Asus Eee PC X101H review, making a case for MeeGo

When the first Asus Eee PC showed up in 2007, a lot of people were a bit skeptic whether small laptops would catch on. Well it did. It gave birth to netbooks which spurned a whole new market in the world of computing essentially making laptops more accessible to a lot of people.

Asus Eee PC X101H

Asus is not done yet and now they’re bringing us the affordable Eee PC X101 (SSD) and X101H (HDD) which are priced around the Php10,000 mark. These look like your ordinary netbook having some basic specs but the thing that drove the price down is its OS, a Linux-variant called MeeGo.

Read on for our review of the Eee PC X101H and see if MeeGo would be something that you can grow fond of.

Design

The first thing you will notice about the X101H is that it’s quite compact. Smaller than your typical netbook. The X101H took its design cue from an airplane wing with the thickness at only 22mm. If you want a more slimmer profile, the X101 is for you. The lack of VGA and LAN port brought its girth down to 17.6mm.

asus x101h 02 asus x101h 03

Anyway, back to the X101H. The lid on this netbook has a textured surface which is good for handling but might be hard to clean especially it being white. The same textured surface is found inside on the palm rest and around keyboard area. Other areas are glossy white.

asus x101h 04 asus x101h 05

On the sides are the usual ports. Left side you’ll see the VGA port, the tiny DC-in port, a USB 2.0 and an SD card slot. Right portion is a retractable Ethernet port, another USB 2.0 port and the 3.5mm audio jack which also works as a microphone out.

asus x101h 06 asus x101h 07

Keyboard design is the same as most Eee PC we have today with the chiclet layout. Small keys but what can you expect from a netbook right? You’ll get used to it in no time anyway if you don’t have huge fingers. The touchpad is a bit small like old Eee PC netbooks and the click buttons requires a little more effort to use.

Go MeeGo!

The X101H runs on a Linux-based OS called MeeGo which essentially is the main reason why the price of this netbook is very accessible to the mass market. It is an OS suitable for low-powered devices and ASUS made it easy for first-time users to get a handle of in the X101H.

Let’s walk you through with MeeGo on the X101H, it won’t take long.

The X101H has eight main tabs which you can access every time from the status/menu bar on top. This bar disappears after a few seconds to give you more room to work with and can be pulled down by just hovering your mouse on top.

Asus Eee PC X101H

MyZone is the first tab you will see which is also your dashboard with a bunch of widgets. You can put shortcuts to your favorite apps, display your calendar, your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and also your recently viewed media files.

asus x101h 09 asus x101h 10

Next is what ASUS calls Zones which displays your current opened windows and applications. Then Internet, this page displays your favorite pages and will launch it via Chromium browser.

asus x101h 11 asus x101h 12

Status is a tab just for your social network account so you can take a quick peek of status updates. People is the instant messaging tab.

asus x101h 13 asus x101h 14

Applications is where you will find installed apps including the Open Office suite which effectively replaces your Microsoft Office. There’s also an Asus App store where you can downloaded additional apps but the selection is a bit limited. Finally Devices is simply your file explorer but you can also see and tweak different settings form this tab.

With that, we can compare MeeGo on the X101H as something we can expect from tablet or even smartphones. Made for browsing and interacting over the net with a few productivity apps thrown in.

Performance and Battery Life

The Asus Eee X101H we have here is powered by an Intel N455 Atom 1.66GHz processor. A last-generation processor and not dual-core but it serves its purpose to handle the light MeeGo computing requirements. Because of the limited things you can do with MeeGo, the 1GB RAM and 250GB HDD on the X101H should be enough.

Asus Eee PC X101H

Don’t expect buttery smooth tabbing between windows and applications but it doesn’t feel slow either. Chromium browser is very capable although the 1024 x 600 display will force you to scroll up and down a lot. You can play Facebook Flash games off it but expect some stuttering when doing so.

Asus Eee PC X101H

A drawback I encountered with X101H’s MeeGo is the inability to play my AVI files. Not even MP4 files which my Android phone can play. I’m sure there are apps or tweaks out there that can improve the media player here but those who are unfamiliar with MeeGo (like me) will be stuck without a way to view their videos unless they convert them to .OGV format.

Asus Eee PC X101H

As for battery life, I can only get around 2 and a half hours from a full charge with just web browsing and document typing. It was a bit surprising that the battery life is short considering that this is a low-powered netbook. Turns out the Eee PC X101H only uses a 3-cell battery with a 2600mAh rating.

Verdict

Basically, the Asus Eee PC X101H is clearly a netbook designed to meet the needs of people who want things simple. A very light and portable netbook that would allow them to surf the net, keep up with their social networks and maybe do some reports or two.

Asus Eee PC X101H

It has a short battery life, limited computing capabilities and won’t even play common videos out-of-the-box but the Php10,995 price tag makes it really attractive for those who want to own a netbook from a trusted brand. Tech savvy people might get this and install Windows XP on it and probably add another GB of memory.

UPDATE: We just got word from Asus Philippines that this White version of the X101H won’t be available here. Black is the only option.

If you want to go smaller, the slimmer Eee Pc X101 is priced at Php9,995 but comes with a 16GB SSD instead of an HDD.

Asus Eee PC X101H Specs:
Intel N455 Atom 1.66Ghz processor
MeeGo OS
10.1-inch, LED-backlit LCD, 1024 x 600
250GB HDD
1GB DDR3
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth v3.0
2x USB 2.0
VGA, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio port
SRP: Php10,995

32 Comments

  1. I would opt for the X101 and replace MeeGo with Ubuntu, and install the codecs myself. That would make the most out of it, really.

    • Sir Kenneth,
      Good day…like to ask between Meego and Ubuntu….i think it’s the same base…Linux…pls explain…planning to buy one though. Thanks. God bless.

      • Meego is actually a derivative of Maemo found on the Nokia N900, so it’s initially intended for smartphones. Ubuntu is a full desktop OS.

        Meego boots faster than Ubuntu in this Eee PC. But if you are into more applications and features out of the box, I’d recommend Ubuntu.

        Ubuntu is fairly easy to install, unless you are dual-booting this netbook.

  2. Charles /

    Hey how did you connect to the internet using that?

    I know it has wifi but can it also use 3G USB dongles?

    • hindi raw lahat ng dongles kayang basahin ng meego. will get back to you kung anong models ang kaya sa wednesday.

  3. Hi, thanks for the review – could you possibly show us a shot of the network panel?

  4. Griswold /

    Hmmm sayang naman. it’s so portable pero limited ang battery life. so hindi na rin portable if you will be lugging along the battery with it. ok sana if mga 8-hours 10 hours sya.

    • you probably mean the charger not the battery, cuz you will always need to carry the battery with you otherwise, how to you power it up?

  5. This one is really great. I really want to buy this one. Its awesome

  6. jego207 /

    They stripped it down to the bare essentials. Still, being an ultrabook, and with a price like that, it will force the market to create better products. Not bad.

    I wonder if it can handle Windows7?

    • Windows7 would be slow. It can probably get by with Win XP but unless you put another GB of RAM on it then it won’t be a good experience on Win7

    • Eason /

      Windows 7 is fairly usable, as long as there is no Aero Theme or un-essential windows features included. :D

  7. Try out this netbook with a “bare-bones” Windows XP. This netbook will be really ultra fast!!! The stripped down version of Windows will use only about 128MB RAM…so the 1 GB RAM will be “TOO” big. I could teach you how to do it!

    Or you can try “Elive” as an Operating Sytem, still linux based but uses only 64MB RAM and it looks like a “Mac Computer.”

    I have a desktop Pentium 3 (866MHz) with 128MB RAM,

    dual-boot:
    1. Windows XP SP2 [complete with MS Office 2007, Mozilla 6, Chrome and Opera] uses only 90MB RAM while running

    2. ELive

    And I am using it to post my comment here.
    If I own this netbook, I will show you how to speed this up. Unfortunately, I don’t have this. :(

    • nameless /

      Ubuntu netbook edition 10.04 would be great for this laptop. Meego and Ubuntu has the same Linux base, but ubuntu are meant to be used as a full desktop. It has lots of tools and applications available via Apps repository, plus. things just work out of the box in UBUNTU. for example, USB broadband modems. :)

      • thanks nameless… maybe that’s a good option for those who know how to tinker with their OS. install Ubuntu on this one.

    • Hi Nic,

      My plan is buy this X101H then load it with XP. Any type of external CD-DVD reader will do? I don’t have yet the the CD-DVD reader. Thanks

      • I don’t have this netbook. But 98% it will read from an external CD/DVD ROM/RW. You can by CD/DVD external from Computer Stores for 4K or less. You can install XP from there or try having a live version of XP. If you need more information you can always comment on my site. Just click my name and it’ll take you there.

  8. Sandy Miguel (@parlorfix) /

    I suggest you guys buy the dual-core ASUS 1015PX at Complink or Villman. The DOS version sells for 13,999 (I got mine at 12,999 as the store clerk at Complink SM Bacoor gave me a discount). I didn’t buy the one that comes with Windows 7 (which retails for 16k or something) because I knew someone who had an installer at home, so it saved me a few thousands of bucks.

    My dual-core ASUS netbook got an overall score of 2.9 on the Windows Experience Index but I guess if you’re to judge it based on productivity, multi-tasking and stuff, it does fare well for a netbook (judging by the notorious reputation of netbooks when it comes to multitasking).

    I’ve been using this for a month now and I have to say, I’m quite pleased. I haven’t tried playing games on it though– am just using the netbook for basic computing and watching videos. So if you’re going to add two thousand pesos just to get an Asus dual-core variety, just go for the ASUS 1015PX instead of this newer model. Just my two cents.

  9. someone /

    Tried dual booting it with Win7 but then I lost the Meego OS. Anybody here who tried dual booting and knows a way to recover Meego? Email me pls.

    I want Meego OS for its fast 15sec boot-up. Fast access to the net when I’m on a hotspot.

    • Try booting from any linux distro that has grub or lilo… I suggest Grub cause you can customize the interphase. I suggest Linux Puppy to fix this. Your boot loader problem will be solved. If you have more questions, you can post a comment on my site. Just click on my name.

  10. Devashish /

    I am planning to buy this notebook and install windows XP on it. Do you see any problem with Hardware Drivers during installation?

    • I bought Asus X101H yesterday and tried to install windows Xp. I succeeded in installing the OS but i found only video driver and LAN driver am finding difficulty to find the rest drivers for windows Xp (i.e; audio, wifi, bluetooth)Can anyone help me. I found the drivers from http://www.laptopish.com/drivers/asus-eee-pc-x101h-xp-drivers/ but only video, chipset and LAN working rest its getting installed but not reflecting in my netbook. Please help me. :)

      • I found audio driver now at http://drp.su/drivers/notebooks/?v=asus&m=X101H&id=58102&l=en , left over is Wifi and bluetooth. Will soon Update if I find or else if someone has pls post the link. Help highly appreciated. :)

      • Try out driver genius…the latest drivers are there..tried this software and worked like magic..just find cracks for this program if you cannot afford to buy this. I would want to tell you where to find the crack but that would be piracy. Anyways best of luck on your new notebook. :)

      • Did you do a solo clean install of XP? or dual boot? it would have been more practical if you have dual-booted XP and MeeGo on your netbook so that you can experiment with XP first (especially with drivers, etc.)..unfortunately I can’t afford to buy this netbook…:D

  11. windows 7 works well in this unit. I am using it now and it is the white version. cool

  12. jereme dalo /

    sirs im no tekkieee!!! just a simple end-user who happened to have bought this netbuk…….i have a very simple question[s], naive if u will, not to mention ignorant.

    – how can i download a free antivirus, i tried to install a free version of avira but after downloading it says there were errors, bug, however u call it.same thing when i attempted to download yahoo messenger.

    – does it have something to do with the meego OS? how could i possibly download these stuff?tnx.

  13. hi, just bought this netbook it comes with meego only (no windows unlike the other) now i want to intall windows 7 using a flash drive. .. my problem is that how can i set this to boot on my flash drive? can any body help me in installing windows 7 and delete meego.. thanks

  14. can i use this x101H charging without battery? like other laptop?

  15. Fel Andrew /

    pwede mailisdan ang RAM ani nga model? bati kaayo sya pang gaming… plz reply at my email :) ty!!!

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