The Asus Eee PC X101CH is one of the first netbooks to ship in the United States with an Intel Atom N2600 Cedar Trail processor. With a starting price of around $270, it’s also one of the cheapest 10 inch netbooks available. But this might be a case of you-get-better-than-you-pay-for.
Asus loaned me an Eee PC X101CH for review purposes. I’ve only had a few hours with the mini-laptop, but so far I’m pretty impressed.
It’s thin and light, has a decent keyboard, a matte display, and the new Asus Instant On software which allows the laptop to resume from sleep very, very quickly.
Asus sent me a white model to review, but the Eee PC X101CH is also available in black.
The case is made of plastic, but while the netbook looks a bit like a toy it feels like a very sturdy toy. There are also no vents in the case, because the Eee PC X101CH has a fanless design. The Atom N2600 processor doesn’t generate much heat.
I also confirmed that the netbook can handle 1080p HD video playback including HD streaming video from Netflix and YouTube.
Asus also includes a relatively compact power adapter which is smaller and lighter than the power bricks you get with most netbooks and larger notebooks.
That’s not to say that the Eee PC X101CH is the perfect netbook. There’s no access panel on the bottom of the computer, which means that if you want to upgrade the RAM or hard drive you’ll need to disassemble the laptop.
The Eee PC X101CH also ships standard with a 3 cell, 23Whr battery which should provide 4-5 hours of run time at best.
It would also be nice if the netbook had a higher resolution display. 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel screens are so 2009. While the display is good enough for Windows 7, Microsoft Windows 8 requires 1024 x 768 pixel or higher resolution screens to run Metro style apps. If you’re planning to upgrade to Windows 8, a higher resolution display would be nice.
I’ll be kicking the tires on this netbook for the next few days and should have a full review soon. But I’ve already found a lot to like about this little notebook including the quick resume technology, support for HD video, and a compact design.
The netbook comes with 1GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter Edition.