Back in 2007, ASUS announced its arrival in the notebook space with the innovative Eee PC line. Fast forward a few years and I was keen to try out its latest offering, the X205. My expectations were high.
Getting the X205 out of the box, it has to be one of the lightest 11.6-inch notebooks around, a mere 980 grams and just 1.75 cm thick – about the same as my middle finger. It has a nice, solid feel to it, small, compact and easy to handle, although after a while the white surface did get a mucky in my sweaty paws. (It also comes in black.) There’s a full-sized keyboard and one of the largest touchpads I’ve seen – apparently 36 per cent larger than on similar-sized notebooks.
Make no mistake, this is a low-priced, budget Windows 8.1 machine – RRP is $399. It’s designed to meet the demands of students and BYOD, and is spec’d accordingly. There’s 2GB RAM, 32GB hard drive, and an Intel quad-core Atom processor that offers enough performance for most basic computing tasks.
It comes with ports aplenty, USB 2.0, audio jack, micro-HDMI, and microSD card slot, which can significantly add to the storage, bearing in mind the OS takes up about half the built-in capacity. But as a cloud-computing device, that’s not really an issue.
The display’s adequate. Nothing fancy but does its job. On the other hand, the speakers were very good. Battery life wasn’t too bad, either, more than eight hours with general use.
The accompanying literature introduced ‘Connected Standby technology for a smartphone-like user experience’. What that meant was super-fast wake-up from sleep mode and it receives emails, updates, notifications, and messages from social media platforms, even with the lid’s closed. Nifty enough, I suppose. What I did like was the auto back-up when the battery drops below five per cent.
Overall, performance was generally good. It didn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a Windows alternative to a Chromebook, this makes a fine candidate.
Compiled by Greg Adams, INTERFACE Editor