ASUS Eee PC X101CH – Intel’s Cedar Trail-M Arrives
Physique and Features
It has been a while since we got our hands on a netbook. Our last rendezvous with a netbook was with the meek-looking, Meego-powered X101H which we reviewed sometime in August last year. Since then, HardwareZone was primarily pre-occupied by the hype on tablets and Ultrabooks which we anticipate to continue throughout 2012.
Last December, leaks leading to the details of an upcoming netbook from ASUS surfaced on the Internet. Looking at its photos, we saw that the new model remains faithful to the design of some Eee PC Seashell netbooks that we saw in the past. That said, one might ask: so what makes this new netbook so special? The Eee PC X101CH is here to provide us with answers.
The Eee PC X101CH is a well-designed netbook. The surface of its exterior and interior has a nice texture that is good to see and touch, which looks like a crafted leather or metallic material. The surface’s texture helps in providing you with a firm grip on the netbook and makes it resistant against unsightly fingerprint smudges. On the whole, the Eee PC X101CH’s chassis is made of plastic, yet it feels robust and looks well put together.
Sporting a matte 10-inch screen, the Eee PC X101CH’s display area is bordered by a matte frame as well. These elements prevent the netbook from being prone to ambient glare. Below the display is a chiclet-type keyboard which is convenient to use. The same goes for the touchpad which has the same surface as the lid cover, though the click buttons feel quite flimsy. Underneath, you will see neither a removable cover that allows for access to internal parts nor a vent where heat can escape, except the one that is meant for the netbook’s built-in speaker. This design touch makes for an appealing, seamless look.
The side profiles of the Eee PC X101CH give the impression that it is a close relative of the X101H. Its right side shows the same set of a 3.5mm audio port (headphone and microphone), a USB terminal, and a protractable Ethernet slot which partly reminds us of the Karim Rashid-designed 1008P Eee PC netbook.
The left side hosts a VGA, an additional USB port, a card reader, and, most importantly, an HDMI so you could hook the netbook to an HDTV or an HDMI-equipped projector. A few years back, an HDMI was more commonly found on netbooks with NVIDIA’s Ion platform which was adequate to support full HD (1080p) video playback. In the past, most netbooks relied on Intel’s less powerful GMA 3000 series, thus, it was illogical for vendors to add an HDMI out into the mix.