinstyle.tv/technology/qa-about-the-eee-pc-x101-netbook-and-meego/

            and there are no anonymous comments there; I was quoting Nick Holland, who’s a contributor to the site (“on the masthead”), and he was quoting the Eee PC product manager, who said it was a design necessity (no door access to simplify internal structure for reasons of cost and bulk).  Anyway, we’ll see in a month or so.

            And thanks for the IDL tip; I guess I had trouble because I had originally configured the license file on my HP mini (Ubuntu) while connected via Ethernet, so that its MAC address got hard-coded into the file.  Then some Linux hoodoo made Ubuntu stop recognizing the Ethernet card, which invalidated the IDL license; it sounds like I wouldn’t have had this problem if I’d set it up via WiFi initially, since that continued working.  That’ll help!

          2. That’s the article I was referring to as well but it doesn’t change what I said whether the Anonymous poster is Nick or not.  The FCC images are official and misinformation from Asus is not unheard of.

            But like I said, check out the Eee User forum, once users get the system they’ll confirm there.

    1. You know, that’s what I thought too… but then I looked at the photos of the x101 I got to see at a recent trade show and it had those ports.

      It’s possible that was also an x101h though.

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