The Asus EeeBook X205 is an 11.6 inch notebook which promises long battery life, decent performance, and a compact design. It’s also cheap: you can pick up this little laptop for just $199.

Asus introduced the laptop in September, and now you can pick one up from Amazon.

asus x205

Asus practically invented the netbook when the company launched the first Eee PC mini-laptop in 2007. It had a 7 inch screen, an Intel Celeron processor, and a $400 price tag. Up until that point tiny laptops generally sold for more money than larger laptops, not less.

Netbooks have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but it looks like Asus figures it’s worth bringing back the Eee name of a new line of computers aimed at the same target market as netbooks of days gone by: folks looking for a small, affordable PC who are willing to sacrifice a little performance in the name of portability.

The EeeBook X205TA features an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel glossy display, an Intel Atom Z3735 quad-core Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash storage.

It has a micro SDXC card slot, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, a headset jack. The notebook has stereo speakers and a VGA webcam.

Asus says you should be able to get up to 12 hours of battery life, thanks to the low-power processor and a 38Wh battery.The EeeBook X205TA measures 11.3″ x 7.6″ x 0.7″ and weighs about 2.2 pounds.

 

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69 replies on “Asus EeeBook X205 notebook now available for $199”

  1. I know someone who bought one of these and I helped them set it up. Seems like a pretty nice little device–fairly fast for ordinary uses.

  2. Just looked at the specs; for networking it only says Bluetooth 4.0; nothing about 802.11, so that makes it fairly useless, wouldn’t you think?

  3. Any review yet? I would like to see someone testing linux on it. Maybe it will be easier than what have been commented

  4. HP Stream 11 is a better deal for the same price. A proper laptop Bay-trail Celeron N2840 SoC vs a tablet Atom Z3735 SoC. Gives you USB 3.0, full size HDMI and SD slot.

    On the other hand this could potentially give longer battery endurance because of the tablet SoC.

  5. I’m impressed with the size, the layout of this machine, the fact it’s noiseless, and it’s battery life; it’s much the idealized tiny laptop. That said this laptop is definitely getting my goat, I just can’t let go of the ATOM name attached to it, I know the performance is going to be awful in comparison to what I expect, Personally I just want to see this laptop with CoreM at a reasonable price range I’d be more than happy to just pay the price difference in processors even without the USB3 support or an IPS display but I know it wont happen.

    I love ultrabooks, they are just priced way too much to risk just throwing in a bag and taking it everywhere with you, and these cheap baytrail laptops are just so dang slow it drives me mad there isn’t a middle ground yet.

  6. I hope ASUS translates the matte finish look to their Zenbook line. The current shiny Zenbooks are so ugly looking.

  7. how many youtube tabs can be opened at the same time when connected via hdmi?

  8. For $199.00 this is a great laptop. Don’t change a thing. Something like this will replace my Chromebook when the time comes.

  9. I just ordered on today because I finally saved up enough money. Sadly, it’s not shipping for 2 to 4 weeks. 🙁

    Edit: Woohoo! I just checked it again, and they are shipping within 4 days now! 🙂

    1. It’s using a mobile SoC, same as used in low cost Windows tablets, so soldered…

      Models with the Celeron/Pentium branded Bay Trail SoCs would be the ones that can opt for regular DDR3L RAM and SATA 2 drives… but mobile SoCs only use LP-DDR3 RAM and eMMC storage…

  10. Seems like a decent entry in the world of budget Windows laptops but with the tablet motherboard you might be better off buying a Chromebook and tinkering with SSD and RAM then installing your choice of *nix distro.

  11. How does this compare with an Acer 1810T? I got one in early 2010 for $300 at the time. I do know that it has 4 GB of RAM and this X205 only has 2 GB.

    Thanks!

  12. Sounds good enough, but that 1366 x 768 display, gives me jitters. I bet it’s a nasty TN panel. Also, they really cut some corners, by slapping a generic tablet motherboard in there, with the micro HDMI, micro SDXC and probably no MIC-in, just the audio jack, and it just feels silly to have to mess around with adapters, when the design could fit a full connector. However, that 38Wh battery is a monster for a 2.2Wh SoC. My two cents… add a touchscreen, make it flip back like the yoga, and give us a nice 9mm 2.5″ drive bay with a SATA controller just in case.

    1. There are plenty out there similar to what you ask for already. Dell, lenovo etc.

    2. I’d rather have no touch screen, 4gbs of ram and a slightly more powerful processor.

    1. Just boot to the desktop and have any (of the probably few) Metro apps setup to start from the taskbar/quick launch. That’s how I have the Mail app work.

      1. Good idea. I do think I have started getting used to having a touchscreen though. For certain things like maps it is really useful. Although probably not useful enough to me to justify a 50% price premium, especially as the implementation on laptops is often wobbly.

  13. If only they managed to squeeze a usb 3 in there and a full sized SD it would have been pretty perfect. I don’t think it would have been too difficult to do that.

    1. Yeah, a full sized SD card reader and USB 3.0 would have been perfect but I still think this is pretty good for $200.

      I’ve been hoping 802.11ac would be a more standard feature now as well. Especially if this doesn’t have gigabit Ethernet. I’ve been using 802.11ac for some time now and get solid real world file transfer rates of 300 megabits per second between 2 floors.

  14. All I can say is that this was my ultimate spec for the netbook. The size of 11-inches was more ideal than the 10-inch. If they put AMD processors in these which use a better integrated GPU, then I can see no reason to buy a keyboard case or trying to “fake” a laptop with a tablet. A folio keyboard case is actually quite stupid when you compare it to an adjustable lid. Why try and fake it when you can spend as little as this for an actual laptop? I really really hope Asus hits a home run with this.

    1. I’ve made this comment before, but consider that the “official” Nexus 9 keyboard case runs around $130. So it’s that, or buy a full laptop for $70 more. I think when the dust settles, I’m sure consumers will see what’s the better and or smarter purchase.

        1. I think it really depends on what you’re looking for. That’s a lot bigger, and if I bought that I’d have to buy a SSD too! 😉

          1. The flash storage used on these is about the same speed as spinning hard drives, really. These little guys would be good for kids’ schoolwork, though. Fast enough for productivity, too slow for heavy gaming, and inexpensive enough that you won’t be constantly terrified of them dropping it.

          2. Agreed – high-end gadgets are fun, but what’s the point if you leave them at home because you’re scared of your pricey investment getting lost, dropped, or stolen? Looking at the product shots and specs, this thing is *really* thin and light, and they haven’t futzed with the keyboard. I have an Asus Vivobook X202 that’s also 11.6″ that’s comparatively built like a tank. (Okay, it’s only 3lbs, but that’s a big difference in portability these days.) Fingers crossed that the trackpad isn’t a freaking nightmare like on some cheapie Asus laptops I’ve used.
            Hm, the Amazon page says “Ships in 2-4 weeks”… Makes me think that Asus is gonna push these *hard* on Black Friday like they did with the Transformer Book T100 last year.

          3. Not always true. After turning off encryption, my VP8 Crystalmark scores are in the 180’s. That is more akin to an older generation SSD than a HDD. And real world performance bears this out, whether it is 10 sec boot times or instant opening of apps and documents.

          4. Here’s the benchmark from a full review on another site: http://www.tlbhd.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ssd-test.jpg
            eMMC scores are more in line with a good SD card. Perfectly good for this use case, but they’re apples and oranges to a full SSD. (Don’t get me wrong, I’d be perfectly content with its real-world performance and am 99% sure I’m going to order one this weekend since they’re supposed to start shipping on the 3rd.)

          5. But I wonder what it scores with encryption turned off (CPU encryption is not supported with Baytrail IIRC.) Crystalmark read scored on the VP8 jump from 80 to 180 once you turn encryption off. That is not SD card speed. A fast UHS 1 card gets you a score of about 30. 180 is in the range of a couple years old SSD models, and markedly faster than a HDD, which is the main comparison, as some Baytrail models have HDD instead of flash.

        2. As the saying goes: “Different strokes for different folks” I personally wouldn’t touch the X551MA unless it was given to me free and I had no other choices at a PC.

        3. That thing is a tank. The use case for this is the same as the old netbooks (I owned several including the first eeepc) throw it in the backpack or bag without adding much weight, and cheap enough to be disposable.

          1. The issue I had was the price, which in my opinion is a healthy $50 above what it should be, considering what you sacrifice going down to a Z3745D from a Bay-Trail Celeron or Pentium. I see this as an attempt at a “cheap laptop”, but apparently most people here see it as a cheap “Ultrabook”, and they’re willing to forgo many performance attributes, in favor of size and portability, where I didn’t even think that would be a thing, seeing as how you could get an 8″ or even 7″ tablet, with the same performance and all the portability you want. I would never ever consider something like this, even at a lower price. This thing seems to me as some kind of bastardized 11.6″ tablet with the screen pointing downward, to better accommodate keyboard use, for some category of costumers out there, who apparently not only exist, but would also be willing to eat, that 1366×768, touchscreen-less, TN monstrosity, as if there aren’t enough 10″ IPS tablets out there, with a good enough keyboard cover, probably in at around the same kind of money. It,s a shit laptop for the money, and a shit tablet for the money, so do you really need a conventional keyboard on a 11.6″ and are you willing to compromise so much for the under 5% of the total time of ownership, spent making use of that keyboard ? If you want portability for under $200, get a proper tablet, like this (http://tinyurl.com/mwj3hn6), if you want a cheap laptop, get a $199 to $250 Celeton “N” like the X551MA, with 4Gb RAM, 500Gb HDD etc.

          2. “so do you really need a conventional keyboard on a 11.6”

            Yes, thank you; using an Asus UL20 now. You are welcome to buy and use whatever you want.

            “and are you willing to compromise so much for the under 5% of the total time of ownership, spent making use of that keyboard ?”

            Don’t know where that 5% number came from, but it’s way wrong for my usage. I have a tablet and it blows for real work.

        4. Why in the world would anyone that is looking at 10-11″ THIN laptop even consider a 15.6″ beast like that?

          1. Why would anyone looking to buy a $199 laptop even consider that 11″, when for $249 he could have a 4Gb RAM beast ? The defining thing about this is the $199 price tag. There haven’t been many, if any, $199 laptops until now. It’s not like this is the first 11″ ever. It’s a flat out ripoff, when you consider the 10″ IPS tablets, and that blue and pink HP line falls in the same category. low end tablet guts, pretending to be laptops, only with a shit display and no touch.

    1. It’s using a Z3735 Bay Trail chip and if we go by what OEMs (including ASUS) usually do with this chip on other devices, then the UEFI may only support booting 32-bit boot loaders but only the 64-bit Linux kernel supports UEFI. So people may have to go through doing the whole 32-bit boot loader modification thing to get the Linux kernel to boot. Brad has some articles on how to do it. There’s been work on the Linux kernel to make this easier but it’s still not a plug and play thing yet. Hopefully, this all gets sorted out in a timely manner.

        1. Running any OS in VirtualBox on a laptop with these specs would best be described as “unbelievably painful” but do what you gotta do.

          1. I ran xp in vmplayer, as well as surfed flash sites in 8.1. Ran well. Obviously its not a power machine, but im impressed

    2. There is little point in buying this if you want linux; get an acer C720 which has been available forever and has a haswell celeron and USB3.

      1. The C720 has awful build quality, and unusable touchpad with Linux, and a slower SSD about half as big. Also, it lasts about 3 hours on a charge and weighs about a full pound more than this. Did I mention it has a loud fan and gets hot quickly?

        1. I have the C720 and the only thing you’ve listed that I see with mine is the touchpad. Other than that, I still get at least a good 4 ~ 6 hours on Ubuntu depending on what I’m doing.

        2. Hasnt been my expierience at all. 8 hours battery life, runs cool and touchpad is fine all under linux. Once you replace the firmware and load a better ssd it makes a great Linux laptop for the price

        3. I got a used C720P on eBay, partitioned the 32gb drive into two 16gb chunks, and installed LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) onto the free half. After some tweaking, I now have a long-battery-life quiet and cool touchscreen Linux laptop with a great touchpad (much better than my ‘netbook’ experience over the past few years). The only thing that isn’t perfect yet (too lazy for me to worry about) is awakening perfectly after suspending. Sure, I’d like a 128gb drive — which I can do for about $100 — but I am very happy for now!

    3. I am always on the lookout for inexpensive hardware to run Linux on — which is why I recently acquired a used C720 and soon thereafter installed my favorite Linux distro on it. What caught my attention with the X205 was how similar the price/specs were, and the nice low price. Yes, there are trade-offs (as noted by ‘moog’) that make me prefer the C720 over the X205 — but for others that (perhaps) want the flexibility to dual-boot between W8.1 and Linux, this looks attractive. That being said, there is still the potential technical obstacles to doing this (as noted by ‘mo’ in this thread) — and I don’t think there would be a lot of usable space left on the 32gb drive for Linux (?).

        1. Yes, actually quite do-able, but you won’t have a lot of room left for data if you just use the internal 32GB. However, I have my X205T set up to dual-boot Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.10, and I added a micro-SD and mounted it as /home. I have plenty of room to load up Ubuntu with all of the programs I normally use, and 32GB of storage for data.

          Note that to set this up requires some “tricks.” You have to set up a USB memory stick as an Ubuntu Live-CD (I used unetboot to do that), and then you have to replace the 64-bit EFI with 32-bit. You also have to do a tweak to enable the SD card. And once you are done, sound doesn’t work, ACPI doesn’t work, internal wifi doesn’t work, bluetooth doesn’t work … yet. (I’m hopeful some newer kernels will solve some or all of these issues.)

          Nonetheless, I LOVE it — it is a great size for travel and a surprisingly responsive Ubuntu machine. I am using a tiny USB wifi dongle to get wifi — range is not great, but adequate. If I need sound (ie, to watch a video), I can dual-boot into Windows.

      1. I have a Clover Trail tablet and Windows 8 takes around 10 GB with not much 3rd party software and no recovery partition. I have a notebook with Xubuntu 12.04.5 that takes up around 5 GB plus a 1 GB swap partition. It seems like dual boot would be doable with 32 GB of storage but not ideal. I’d probably make full use of an SD card for non-OS data. Too bad this only supports micro SD cards though.

        1. Windows 8.1 Update 1 lets you use WIMBoot and keep the Windows install mostly in a compressed WIM file that’ll take up less than 4GB and won’t need a recovery partition because the WIM file doubles for that as well…

          This is how they’re getting Windows 8 on tablets with only 16GB of storage, for example…

          The main hurdle to proper dual booting is the lack of full 64bit UEFI in most of these mobile SoC based devices… which makes booting a Linux distro harder if you have to work around a 32bit UEFI…

  15. That’s somewhat tempting for travel, because it’s close to the old [Edit: Toshiba] netbook I use now, but faster, would be able to use the Win 8.1 Mail app, and you could better hide your files by removing the microSD card. Also, it wouldn’t be a theft magnet, except maybe in third world countries.

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