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May 25, 2011

Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 10.1-Inch Convertible Tablet Review

Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 10.1-Inch Convertible Tablet Review

The Asus Eee PC T101MT is a netbook with a 10.1 inch (1024 x 600) LED backlit resistive multi-touch screen. Unlike the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t, Asus has opted for a resistive panel, rather than capacitive. This means you need to exert a little pressure on the screen to get pinching to work.
The Asus Eee PC T101MT has a 256-level pressure sensor to accurately register gesture-based commands input by the user. Asus has also bundled an ergonomic stylus and handwriting software, based on PenWrite technology, into the package to make the most of its tablet features.
Users will be able to choose between a familiar, standard Windows 7 mode when using it as a clamshell netbook or a Windows Touch mode when swiveled round and folded into a tablet. Switching between two different interfaces can be done on the fly to suit whatever you’re doing with large icons that make it easy to find and launch programs.
Inside is an Intel Atom N450 processor and either 1GB or 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Storage is listed as 160GB or 320GB (both comes with a 500GB online storage thrown in for one year), depending on if you splurge for Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home Premium.
Other features include an ergonomic chiclet keyboard, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, a 0.3 megapixel integrated webcam, HD audio codec, three USB 2.0 ports and SDXC card support (up to 32Gb). The chiclet keyboard has very little flex, almost all keys are large enough for touch typing, except for the rather small right shift key.
Asus claims a battery life of 6.5 hours from the Li-polymer battery, when working with the ASUS Super Hybrid Engine energy management technology, which isn’t that bad but we’ve seen better from other manufacturers.
The build quality is sturdy and the screen hinge seems durable for long term use. On the down side, the US models ship with Windows 7 Starter Edition, which means you are missing the multi touch capability to match the hardware. To get this you need to upgrade to at least Home Premium. This will then make it necessary to upgrade the RAM to the maximum of the netbook – 2GB.
The Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 makes for an interesting Apple iPad alternative. While the netbook is heavier and bulkier, it’s about the same price and offers the benefits of a physical keyboard and runs your Windows programs out of the gate.

Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 Convertible Tablet Key Features

  • 10.1″ touch-enabled versatile tablet design with Windows 7 multi-touch functionality
  • PenWrite technology lets you take down notes naturally by writing with its ergonomically designed stylus
  • ASUS Super Hybrid Engine innovatively saves battery life and boosts performance
  • Features a 92% near full-sized chiclet keyboard with a spacious palm rest and a user-friendly touchpad with multi-touch support
  • Instant Data storage and sharing on cloud computing platform with 500GB ASUS WebStorage
  • Built-in webcam and microphone for simple and clear video chat
  • Integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi is the fastest way to transfer wireless data
  • Integrated Bluetooth module allows you to use compatible wireless peripherals
  • 1 year global warranty and 30-day Flawless Display Guarantee: If a single bright dot is found, a free panel replacement is guaranteed within 30 days of original purchase

Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 Convertible Tablet Specification

  • Operating System : Windows 7 Starter (US Models)/Win 7 Home Premium (European Models)
  • Processor : 1.66 GHz Atom N450 processor
  • Chipset : Mobile Intel NM10 Express chipset
  • Memory : 1GB DDR2 (easily self upgrade RAM to 2GB)
  • Display : 10.1″ LED Backlight Resistive Multi-Touch Panel(1024×600)
  • Graphics : Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics
  • Storage: 160GB HDD + 500GB WebStorage (US Models)/ 320GB HDD + 500GB WebStorage (European Models)
  • Wireless Data Network: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Available on European Models only)
  • Input/Output: 1 x VGA connector, 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x LAN RJ-45, 2 x audio jacks(Headphone & Mic-in)
  • Audio : Hi-Definition Audio CODEC Stereo Speaker
  • Flash Media Slot: Multimedia Card, Secure Digital, SDHC
  • Camera: 0.3 Megapixel
  • Keyboard : Chiclet keyboard
  • Pointing Device :TouchPad with Multi-Touch Control
  • Optical Drive : No Optical Drive (optional external optical drive can be connected via one of the USB ports)
  • Battery: 6.5 hrs, 35Wh Slim and Eco-friendly Li-polymer Battery
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.86lbs
  • Warranty : 1 year global warranty and 30-day Flawless Display Guarantee
Notes on Multi-Touch and Bluetooth Features
  • Multi-Touch only works with Windows 7 Home Premium or higher and you need to purchase an upgrade.
  • The US version do not come with bluetooth. Bluetooth equipped model may be available in the future but no official statement from ASUS yet

Upgrading Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 Netbook Hard Drive and Memory

  • To access the hard drive requires nearly total dis-assembly and will void your warranty.
  • The pre-installed 1GB memory is also inaccessible. An accessible empty slot exist to take up another memory module, but supports only up to 1GB (for a total of 2GB of RAM)
  • If you install 2GB in this slot, the system will only recognize 2GB (and not 3GB)
  • This netbook is extremely picky on what type of memory it will take
  • Make sure you purchase the right memory module – a 200 pin DDR2 SODIMM notebook memory module (667MHz or 800MHz). Many users have reported that Kingston 1GB PC2-5300 667MHz or 1GB PC2-6400 800MHz works flawlessly and to avoid Crucial 2GB 256Mx64PC2-5300 which causes problem when you reboot the machine
  • You must go to the BIOS and set the Boot Booster to disabled for the memory upgrade to work (This is how you do it : turn the computer on –> press F2 repeatedly until it enters set up–> go and select boot booster under boot, and change to disable status).
  • Follow the steps outlined in easily self upgrade RAM to install the RAM module)
  • Remember to enable the Boot Booster back and then you are done

Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 Color Options

Available in two colors;
  • Black – Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17-BK
  • White – Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17-WT

Software Included with Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17

Asus has included generous software tools to make it easy to use the machine. Included are;
  • ASUS’ exclusive Super Hybrid Engine – for battery settings and overclocking or underclocking the CPU
  • Eee Tray utility – for adjusting the screen resolution and to set wireless options with just a click
  • ASUS Amuse: Stream or download a variety of exciting digital content
  • Eee Sharing: Share/sync messages and data with other Eee PCs, notebooks, or desktop PCs without entering into the Internet
  • Eee Xperience: Applications that enhance visual and acoustic
  • Eee Tools: A suite of useful tools including Live Update, Parental Control and Font Resizer
  • Microsoft Works 9
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (60 days trail)
  • Microsoft Windows Live applications

User Reviews

We researched on a number of shopping sites and forums, and analyzed 75 reviews of the ASUS Eee PC T101MT-EU17 convertible Tablet Netbook. We found the reviewers gave this device an average of 4 stars out of 5 stars. The reviews were mostly positive, with a few very negative comments.
The people that gave this netbook good ratings say they were pretty impressed with most aspects of the netbook and had this to say “Kudos to Asus, they made a great little computer”. They were impressed with how solidly it was built and it ran well.
You can use its full-sized keyboard for inputting data or you can fold the screen down flat and use it as a hand-held tablet. The chiclet keyboard is very comfortable with the keys well spaced out. The only problem with the keyboard seem to be getting used to the right Shift and Fn keys.
The battery is long, thin, and sits flush in the netbook and the battery life has been mentioned as a positive feature by many of the reviewers, even those that rated it a 2 or 3 star.
Some of the reviewers reported that the product doesn’t come out of the box all that great, and recommended upgrading to 2GB of RAM (like most users of netbooks do) and the operating system to Windows 7 Home Premium to unlock the multi-touch capabilities of the touchscreen. Some were also a little disappointed with the documentation on upgrading the RAM as the netbook is extremely picky on what type of memory it will take.
Some were also a little disappointed that it didn’t have Bluetooth as was advertised but it turns out only the UK versions have Bluetooth (at the same price level). Because they’re trying to save money or something?
The highly negative comments centered around what appears to be a design defect; the cover hinge was loose and didn’t operate correctly. However, none of the reviewers that rated it 4 or 5 stars mentioned the loose hinge, so it could still be an isolated issue and not something to warrant avoiding this netbook. However, this appears to be more design defect than isolated incidents. This is what an engineer reviewer had to say ” So far the hinge seems to work fine, I see that as the one component that I’d worry about, if there were any. If they skimped there, I expect it would be the first thing to require attention”.
There were other negatives thrown at this machine such as part of the screen wouldn’t register touch. Once some of the defects had been repaired many were generally happy with it. In the words of a reviewer “I originally gave this computer a 1 star rating due to it arriving in defective condition. I have changed that to a 5 star rating now that I have a working model.”
Many of the reviewers of the ASUS Eee PC T101MT-EU17 liked to compare it to the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t and the Apple iPad.
The ASUS Eee PC T101MT-EU17 uses a resistive touch screens unlike Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t and Ipad which uses capacitive. The resistive touch screens has the advantage that you can literally use anything to touch the screen. You can easily use your fingers (and not just your fingernails as some reviewers commented), stylus, pencil eraser, etc. With capacitive, you have to use your fingers, or a special stylus. If you loose your stylus, you have to order another special stylus. You can’t use a normal stylus as capacitive responds, its pretty much the same as a trackpad; only to a conductor, such as your finger.
Unlike the iPad, the Asus T101MT is built for more than just content consumption. You can actually create on this device. You can get a full use keyboard, operating system, and enough software to get you running out of the box.
If you are planning to use this netbook as a tablet, then you are going to have to spend the extra money and upgrade Windows 7 Starter to Premium; otherwise its simply not worth it to buy this netbook for its touchscreen, so bear this extra cost in mind when deciding whether or not to purchase this.
Some of the negative reviews don’t offset all the advantages the come with owning a tablet which has a form factor for boosting productivity. We did a detailed analysis of the low ratings and the main cause of unhappiness is centered on the fact that it does not come out of the box with everything they wanted. Most importantly, the limitations with how the computer comes are not things you have to live with, but can be eliminated just by upgrading. However, once upgraded, we think this computer is by far the best tablet available in the price range.
According to our research the ASUS Eee PC T101MT-EU17 received high marks from most users and we feel that it deserves its 4 star rating and will definitely recommend it to anyone in the market for a good netbook with interests in a tablet as well.

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