Best Asus EEE PCs – top picks on Asus netbooks and mini laptops
It’s difficult to think about the netbook market today and not take into consideration Asus and their EEE PC line. Basically, every time you search for a netbook on Google or Amazon, many of the results will refer to this pivotal line of ultra portable mini laptops. Although Asus was not the first company to build a netbook, its focus on quality, innovation and relatively low cost made the series a favorite amongst those looking for a netbook.
Asus launched their first netbook, named Eee PC 701, in late 2007, as a mastermind response to the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) and Intel’s Classmate PC. Asus boss Jonney Shih realized that a small, ultra light notebook, capable of basic computing, is a great idea for adults as well, not only for kids. The Eee PC 701 was an instant hit in Asia and was quickly shipped to the US and Europe. Since then, many other models appeared under the Eee PC monicker.
And from the days of the 7 inch screen, Celeron M single core processor and 4 GB of SSD storage, we have today Eee PCs with dual core processors, 320 GB of storage, dedicated video card, HD screens ( even touch screens) and 3G modules, just to name a few features.
Easy to play, Easy to learn, Easy to work, the slogan behind the EEE PC revolution is true even today. There are many types of EEE PCs to choose from, according to your needs and budget. If you just want a cheap netbook for browsing the web and sending emails, you got it. If you need a decently equipped netbook for office productivity and serious battery autonomy, that’s also available. Or, if you’re after a powerful entertainment driven netbook, with its own video card, you can get that as well from an EEE PC labeled netbook.
This flexibility helped the line being the most popular netbook series in the US and Europe, which is not small stuff, considering that virtually any relevant computer manufacturer has at least a dozen netbooks out there. Next, we’re going to take a look at the best Asus EEE PCs of 2011, from entry level models to premium netbooks.
Entry level EEE PCs
For browsing the web, the occasional Word document and getting rickrolled on Youtube, a cheap, entry level EEE PC is sufficient. These models usually have a plastic, but robust finish, decent battery and a single core processor.
Asus EEE PC 1001PX. This netbook was launched back in 2010, but it’s still fairly popular thanks to the attractive design and low price. The netbook runs on an Intel Atom N450, clocked at 1.66 GHZ, packs 1 GB of RAM and a 160/250 GB HDD, as well as having WiFi connectivity. The battery can go on a single charge for only 4 hours, but if you’re willing to spend a little more for a battery slice, you might get around 8 hours of autonomy. One of the highlights of the 1001PX, which goes for $249 is the carbon fiber like finish, that is both tough and good looking and won’t attract any finger prints and smudges.
Asus EEE PC 1011PX. The 1011PX is basically an update for the 1001PX. It comes with either a single core, N455 processor or the dual core N570, but the later will cost a little more. You can also configure the battery, with the default juice maker offering a maximum of 5 hours of autonomy (3 cell version), but you can get as much as 11 with the 9 cell version. In terms of design, the $300 priced 1011PX has the same seashell design as the 1001PX and, of course, the same matte chassis finish.
Mainstream EEE PC netbooks
Let’s take it up a notch. You want a better netbook, with a better battery, improved performance and maybe more aesthetically appealing than entry level machines. If you’re willing to spend a little more, Asus might have exactly what you need.
The 1015PEM comes with a dual core N550 Atom processor and 1 GB of RAM, but you can upgrade to 2 GB. The dual core version offers better performance and power management than the N450/455, so you’ll be able to rely more on this 10 inch netbook for productivity apps- more of them open at the same time. The netbook comes with a hybrid battery management system, that can get as much as 13 hours of autonomy, and newer connectivity options, namely Wireless N and Bluetooth 3.0.
The 1015PX packs the even newer N570 dual core processor, everything else being basically identical to what you get from the 1015PEM. A nice additional feature is Express Gate, which is an alternative boot OS that gives almost instant access to the internet and entertainment apps. Also, for the first year, you get free access to Asus’s web storage service, where you have your own 500 GB to fool around with, a good deal for a $279 netbook.
The 1015PN pairs the N550 dual core chip with dedicated ION 2 graphics, which comes with 512 MB of video memory. This means you’ll be ableto use this 336 bucks netbook for full HD playback directly on the display or on a HDTV via the HDMI port, and also some decent gaming. If you want to fully take advantage of this platform, make sure to upgrade to 2 GB of RAM.
Unlike the previous entries in this section, the 1015B is powered by a AMD Fusion chip, namely the C-30. It’s a single core processor with a rather modest speed of 1.2 GHZ, but has the advantage of being completed with HD integrated graphics, namely Radeon HD 6250. While this is not a netbook to consider for too complicated office work, it will be great for playing HD video. You even get a HDMI port for hooking up the netbook with a HDTV. The 1015B is available from Amazon for $289, but unfortunately that’s the version with a single-core C30 APU; the more powerful one with a dual-core C-50 processor is mainly available in Europe and that’s the one I would recommend.
The 1015PW is maybe the most spectacular entry in this category, at least when we talk about design. Dubbed Syrocco, the netbook has a waved pattern on the lid, being a welcomed change in the all too bland netbook world. Specs wise, the 1015PW, going for $314, packs a dual core N550, 1 GB of RAM, while the battery is said to run on a single charge for about 10 hours max.
Premium EEE PC netbooks
As always, there’s a luxury section, so to say, which consists of high end netbooks that also look quite good and offer a different experience that mainstream entries. Our picks are:
The 1018P has a brushed aluminum finish, being one of the classiest 10 inch netbooks out there. It looks great (think Samsung 9 Series, but smaller and less posh), is very tough and is also quite thin and light for a machine with a metal finish. On the inside, you get a mainstream configuration, namely a dual core N570 processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 250 GB HDD,a decent configuration for just 418 bucks. The OS is Windows 7 Starter, while ports include, surprisingly, 2 USB 3.0 slots. Chapeau.
Here’s a nice one. The 12.1 inch 1215N packs a pimped up Atom chip, namely the dual core 1.8 GHZ D525, which is, at least for now, the fastest Atom around. Pair that with 512 MB of dedicated ION 2 video memory, 2 GB of RAM (maximum of 4) and Windows 7 Home Premium, and you’ve got yourself a very decent HD capable machine, both for gaming and video playback.
The 1215B is a similarly powerful 12.1 inch netbook. It packs the AMD C-350 dual core processor, that’s at least a class over the C-50. The chip runs at 1.5 GHZ and comes with Radeon HD 6310 graphics. The setup is completed by 2 GB of RAM (with a supported maximum of 8 GB ) and a battery said to run for about 8.5 hours on a single charge, making this $436 priced netbook a top choice for this class.
The netbooks we gathered in this article all offer decent performance and are pretty affordable when looking at the specs and features. If you built it, they will come- Asus was able to build netbooks for all types of users, covering from basic computing needs to HD gaming and serious multitasking.
And the future looks just as bright, as Asus will be one of the companies to build Ultrabooks, which is said to be the next paradigm in terms of ultra portable gadgets. But until then, if you’re thinking about shopping for a netbook, keep an eye on Asus EEE PC entries, as these machines represent good value for money and offer a very vast array of models to choose from.
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Last updated: April 18, 2012 | Tags: asus eee pc