Asus X101 Netbook review

I know that many of you are wondering what happened to me. After such a glorious start with my new blog. It looked promising, an article about Linux photography and stuff. But what happened? Well live happened. I haven’t backed out from this blog and will post the detail article about Linux photography and how it worked for me and continue writing on a weekly basis (hopefully). But it seams that all my day to day stuff made it difficult for me to write the stuff I wanted. And on top of that my Asus 17 inch AMD laptop died on me, yes the one with Ubuntu installed and all. But it also had XP. Don’t worry it wasn’t Linux fault the computer died. The mother board fried for some reason. But it was to costly replacing the mother board and after waiting for 2 weeks getting that verdict from the repair store I set out to buy my self a new computer. For a change I decided to buy a desktop instead of a laptop. So I bought a AMD desktop with windows 7 home 64bit OS. But this article isn’t about just that. This article is about the new laptop I bought so I could continue using Linux which I missed a lot after getting windows 7 desktop. Basically I was looking for a laptop or netbook without an OS but that isn’t easy to come by. System76 looked promising but I just couldn’t resist the change to own a 199$ netbook with megoo OS.

So how is it?
Well the computer is small, duuhh. I have gotten used to the keyboard and the good thing about the keyboard is you can’t go really fast typing. That helps my writing a lot and reduce errors. The screen is fine and in all I like the look and feel of the computer. But what about Megoo? Well it is fast. Start up time is 16 sec and turn of time is 5 sec. Really nice. Chrome browser is fast and worked well but Open office 3.3 felt slow starting up but worked reasonably well. After upgrading the RAM to 2gb the computer feels as good as it can be. But megoo isn’t my thing. It is probably more then enough for many users who are mainly looking for a computer to use the internet and chat and stuff. But when you want to tweek the computer and install some stuff it just feels to limited as such and I wanted to use a big Linux distro and be more of a laptop but not just a limited netbook.

Which Linux to install?
My main problem was deciding which Ubuntu or Linux I should install. After looking at the matter and wondering if I should install Xubuntu or maby Lubuntu and hoping the start up time would be good because the thing I would miss the most about megoo is the start up time. 16 sec is nothing and 5 sec turnoff time is fantastic. No need to put this puppy to standby with those start up times. But I couldn’t find out how to install Ubuntu one on the megoo OS for exemple so I decided to start by installing Ubuntu 11.10 to start and see how it works. If it would be bad then I could always switch to xubuntu, lubuntu or Linux mint. But Ubuntu it is.

So how is Ubuntu
So far so good. Start up time is 29,5 sec. Not bad, would have like it to be faster. Libra office is quick to start up and nothing seams to be slow. It isn’t as fast as megoo but megoo doesn’t have all that Ubuntu has. For example skype which I installed, works well. Mic worked but haven’t tried the web came using skype. Double finger right click works and everything seams to work well. I would like to be able to set brightness and make it stick to it but when I start the computer it seams to reset brightness to 100%. I will post another MSG when I have tested battery time.

The Asus x101 is a light netbook which feels fast and reliable despite it’s low specs but the SSD probably helps a lot with how fast it feels. I will probably stick with Ubuntu 11.10 for a while and maybe try do a clean install of Xubunt to see how it works as a comparison but I might also try Linux mint which so many have been raving about. One thing I like about the Unity is it looks like it uses the limited screen size well and that is important for a computer this small.

Update 25. december 2011
I tested boot time more acuratly and it boots in 39 sec. Before I didn’t take in to account the Bios test screen. Also battery performance seams to be the same so far but haven’t tested it scientifically.

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4 Responses to Asus X101 Netbook review

  1. I was wondering how it works on-the-go. I have been considering this machine (despite the small screen) but it feels a little plastic-like. I wonder how sturdy it is…

    • birgirfreyr says:

      Well it is a bit hard to say how well this thing works on the go. I would say you would have to check them out before you buy mainly because of the keyboard. I wouldn’t say it isn’t something you can’t get used to but it feels different than other net-books that I have tried. But so far I am getting pretty used to the x101 keybord. About the build quality then it feels pretty sturdy. It is very light but I wouldn’t describe it as flimsy but probably not in the same league as Macbook air or something. But then again for the price of one macbook air you could buy four or five of these. But what are you going to use it for?

  2. First of all: Mac is not an option! 😉
    I need a machine I can use when travelling to clients. This means a lot of in/out of my (computer)backpack, moving around meeting rooms and a lot of writing on-the-go.
    I would need 2-3 hours of battery. Unfortunately I might be ‘forced’ to use Windows 7 due to software compatibility.

    • birgirfreyr says:

      Well I would believe the x101 would fit the bill pretty well. Currently the battery time seams to be around 4 hours with Ubuntu running 50% brightness. If you use the libre office for documents you create then you would not have to worry about software compatibility. Specially if it is mostly to use the net-book as a notebook (the paper kind). But then again you don’t have to pay much more for a net book with windows 7 starter and a bigger hard drive.

      If the purpose of the computer is taking notes and sharing them with other employes as word (.doc) documents then libre is safe. But I would still talk to you even if you buy a windows 7 machine and use MS office.

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