Asus Eee PC S101
UK Price: From £445 to £500
US Price: $699
In its bid to plug every gap in the market no-one had thought of yet, Asus delivered its "premium" netbook, the S101. Available with Windows XP only you get all the usual trappings, but with a 16GB SSD supplemented by a 16GB SDHC card in the box. It's also available in two very nice colours: Mocha & Graphite. That's brown and black to us mere mortals.
- CPU: Intel Atom N270 1.6Ghz
- Memory: 1GB DDR2
- Storage: 16GB SSD & 16GB SDHC Card
- Display: 10in, 1,024 x 600
- Ports: 3xUSB 2.0; VGA; Headphone & Microphone; Ethernet; Memory Card Reader
- Internet: 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet
- Bluetooth: Yes
- WebCam: 1.3 MegaPixel
- Operating System:: Windows XP
- Dimensions: 266 x 191.2 x 28.5~38mm
- Weight: 1.33kg (Linux); 1.06kg
- Colours: Mocha & Graphite
- Battery Life: 4-5 hours usage depending
- It's shiny, sexy and so slim you'll want to fondle it
- Excellent keyboard
- Looks and feels like a quality product, not a "toy"
- Battery life is still decent
- Wouldn't look out of place in business class lounge
- Colour choices are actually good!
- Highly portable
- Like an ultra-portable notebook, but a fraction of the price.
- Doesn't please netbook purists
- Too expensive for most budgets
- Battery life not as good as some
- Still "just a netbook"
- Limited availability
- Can buy a proper 12in notebook for not much more
What We Said
"All told we like the S101 in the same way that we like most ultra-portables notebooks, because it's sleek, stylish and accomplished. Battery life is very good, while the keyboard, touchpad and basic feature set are also excellent, even if you don't get much more than other cheaper netbooks. But price, as we all know, is an emotive issue. If you like your netbooks dirt cheap and care little for how they look and how you look using them, then it's obviously not for you. If, however, you've liked the idea of a netbook but find the current efforts a little unrefined, then the S101 is your only real choice. As such, even if it's not an "everyman" machine like other netbooks, we reckon the S101 deserves a recommendation because it's discernibly different from what else is available - something you can't say that often."
What We Think Now
Our opinion of the S101 hasn't changed that much. It is expensive for a netbook and you could get a reasonable portable notebook for the same price, but whatever you buy couldn't approach the class, style and portability of the S101. Its limited availability is an indicator of its niche appeal, but given it's your only alternative to a regular netbook it's worth consideration for more discerning buyers.
The Bottom Line
It's not for everyone, but there's nothing like it either.