Introduction:With many manufacturers stepping away from the netbook market, here is one manufacturer who is still making progress with their release of the latest netbook and that company is Asus. Personally, Asus was the pioneer in introducing netbook to the world. They have started with the 7" netbook which ran on the Celeron 900 cpu without L2 cache. It was cheap but performance wise, it was a disaster. Couple with an 8GB SSD at that time, one cannot use the netbook for storing.
These days, netbooks are fast dwindling due to the emergence of tablets. However, I do feel that there is always a special place for the netbooks especially with school children. You don't want them to carry expensive laptops which is weighing more than 1.4kg.
Asus is brilliant in revising their latest fashion in the netbook segment. I have the privilege of reviewing the Asus Eee PC 1011PX for that matter. I have chosen this netbook due to the fact that it fits the cost to specification ratio.
Specification of the Asus Eee PC 1011PX:
A run down of the Asus Eee PC 1011PX's specification is as follow:
CPU: Intel Atom N570 (dualcore cpu with each core running at 1.6ghz + Hyperthreading);
Memory: 2GB DDR3 SODIMM;
Graphics: Intel GMA 3150;
Bluetooth: Not present;
Screen size: 10.1";
USB ports: 3;
The unit which I have reviewed came pre-installed with Windows 7 Starter and Asus utilities. I uninstalled some of the unnecessary software and tweaked the computer before benchmarking the machine.
Even though I had limited time in testing the unit, I have to applause the effort taken by the Asus team. This is because I did a comparison to the year old Asus 1005P and clearly the 1011PX is far more superior. Gone are those days with only 160GB of Hard disk. With the 1011PX, Asus is generous as it comes with a 320GB of Hard disk space.
Apart from that, it has a brilliant Chiclets keyboard which is properly spaced out so you can type on it with ease. I did not find any problem even after typing on it for more than 40 minutes. It is a vast improvement as compared to the springy keyboard on the earlier Asus Eee PC e.g. the Asus 1005P which I am using at the moment.
Asus has maintained the chasis and the form factor for across their netbook segment ,i.e. Sea Shell form factor. I have nothing against it as it is quite a unique design. The chassis is strong and it comes with an Ethernet port, wireless N and a 3-in-1 memory card reader. I am so surprised that Asus installed an atom N570 which is a recent cpu from Intel on their netbook! The N570 blazed past the Asus 1005P without looking back!
The N570 is a typical low wattage cpu from Intel. It is a dual core cpu and supports hyperthreading! Even though it runs at 4 cores with the help of hyperthreading, it is no match for the more powerful low wattage cpu offerings from Intel e.g. P6100. This is because there is only 32KB L1 cache and 256KB L2 cache for each core. It is a far cry from the more powerful quadcore Core i7 but netbooks are not meant to be powerful anyway.
The beauty with the netbook is to allow someone to use it as a backup machine just in case their main laptop/pc crashed. It is perfect for those people who travel often as the 1011PX would accommodate up to 10 hours of usage with a single charge of the battery under light usage e.g. Microsoft Office Suite and light surfing the internet. I am pretty impressed with the 6 cell battery even though it is rather heavy but it does the job! I managed to run the battery down to 3% with 50% brightness and with wifi disabled in 9 hours as I was mainly using the netbook for Word processing.
I did play some 2D games on it and suffered no jerkiness! Moreover, watching 720p videos on youtube was not a problem too but it could not run 1080p videos. I think that has something to do with the Intel GMA 3150 graphics card which Intel should address. I think Asus should install an Nvidia gpu on it but it will most probably increase the selling price of the netbook so it will be a no-no for Asus.
The most annoying thing which I have found on the 1011PX is that it does not include bluetooth although there is an option for the dealer to include bluetooth. I am certain that a separate bluetooth could be installed on the netbook but it is a hassle.
Besides that, I am also not happy with the noise coming from the fan itself. I think Asus should redesign their fans on the netbooks across the whole range. It is quite loud and not ideal to work in a quiet environment. I am also not happy with the paltry 0.3MP webcam! [Come on Asus, surely you could do much better than that!!!]. You also get a mono speaker on the bottom right underneath the netbook.
Last but not least, it took me more than two hours to charge the battery to 100%! That is in itself a slow charge. Well, it is not as bad as charging a typical tablet as it could go up to 3 to 4 hours! Just imagine the time you need to spend charging the batteries!
I think that the Asus Eee PC 1011PX is a good netbook for those people who are always on the move. It is also a good first pc for amateurs as you could buy one unit from PC World or Currys for £230. It is a bargain! I also like the fact that Asus has created many ventilation portals to keep the netbook cool. A thumbs up for Asus for this netbook!