By Andy Vandervell
16 Jul 2009
Review Price free/subscription
Nice looking low-powered ultraportable, but that glossy finish kinda ruined it.
Stay well clear of this netbook and its Z520 processor if you appreciate your sanity. I'm stuck on an Acer Aspire One for a few weeks until I can upgrade, and that has an Atom N270... I'm hanging in there.To all those in the market for a netbook, wait a little longer for the new ones to come out with Intel's codenamed 'Moorestown' chips. The current processors that are out right now, and I know from experience that even running a heavily tweaked Windows 7 RC configuration on a netbook with 1.6Ghz Atom N270, with ONLY Firefox running, browsing the web is still a drag and the browser constantly hangs; and you can forget about youtube.
There's something wrong with your Aspire One then, the N270 can easily play youtube videos and browsing the web is no different than on a full speed PC. It's a shame Asus are now copying everyone else and not continuing how they started with practical plastics not glossy ones and lighter, more efficient SSDs instead of HDDs as standard.
I have to confess to feeling a strong sense of deja vu when I opened the box containing the new Asus Eee PC 1101HA. The simple styling, solid build quality and budget prices are all reasons that the Asus Eee PC line remains popular among many retailers. The various parts of the chassis come together with tight build tolerances like a higher-priced laptop. The bottom of the netbook looks very clean and smooth with an easy-access RAM cover, heat vents, and the batteryScreen and SpeakersThe new Eee PC 1101HA Seashell uses a reasonably impressive 11-inch LED-backlit display panel with a 1366x768 native resolution. The glossy screen in the 1101HA offers good color and contrast. Glare and reflections indoors under strong lights or outdoors under direct sunlight can be a problem because of the glossy surface, but the LED backlighting is usually strong enough to overpower any reflections on the screen. The built-in speakers, like those found on virtually all netbooks, are pretty goodKeyboard and TouchpadThe 1101HA uses a new 95% full-size keyboard that is marginally larger and more comfortable .The keys on this netbook keyboard are still slightly smaller than the keys on an average notebook and the spacing between the keys is a little cramped. If you prefer the shape and feel of traditional keys then you'll probably like the new keyboard. The Synaptics touchpad used on the 1101HA allows you to use multi-figure gestures such as "pinching" your fingers together or "pulling" your fingers apart to zoom in or out. You can also use a "three-finger tap" as an alternative to a right click on a mouse. The Synaptics control panel in Windows also allows you to customize these gestures as well. The touchpad surface is covered in dots that provide a clear indication of the edges of the touchpad, but this also makes the touchpad surface too rough for quick finger movement. The left and right touchpad buttons are located beneath a single rocker-style button.The 1101HA lacks a dedicated wireless on/off switch, but ASUS did include a dedicated touchpad on/off button as well as FN keyboard shortcuts for wireless, screen brightness, video output, volume, and Windows task manager.Input and Output PortsThe 1101HA features three USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 media card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, Ethernet port, and the return of a standard VGA out port. The 1101HA also features the "Eee Docking software". In much the same way that the Apple OS X dock or ObjectDock from Stardock software allow you to use quick shortcuts to utilities and applications, the Eee Docking software provides an easy way to locate utilities, software and digital content. It consists of the following: Eee Vibe (music/media application and Eee download website), Sharing (Data sync, messenger, and Eee Storage), Xperience (Voice Command) and Tools (Parental Control, Font resizer, and Settings), and all of these suites are easily accessed from the top of the screen and is semi-hidden when not in use.Performance and BenchmarksThe 1101HA is equipped with a Intel Atom Z520 processor running at 1.33GHz compared to most .On a positive note, ASUS includes a proprietary overclocking application on the 1101HA called the "Super Hybrid Engine" that allows you to cycle through pre-set power profiles to maximize battery life by underclocking the processor, keep the processor at stock speed or overclock the processor by roughly 30 percent (from 1.33GHz to 1.74GHz).BatteryASUS claims that the 1101HA provides "all-day computing" with up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge. I am able to get closer to 9 hours and 20 of battery life!Pros:• Nice build quality • Good screen• Easy to overclockCons:• Has to be overclocked
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