The source for 2012 iPad, Android and tablet PC news, reviews and accessories guides
Today a surprise was waiting for me when I went home: the ASUS Eee PC T101 MT, white version, in a sealed box – the 10 inch tablet netbook I’ve been waiting for a long time. No, it isn’t mine, but I’m playing with it a few days so I’ll be updating this short review with impressions as I go along.
For now I have some pictures and my first English hands on preview/ unboxing. You’ll be laughing at me, I know, but hey, he who doesn’t try won’t succeed (trying doesn’t imply winning, of course).
So, let’s see first the configuration of my ASUS Eee PC T101 MT, then we’ll get to the first impressions.
Now the first impression is nothing like the first Eee PC. Build quality is sturdier and the screen hinge seems OK for long term use but I don’t find it particularly reassuring. The chiclet keyboard has very little flex, almost all keys are large enough for touch typing, except the area with directional arrows, CTRL, SHIFT and Fn which you’ll find annoying.
The first thing not to like is the power button, which you’ll seek for a few seconds before finding it. Once the ASUS Eee PC T101MT starts up you hear all sort of noises coming from the hard drive. Unfortunately, even if it ships with 2 GB of RAM the hard drive is almost always working, so you’ll hear it in quiet environments.
Once I got up to actually using the touchscreen I must say I was disappointed because of the lack of precision near screen edges (see UPDATE 3 below on the touch screen issue), where the ASUS Touch Gate slide-in menu bar lies. You’ll see what I mean when you’ll try and double tap a maximized window to restore its size, or try and close it. Even with the stylus the problem persists. I hope it isn’t something wrong with my sample of Eee PC T101MT.
Another problem I have with this convertible netbook tablets is the way it performs, which is very very slow, typical for netbooks. Simple tasks like opening a new window in Internet Explorer, switch to full screen mode, open My Computer and such are ‘rewarded’ with a few seconds of waiting. Playing this video in 360p and 480p quality settings resulted in 100% CPU load, with Flash 10.1 Beta 3 installed. At first you think the netbook has some normal problems encountered after reboot, but after a few minutes you start realizing that things aren’t going to change.
Adjusting performance options in Windows 7 Home Premium didn’t seem to change things for the better too much. To give you an example, during Idle times, with only the Task Manager opened the CPU load hovers at 10-15%, with nothing running in the background. I recommend installing something else, maybe a Linux distribution made up for netbooks, but it’s hard to find something compatible with a touch tablet, not even mentioning multi touch.
Anyway, getting back to the overall picture it all depends on the price as there are a lot of things to do to improve performance (to a reasonable level) but I’m still waiting for a better convertible tablet with a more powerful CPU as the Intel Atom is not for me. If you do decide to pick up a netbook, there are netbook cases and accessories available online and in stores.
Below there’s a little video hands on I made, not the best out there, so try and concentrate on the ASUS Eee PC T101MT, not my bad english, or shitty digital camera. I will get back to you with further impressions on battery life and overall performance (maybe I’ll change my mind) in the next days, so stay tuned. Oh, and cross your fingers for a 7 inch tablet with the same form factor.
UPDATE: I’ve spoken with the ASUS representative in my country and they’ve said it’s a problem with the screen. I’ll be getting updates here as I receive a working model, so check back soon.
UPDATE 2: I’ve played with the screen calibration and almost made it work perfectly, except the top part of the screen where definitely is something broken as touch input there is very imprecise.
UPDATE 3: After further discussing with ASUS representatives I need to clarify some things for you. The sample I’ve previewed was not the final product and all the screens problems in the upper area come from that problem. I tend to believe that because the screen sensitivity in the other parts of the screen was really nice, especially considering the resistive nature of the display.
UPDATE 4: I’ve temporarily removed the video from Video (actually password protected it) till I get the final version of T101MT, which should arrive next week. I’ll post then a new hands on video of it and hope it proves worthy of a review.
UPDATE 5: I’ve just received the final ASUS EEE PC T101MT sample. Check out the second review here.