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 Eee PC X101CH

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.

Asus Eee PC X101CH

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.



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12 replies on “Asus Eee PC X101CH – first look”

  1. + fanless
    + matte
    + 1 kilo
    + compact PSU

    I’m getting one (or more) of these. I  hope someone will hack it open and provide a tutorial on how to add more RAM.

    “weighs 2.5 pounds or so”

    Can you weigh it to give us a more exact figure? I’ve seen the figure 1 kilo being mentioned previously. The difference between a 1 kilo and 1.4 kilo, which most other 10″ netbooks weigh, looks small on paper but is probably quite noticeable when carrying around all day.

    The weight of the PSU would also be useful to know.

    1.  One more thing. How far back can the screen be titled? Do you think there’s any chance of modding the screen hinge to be able to tilt it 180 degrees and use it temporarily as a tablet?

      1. I’d say around 180 degrees. It would be tough to modify the hinge since it’s not the hinge that keeps the screen from tilting all the way back… it’s the lid. Part of it hits the base of the computer and prevents it from unfolding any further. 

        1. If the lid is partly hollow then just maybe it would be possible to cut away parts of it so that the screen can be tilted further back. Making a netbook that can fold the screen all the way around seems like one of those things that could add functionality and create quite a lot of buzz for a netbook yet still cost very little extra to implement. I hope some manufacturers go for it.

    1.  Uh, there’s no 3.2″ drives… Sizes are 1.8″, 2.5″, and 3.5″…  2.5″ is what’s common for laptops but I’ve heard the system only allows a 7mm thick drive.  So it has to be thin like the drives used by some Ultrabooks.  Since most regular drives are closer to 9.5mm thickness.

      You’ll have to take the system apart to reach the hard drive, overall design is similar to Asus previous Seashell models for how it’s taken apart and where everything is located internally.  Connector itself is standard SATA with SATA Power side by side combo connector…

  2. Glad to see that Asus is using similar type of power brick used by Acer.  And really glad that this generation of netbooks is fanless.  

  3. actually, the mini power adapter was introduced in the previous generation. This year they also made the bezel matte to go with the display…

    What’s brain-dead about this year’s model is slapping 1GB of RAM on it (on-board or slotted unknown), and TAKING AWAY the RAM slot cover.

    Netbook manufacturers have but themselves to blame for failure in the market.

  4. The lid on my Asus X101CH tilts back about 135 degrees. Definitely not 180.

  5. This runs very nicely with Meego Netbook 1.2.0.8. However, you have to add the “nophet” parameter to the extlinux.conf file, otherwise the screen stays blank when you wake the device from suspend mode. (This hack is done in a minute if you know how to use the vi editor.)

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