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Asus Eee PC X101CH – Connectivity, Screen and Audio

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


User Score:

Connectivity on the Asus Eee PC X101CH is an improvement over most previous-generation netbooks. On the left we have the tiny power jack, USB 2.0 port, VGA and HDMI for video, and an SDXC memory card reader. The front houses a set of indicator LEDs which are visible with the laptop closed.

On the right you’ll find a 3.5mm combined headphone/microphone jack, second USB 2.0 port, and the Gigabit Ethernet port. As we’re seeing on ever more ultraportables these days, like the Samsung Series 5 530U4B, to fit the Ethernet port into a chassis this slim it has flip-down bottom section. Wireless is handled by Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 3.0.

Usability is pretty decent. Asus hasn’t significantly changed its netbook keyboards in quite some time, and while the X101CH is generally comfortable to type on with reasonably crisp keys, there are a few niggles. Primarily, the shift keys are on the small side, so it’s too easy to press cursor-up rather than right-shift.

The touchpad sports the same textured surface as the netbook’s lid and keyboard surround, and despite its small size is very responsive. Its buttons are incorporated into a single chromed rocker bar, but with a tiny dead zone this is not an issue.

This Eee PC’s 10.1in screen is pretty average netbook fare, though we’re happy to see that Asus has gone for a matt finish. The resolution is our main sticking point, as it’s the classic 1,024 x 600 we love to hate. It’s surprising just how less usable this is than the laptop standard of 1,366 x 768, meaning you’ll need to scroll a lot more on everything from web pages to documents.

On the other hand, as these cheap and cheerful displays go, the X101CH’s is actually one of the better examples. Backlighting is nice and even, while horizontal viewing angles are decent – though vertically they’re as poor as ever, so make sure to position the screen at the right incline. Black levels are also slightly above average, with only the darkest two shades being indistinguishable. In other words, it’s adequate for movies and entertainment.

Audio is even better, as the mono speaker provides a decent amount of clarity and depth despite its inevitably tinny bass. It’s not a patch on the Toshiba NB550D’s efforts, but nonetheles headphones are not required.

Michael G

May 1, 2012, 4:15 pm

I'm staggered you have such room for complaint for a laptop that costs £200! What planet are you people on?

This is a Windows laptop for £200. It's sleek and looks good. You can write emails, browse the web, type up documents, pretty much everything an average user does.

For two hundred quid. And you complain about the screen, average battery life (surely a given at this price point?!) and lack of USB3? Who the hell even uses USB3?

Honestly, it's a dirt cheap netbook for quick browsing/emailing on the go. And for the price it is, finding room to complain and nitpick is completely absurd - just take it for what it is, surely?

This site has gone so downhill with a combination of a horrific "redesign", surely the worst I've ever seen, and frankly lazy, crap journalism. It's shocking.


May 1, 2012, 9:32 pm

@Michael G
Thanks for your comment but I must question where you find the justification for it.

"What planet are you people on?"
The one where many netbooks cost £150-£170, the one where you can get a decent 11/13in laptop for under £350, and the one where good reviewers point out the negatives with any product. It's called Earth.

"Honestly, it's a dirt cheap netbook for quick browsing/emailing on the go. And for the price it is, finding room to complain and nitpick is completely absurd - just take it for what it is, surely?"
Errm, if we didn't point out the bad bits, how would it be a good, comprehensive review? And where do I say that this netbook isn't fit for purpose? From the Verdict: "makes this netbook a far more attractive proposition than many"…

"And you complain about the screen"
Really? "as these cheap and cheerful displays go, the X101CH's is actually one of the better examples" [page2]

"And you complain about the […] average battery life (surely a given at this price point?!)"
No it's not, many similarly priced netbooks last 5 or 6 hours.

"And you complain about the […] lack of USB3"
Actually, I DON'T… where did you read this? I merely say "The X101CH suffers from many of the classic limitations we've come to associate with a netbook. Advanced connectivity like USB 3.0 is not available" [page1]
How is this TRUE statement a complaint? I even say "Connectivity on the Asus Eee PC X101CH is an improvement over most previous-generation netbooks." [page2]

"and frankly lazy, crap journalism"
Given the above I hope you'll agree that doesn't hold true for this review at least.


May 2, 2012, 6:01 am

To be honest i understand where Michael is coming from.

It's not the facts, it's the way you presented them. Upon reading one remains with a feeling that complaints far overwhelm positives. And, as you know, feeling of a review caries as much weight as facts if not more.

For example, you don't complain about stuff that are not meant to be seen there in any reasonable iteration. If you do, you create feeling that those features are norm and that product is lacking. If you do that it's either biased and mean spirited or ignorant and just plain bad writing. In the same spirit, you don't say that something is bad, but then explain that it's due to the price. You first state the limits then what is the result.

This is meant just as a constructive observation. Not an argument.


May 7, 2012, 6:16 pm

One thing I always find a failure of Netbook reviews is their difficulty in acknowledging the target form factor and tendency to make comparisons outside of the class.

Yes, Netbooks are slower than my desktop, worse connected than my smartphone, and doesn't make toast as well as my toaster.

May only be my opinion, but I feel that small size is half the point of a Netbook. Complaining a Netbook doesn't have a physically larger display, and down rating it against a laptops LCD is missing the point. Are there any new "Netbooks" without 1024 x 600 10.1" LCD's?

Frankly, I give most current generation netbooks a slight minus for not having a 8 or 9 inch display like the early Asus 701/901 generation, but that is slightly unfair as actually what I care about is the overall physical size not screen size.

Looking at my (too big) ASUS 1000HE, you could fit a larger LCD in the same case .. and then we come up against the Microsoft imposed limit on screen rez. Can't complain entirely though, while that Microsoft limit is slowly killing the Netbooks, their slow death is making life easier for Tablets.


May 9, 2012, 4:16 pm

Thanks for the observation.
I apologise if the tone of the review gives the wrong impression. 7/10 is not a bad score and it's not a bad netbook, however it doesn't quite match the battery life of some cheaper models, and netbooks overall are very limited machines, which is what I was trying to get across to readers who might be unfamiliar with the category.

However, I feel the overall tone of the review paints this netbook quite positively, for example:
"At a mere £210, it's one of the most affordable small laptops around, and you won't find anything much more powerful for this kind of money. Asus' latest Eee PC may be a bit more expensive than other netbooks which start at around £170, but its attractive and thin design, relatively good connectivity, larger hard drive, virtually silent running and 'instant on' make it well worth the small premium. "

I think you may have misunderstood. I in no way compare this netbook to larger laptops directly, except to say that more affordable 13inchers are eating away its potential market share. I also don't ask for a larger screen, just a higher resolution - which some 'netbooks' did provide (Dell had a 1366 x 768 screen option on its 10in netbooks when it still did them).

With convertible tablets on the rise offering 1280 x 800 IPS displays at the same size for under £400 (see the http://www.trustedreviews.com/... ), 1024 x 600 feels more restrictive than ever.


September 27, 2012, 6:25 pm

I know this is a bit of an old thread now, but I guess I would like to know where I can get a cheaper, better netbook.
I looked at this one as it is being sold for £180 in Argos, which I thought would be great for families to potentially buy for their kids at Christmas etc. So I guess I'd just like an example of a cheaper better quality laptop / netbook that I could recommend to people.
In my view all the tabs and pads are just way over priced. The alternative to this cited on one website was the Asus Transformer. Hang on that's £400, how is that an alternative to a £180 netbook?


September 27, 2012, 7:06 pm

No worries, thanks for your comment. As mentioned in the review, it's one of the better netbooks around if you don't mind its short battery life. However, I would definitely wait until Windows 8 and its accompanying devices launch next month before suggesting any alternatives.


December 7, 2013, 11:40 am

Michael G "who even uses USB3". Do you even know what USB 3.0 is? In my opinion, a pretty fine review. Looked at the negatives and positives rather equally. Sounds like someone is raging a bit out of jealousy? Awh.

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