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Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook review

Andy Vandervell



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Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook
  • Eee PC 1101HA-BLK004X 29.5 cm 11.6" Netbook - Atom Z520 1.33 GHz - Black (1366 x 768 WXGA Display - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD - Intel GMA 500 - Bluetooth - Webcam - Windows XP Home - 11 Hour Battery)


Our Score:


We're not sure what to say about netbooks anymore. Just the very mention of one makes our brains turn numb, so we'll be honest with you - we weren't exactly filled with excitement when we took delivery of Asus' latest offering, the Eee PC 1101HA.

In all fairness to the Eee PC 1101HA, though, it does generate a few talking points due to its 11.6in display. This appears to be the next frontier for netbooks, bringing with it a far more usable 1,366 x 768 resolution. That's the same resolution found on many 13.4, 15.6 and 16in laptops, so if you've ever bemoaned the restrictiveness of a 10in netbook, the 1101HA could be for you.

However, before you start leaping for joy at the sheer genius of it all, there are compromises to be made. If the 1.6GHz Intel Atom processors were pushing the boundaries of acceptable performance, the 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520 in the 1101HA laughs in your face and shouts "I can go slower".

In our experience the Z520 is noticeably slower than the N270 or N280 Atom CPUs. It struggles more perceptibly with online flash video, especially BBC iPlayer in full screen or in 'high quality' mode. It's also slightly less responsive when switching between different applications, which can become irritating over a prolonged period of time.

This CPU is paired with the Intel GMA 500 graphics chipset, which is mooted to support acceleration of 1080p VC-1, AVC HD (h.264) and MPEG-2 video. This is obviously a pretty neat feature, but not an easily accessible one - you must be using the correct driver and install Windows Vista or Windows 7 to get it working properly. As such the 1101HA, which like most netbooks comes with Windows XP pre-installed, isn't best placed to take advantage! Moreover, given the sluggishness of the processor, installing either Vista or Windows 7 isn't necessarily a great idea.

Outside of the processor and chipset, everything else about the 1101HA's specification is entirely by the book. As such you get a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Included in the box is Asus' customary slip-case, which is always a nice touch, while the power supply is the same small unit supplied with the 1008HA.


July 16, 2009, 1:52 pm

Nice looking low-powered ultraportable, but that glossy finish kinda ruined it.


July 16, 2009, 4:42 pm

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.


July 16, 2009, 7:13 pm

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.


September 30, 2009, 2:38 pm

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 battery

Screen and Speakers

The 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 good

Keyboard and Touchpad

The 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 Ports

The 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 Benchmarks

The 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).


ASUS 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!


• Nice build quality

• Good screen

• Easy to overclock


• Has to be overclocked

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