I recently decided to get a new laptop. My old laptop was looking like it was going to kick the bucket soon, and I wanted to exchange it sooner, rather than later. I was originally planning to get a high-end Dell, but looking closer at the contents of my wallet, I decided to forego the high-end one for now, and rather go for a cheaper netbook-style computer. In the end, I decided on the Asus Eee 1101H, opting for a large screen and decent specs.
|Windows 7 Home Premium
|Intel Atom Z520 (1.33 GHz)
|2GB DDr SO-DIMM
|11.6″ LED Backlit WXGA (1366×768)
|WLAN (802.11 b/g/n)
|250 GB (5400rpm)
2xAudio jack (Head phone/Mic)
Card reader (MMC/SD/SDHC)
The Eee 1101H is the largest EeePC yet, with its 11.6″ monitor. This means that the keyboard is full size. Unlike most laptops, the touchpad is not recessed in the handrest. Instead, it’s covered in raised dots, meaning you know exactly where the mousepad is. Other than the keyboard and touchpad, the 1101H has an on-button and a button that turns the touchpad on and off.
The casing is done in a glossy black finish, which Asus claims to have made scratch resistant. How much so remains to be seen. There can be no doubt, however, that it looks good, and has the features you’d expect from a machine like this. For amateur photographers like myself, the SDHC slot comes in particularly handy when on the go, taking photos, as copying them off my cards is as easy as pie.
The Atom processor is not especially powerful, so I wasn’t expecting too much from it. For most tasks though, it is enough. My first recommendation would be to turn off Aero and other “shiny” features. While they certainly look good, and add to the feel of the computer, they also mean you get much less processing power for everything else, never mind battery time.
While on the subject of battery time, I think it’s pretty impressive. While the 9 hour mark boasted by Asus is not reached, the battery still lasts an impressive five to eight hours, depending on what sort of use you put it to. This seems to be mostly due to the CPU, which not only does not use a lot of power, but is also impressively cool, meaning the fan doesn’t run all the time. Even at full load, I’ve yet to see this computer uncomfortably warm, which seems to be the consensus among reviewers.
With its 2 GB of RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium runs smoothly without a hitch. All of the programs I’ve tested have run smoothly, both alone, and with other software (including, but not limited to, Firefox, Paint.NET and FileZilla).
The BIOS is accessed by pressing F2 during startup, and is very clean and neat. I wouldn’t even mention it if it weren’t for one thing; it allows you to overclock the processor. Let me say that again; The BIOS let’s you overclock the CPU. Why do I repeat it? I have never before seen that option on a netbook, and while I’m sure it’d play havoc on battery time and heating, it does give you the option of an extra 30% performance from the CPU. While not the most elegant way of doing it, it still is nice to know that I have the option.
Like its forerunners, the Eee 1101H is lightweight and cheap to buy. Still, the overall build quality is far better than the price tag would indicate. The keyboard gives a clear, tactile response, and everything is in its proper place. Unlike the nine- and ten-inch EeePCs, the layout does not suffer from the same sense of crampedness that so often plague netbooks.
Having bought an EeePC earlier, I was somehow expecting, or at least hoping, that this, too, would come with a protective sleeve. In this department, however, I was sadly disappointed. Not one to be discouraged, I went around town trying to find a sleeve that would fit it. Being an 11.6″ computer, I looked in the 11-12″ range, and everything was either too small or too large. That is, until I tried on the Gimp 10″ form Crumpler. Yup, that’s right, a sleeve designed for a 10″ laptop, fit perfectly around my shiny new ‘puter. Make sure you try it out before you buy it though!
While the Eee 1101H is certainly not the computer to get if you’re going to do some serious gaming, it is up to running most programs you would care to run on it. The video performance is impressive, as is the clarity of the screen, which does suffer somewhat for being glossy.
If you’re looking to get a machine for effective word processing, web browsing and general tasks, and if you want a small machine, and don’t mind it not being the fastest machine on the block, the 1101H just might be for you. It certainly has been, and will continue to be, for me.