Asus basically created the consumer netbook market when the company launched its first Eee PC in 2007. While netbooks have largely passed out of fashion, the legacy of thin, light, and cheap mobile devices lives on in a growing number of inexpensive Windows tablets and notebooks.

Now Asus is getting back to its roots with the launch of a thin, light, portable, and cheap laptop. It’s even got the Eee name.

Meet the Asus EeeBook X205. It’s a $199 thin and light laptop with an 11.6 inch display.

eeebook_03

The EeeBook X205 features an Intel Atom Z3735 Bay Trail processor, a 1366 x 768 pixel display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB to 64GB of solid state storage, and up to 12 hours of battery life.

It weighs less than 2.2 pounds, measures less than 0.7 inches thick, runs Windows 8.1 with Bing software, and will be available in black, white, red, or gold.

The notebook has a microSD card reader, micro HDMI port, and 2 USB 2.0 ports, 802.11n WiFi, and a 38Whr battery.

It’s basically what you’d get if you took the guts of a cheap Google Chromebook and threw Windows on it instead of Chrome OS… or possibly what you would have seen by now if netbooks had evolved into laptops instead of sort of fading away for a few years.

The Asus EeeBook X205 is expected to sell for $199 in the US and 199 Euros in Europe.

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41 replies on “Asus EeeBook X205: the netbook reborn as a $199 notebook”

  1. I want this EeeBook so bad! Tablets aren’t good at all for serius productivity “programs”, and not just “apps”. Leave alone woking with them offline or whenever online connectivity is compromised. That ability to be more autonomous and more versatile with professional purposes kept me so close to my old EeePc 1201 until the keyboard finally gave up last year. 

    Sure the EeePc was slow and limited on its hardware, but I could carry it anywhere and could run any full-desktop programs to briefly edit and modify CAD drawings, vector files, excel macros… 

    Heck, i could even relax watching hd videos or playing serious games (mine had an nVidia Ion gpu!). What ever the need on the go, it was covered just until i got to a proper desktop pc. 

    Look for a single tablet that empowers you as much as the old EeePc without spending a lot of money, as you would on ultra books or apple stuff, and the answer is that of a criket on a silent room. That is the sheer beauty of netbooks. 

    By the way, the EeePC 1201 did cost $500 in 2009, had a dual-core atom (four threads total), the nVidia thing that sucked battery really bad and heated up a lot, two 2gb ram modules (although it could only use 3), and a 250gb hard drive. Aside for the lack of the nVidia gpu, this new netbook looks more than promising to me. I want it ASAP!

    1. Windows 8.1 is not slow my laptop is 4 years old and windows 8.1 boots under 10secs.

  2. Wow, this is definitely something I have been waiting for. Something as slim and portable as a Macbook Air, but I don’t need anything more than an Atom CPU. I basically need something for travelling, and using to upload photos to my NAS back home.

  3. Meh. If you want a netbook these days, you grab a Chromebook. They are the conceptual continuation of netbooks.

    1. I have a Chromebook. I would trade it for this. I like the Chromebook and recommend it for some users. But my personal Chromebook experiment failed. I need a proper copy of Office to get work done. Google Docs is nice but the lack of proper change tracking and reliable formatting on export was a deal breaker for me. There are some other small things I need that Windows provides.

  4. WANT THIS NOW… almost!

    Had an Asus 1005HA-P netbook for a few years, one of the 10″ ones with a proper HDD. Was basically the perfect form factor IMO, the only slight downside was the vertical res. Still didn’t stop me carrying it every day for 3+ years until the motherboard started acting up (one airport smash too many). But genuine 10+ hour battery life, 1Kg mass and ability to run full desktop applications all for €200 was awesome.

    Windows 8 wouldn’t last too long on here for me though, hopefully I could persuade Mint/Xubuntu to run.

    The downside is that I promised myself I would never buy 1366×768 again… it’s 2014 not 2004!

  5. Netbooks started out with 7″ displays. They grew to have 9″ then 10″ displays. 11.6″ takes it out of the netbook range as far as I am concerned. Still seems like a nice compact inexpensive laptop. Most netbooks could be upgraded to 2 Gigs of RAM though they were required to sell with only 1 Gig.. The biggest downfall of netbooks were the terrible early Atom processors, 600 lines of vertical resolution on the screens and Microsoft poisoning the well. My Samsung NC10 just recently died. I miss the compact form factor and real “laptop” configuration.

    1. The 7″ of the Asus 701 was still housed in a 9″ case. The 901 that quickly followed changed nothing but the screen.

      1. You mean the 900… the 901 switched processors from the Celeron 900 to ATOM N270, and the 901 was first to offer two SSDs, optional 3G, BT, dedicated buttons for things like toggling performance settings, changing screen resolutions, turning the display off, etc…

        The 901 was the best of the 90x models and upgraded with a faster SATA II SSD, or even a 1.8″ HDD and it was quite the portable PC at the time…

        The 1024×600 was also a bit more acceptable on those 8.9″ screens than the 10.1″ models that came after… along with being matte for better out door use… I even knew a former NASA astronaut that used one while traveling across the country on his bike…

        1. Could be, been years and i could not be bothered to refresh myself on their numbering scheme from back then.

    2. I owned an EeePC 1201n for four years. It had a 12.5″ display yet was considered a netbook, although mine had the dual core 330 and nVidia graphics. Unfortunately the tradeoff was battery life: 5 hours with graphics set on savings mode, 2:40 when using them intensively, and a lot of heat! Still miss it despite the shortcomings

    1. I think prices are generally higher in Europe … taxes, especially VAT would definitely account for that discrepancy

  6. These new laptops are much better than the netbooks. Windows 8.1 works much better with low end specs.

    Much faster processors (quad core + higher performance cores),
    2GB RAM,
    Better displays,
    Flash storage.

    Netbooks suffered because of sluggish performance, pathetic displays.

  7. So this is lighter, has a bigger SSD and better battery life than comparable chromebooks, but still manages to be cheaper. What’s the catch?

      1. Well, I knew the OS was cheap (free?). But they aren’t actually giving any money to anyone, are they? And ChromeOS is also free, isn’t it?

          1. For devices that will sell $250 and less it’ll be free… above then it’s the discounted cost, with Bing set as the default search engine, and then normal price for everything else…

            For supporting costs… that’s Intel, not MS… Intel is subsidizing both their mobile ATOM SoCs and Chromebooks… to make them more cost competitive until they get a larger share of the market, and/or they can reduce costs to be more competitive but that won’t start happening until the Braswell update rolls out next year…

    1. Two words, crap ware. Chrome doesn’t come with any extra software installed, cheap windows machines almost always is filled with evaluation software; the producers of which pay the OEM’s to include it.

      1. Yes. That could be part of the equation. But they first have to cover the $15 they pay microsoft for using windows. After that they can start using the money they get to pay in part for the hardware…

    2. The processor is … weaker/wimpier/more power efficient? for one, that is the Intel Atom on Android and Windows 8.1 tablets, I bet compared to a $200 chromebook [ Acer C720 ] It would loose any raw horsepower comparisons …. I still want one

      1. It’s not too bad… ATOM’s are a lot better than they used to be and it’s definitely more power efficient… The quad core version can actually pull ahead of the dual core 2955U but you are right the dual core version falls slightly behind…

        Core based models have about a 50% processing advantage that requires either more cores or much faster clocks to counter but for running Chrome it should be fine either way…

        For Windows, it mainly depends what you intend to run on it… but compared to the old netbooks the modern ATOMs are over 2x more powerful and 8.1 is easier to run, especially the modern UI side…

      2. I want one too even though I know the difference between “loose” and “lose”. – Sorry 🙂

    3. Windows with bing is free to manufacturers. Bing is set as default search but can be changed by users.

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