Asus Eee PC S121

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 April, 2009, 12:00am

The original netbook, Asus' Eee PC, is all grown up. But while the original 7-inch display has expanded to 12.1 inches in the latest S121 model, the ultra portability that made the netbook such a success is still the main focus of the machine.

Instead of shrinking the unit like previous netbook generations, Asus' S121 now comes in a super thin form factor that is only 26-mm thick. The weight has been kept down to 1.45kg.

So what's the difference between the S121 and a regular laptop in terms of functionality and features?

The only big distinction now is the operating system, which is still based on Windows XP, as opposed to Windows Vista with standard laptops.

Inside the S121 is an Intel Atom Z520 processor running at 1.33GHz which, while slightly slower than the latest standard laptop, should be sufficient for the majority of everyday applications.

Also included is an Intel GMA 500 graphics card, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard disk drive, wireless LAN connectivity - including the latest 802.11n version - a 1.3-megapixel webcam and Bluetooth.

With that kind of configuration, there really isn't that much difference between the S121 netbook and your standard laptop. All the traditional compromises of netbooks, such as a small screen and lack of disk storage, have been removed from the S121.

The bad news is that you'll probably end up paying the same price as a standard laptop with similar configurations. Pricing has yet to be set, but expect to pay between HK$5,000 and HK$6,000.

Pros: big screen, hard disk drive, ultra-thin design

Cons: slower processor, should cost the same as low-end laptops