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Asus spins three low-priced netbooks

Jul 28, 2011 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Asus is taking the netbook back to its roots, with two devices intended to sell for as little as $200. The low-cost EeePC R011PX and EeePC X101 come with the Ubuntu and MeeGo operating systems, respectively — but will also run Windows if you insist.

One of the first-ever netbooks — indeed, released before that term had been coined — was the original Asus Eee PC (pictured), which launched with no numerals after its name in November 2007. The device had been touted as selling for under $200, but actually made its debut for about $400 (with a seven-inch screen, 4GB solid state drive, 900MHz Celeron processor, and Linux on board).

Subsequent netbooks gained (somewhat) more powerful Intel Atom processors, larger screens, hard disk drives, and full-blown Windows installations. As a result, most sell today for between $300 and $450, unless they're closeout models.

However, Asus is now revisiting netbook history with two low-priced models, both including the 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel screens, near-full-size keyboards, and Atom processors that today's market expects. Both come with Linux — Ubuntu on the Eee PC R011PX and MeeGo on the Eee PC X101.

We'll start with the Eee PC X101, which is the least expensive and was originally announced by Asus at the end of May. This model comes with 1GB of RAM, an 8GB solid state disk (SSD), and a choice of single-core CPUs: either a 1.33GHz Atom N435 or a 1.66GHz N455.


Asus Eee PC X101
(Click to enlarge)

Asus had mooted prices as low as $200 for the MeeGo-powered X101, but U.S. retailer Directron appears to be selling the device for $209 in its N435 version. Pictured in black on the retailer's website, the netbook also comes in red and white, according to Asus.

Specifications listed by Asus for the Eee PC X101 include:

  • Processor — 1.33GHz Atom N435 or 1.66Ghz N455
  • Chipset — NM10
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR3 RAM (2GB max.)
  • Storage — 8GB SSD
  • Expansion — SD/SDHC/MMC card reader
  • Display — 10.1-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Webcam — 0.3 megapixel
  • Networking:
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth 3.0 (optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • audio — headphone out/mic in
  • Battery — three cell; four hours of operation
  • Dimensions — 10.3 x 7 x 0.7 inches (262 x 180 x 17.6mm)
  • Weight — 2 pounds (0.92kg)

The Eee PC R011PX, meanwhile, comes only with the faster Atom N455 processor, plus a massive increase in storage provided by a 320GB hard disk drive. Instead of MeeGo, it runs Ubuntu Desktop Edition Version 10.10, according to Asus.


Asus Eee PC R011PX
(Click to enlarge)

The R011PX has the same footprint as the X101, but is somewhat thicker and heavier, presumably because of the hard disk drive. However, its three-cell battery still provides four hours of operation, Asus claims.

Specifications listed by Asus in PDF format for the Eee PC R011PX include:

  • Processor — 1.66GHz Atom N455
  • Chipset — NM10
  • Memory — 2GB of DDR3 RAM
  • Storage — 320GB hard disk drive
  • Expansion — SD/SDHC/MMC card reader
  • Display — 10.1-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Webcam — 0.3 megapixel
  • Networking — 802.11b/g/n
  • Other I/O:
    • 3 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x VGA
    • audio — headphone out/mic in
  • Battery — three cell; four hours of operation
  • Dimensions — 10.3 x 7 x 1.4 inches (262 x 180 x 36.5mm)
  • Weight — 2.75 pounds (1.25kg)

Finally, the EeePC R105D is basically the same as the R011PX, but with a preinstalled Windows 7 Starter installation. However, Microsoft fans play a higher price (see end of story), and they get a smaller 250GB hard disk drive and only 1GB of RAM, according to Asus.

Asus also says the R105D has only two USB 2.0 ports compared to the R011PX's three, though this may just be a misprint on the spec sheet. The Windows-powered device does add a six-cell battery that is claimed to provide 8.5 hours of operation.

Specifications listed by Asus in PDF format for the Eee PC R1105D include:

  • Processor — 1.66GHz Atom N455
  • Chipset — NM10
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable to 2GB)
  • Storage — 250GB hard disk drive
  • Expansion — SD/SDHC/MMC card reader
  • Display — 10.1-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Webcam — 0.3 megapixel
  • Networking — 802.11b/g/n
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x VGA
    • audio — headphone out/mic in
  • Battery — six cell; 8.5 hours of operation
  • Dimensions — 10.3 x 7 x 1.4 inches (262 x 180 x 36.5mm)
  • Weight — 2.8 pounds (1.27kg)

Availability

The Eee PC X101 is now available internationally, including from the U.S. reseller mentioned earlier in this story. The Eee PC R011PX and R105D are now available from Amazon Germany for 209 Euros (about $298) or 229 Euros (about $327), respectively. More information may be found on Amazon.de's R011PX product page and R105D product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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