Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell - 11.6in Netbook - Asus Eee PC 1101HA Seashell

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

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.

Verdict

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.

farki80

July 16, 2009, 1:52 pm

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

chessnuts

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.

Xiphias

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.

KALAYAN REDDY

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).


Battery


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!


Pros:


• Nice build quality


• Good screen


• Easy to overclock


Cons:


• Has to be overclocked

comments powered by Disqus