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Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook - Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell
As some of you may have noticed the 1101HA is another Asus netbook that sports the 'seashell' design first seen in the 1008HA. This is an attractive design, if a little on the glossy side, but unlike the 1008HA the ports on the 1101HA are exposed. You also get a normal VGA output, not the mini version with an adapter.
As for the connectivity itself, the 1101HA holds no surprises. On the left there's the power input, the VGA out, a USB port and the lock slot. Then, on the right, there's an SD card reader, the audio jacks, two more USB ports and the Ethernet port.
Continuing the similarities with the 1008HA, the touchpad and keyboard are transferred more or less unchanged. This is no bad thing; the multi-touch touchpad in particular is very nice to use, but the keyboard has seen one minor change. Whereas the 1008HA had half-height cursor keys to incorporate a larger right-Shift key, the 1101HA does away with this. We're not sure why as we'd sooner have a large Shift key, but overall the keyboard remains a good one.
Having complained about the performance of the processor it does, however, use less power than the faster Atom processors, which of course prolongs the 1101HA's battery life. Backed by the removable 4,400mAh battery the 1101HA managed over eight hours of video playback - none too shabby by any measure. This makes it among the longest lasting netbooks around, though the 11.6in frame means it isn't necessarily the most portable.
This leaves us in a bit of quandary with the 1101HA. While it's definitely on the sluggish side, in every other respect it's pretty hard to fault. It's got a great high-resolution display, battery life is right up there with the best and ergonomically it's great to use.
However, one factor we've ignored up until now is price. And, with an MSRP of £379, it's no trivial matter. We dare say it'll come down in price in time, but the 1101HA won't be cheap. Those who reckon the high resolution display is the answer to their prayers may decide this is acceptable, but given the so-so performance on offer it's a big chunk of cash. Moreover, Intel has recently slackened its rules on netbooks, so we'll soon see more 10in netbooks with higher resolution displays and faster N-series processors.
Anyone who's been yearning for a high resolution netbook will find the Eee PC 1101HA a tempting proposition. However, it is let down by its sub-par processor and its relatively high price. There's still plenty to enjoy here, but we'd wait a little longer to see what else comes along.