Asus Eeebook X205 hands on
There once was a time when you’d be laughed out of the room for saying a netbook still had a place in the modern world, yet Asus has released just that in the form of the Eeebook X205. And what’s more, we like it.
As you’d expect, when it comes to specs there is nothing remarkable in this sub-£200 Eeebook X205. It comes with 2GB of RAM and is powered by an Intel Atom Z3735 processor – the same chip found in the Acer Tab 8W, also launched this week at IFA 2014.
Performance on the sample device was decent; flicking from the Modern UI screen to the traditional Desktop proved slick, as did opening and closing apps such as Word and Internet Explorer.
The Asus Eeebook X205 isn’t the laptop for you if heavy gaming or image/video editing is what you require (see what’s the best laptop of 2014?). But despite these high-end performance limitations, it’s still powerful enough for lightweight duties – think tapping away in Word and browsing the web.
The design of the Asus Eeebook X205 is one of the areas where this netbook really excels. Looking at it, you’d be hard pushed to identify it as a netbook rather than an Ultrabook.
With a depth of 17.9mm, an 11.6in display and an overall weight of 980g, it isn’t far off the physical requirements of an Intel ultraportable. The Eeebook has a sophisticated feel too, thanks to its subtle curves and frosted plastic finish.
The 11.6in display is made up of 1,366 x 768 pixels (135ppi), which means it is far from the sharpest screen you can buy for this price. Also note the lack of a touchscreen; it makes the touch-focused design of Windows 8 UI wholly redundant and a little frustrating.
The Eeebook will include either 32GB or 64GB of storage, so it’s very much a companion device for your main laptop rather than a replacement. It is possible to add extra storage though: there are USB 2 ports and a microSD slot. We’re also pleased to see an HDMI output, although note it’s mini-HDMI rather than a full-sized port.
As we only had a limited time with the Eeebook, we haven’t been able to put it through our full battery test. Asus claims that this fanless device will last up to 12 hours, though, which is very impressive if it proves to be true.
Asus Eeebook X205: verdict
Now that the excitement surrounding tablets has died down, and we’ve all come to realise that they can’t replace a laptop, the thought of the netbook-style resurgence is pretty viable.
With that in mind, the Asus Eeebook X205 looks pretty good for a sub-£200 machine running Windows 8.1 – minus touch. We look forward to getting a sample into our Labs for a full test.