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  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    I might have to buy one of these for my kids - but it would be nice if it had a touch screen. Reply
  • Tikcus9666 - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Pretty much a bay trail tablet that swapped it's touch screen for a keyboard, if it ships with office home and student (like most bay trail tablets), I can see it doing well Reply
  • Morganstans - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    There are a lot better laptops in my opinion (I recommend seeing and others), even from Asus... Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Don't think it's right to see it as a Chromebook alternative since Chromebooks don't sell mainly on price. It seems that many Chromebooks are bought for kids and parents for their simplicity.
    What systems like this one can do is regain share from devices that sell without and OS or FreeDOS in developing markets and there are a lot of those. Ofc most of those end up running piratated copies of Windows anyway so not much of an upside for M$.
    And if push comes to shove Intel still can't enable BOMs comparable to ARM (that's why they pay to win tabs) so Google can easily respond ,if they would care to.
    It might harm Chromebooks in markets where it's not yet available, so far it's availability is very limited and it could become harder to gain share just because people are familiar with Chromebooks and there is no price advantage to steer them that way.So maybe Google should react but it remains to be seen if PC makers are willing or M$ and maybe Intel are supporting this initiative with "marketing dollars" that are too hard to say no to and cheaper Chromebooks are not good for them.
    W/e , we like lower prices so it's all good.
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    If you think price isn't a dominant factor in Chromebook sales I've got some ocean front property in Idaho to sell you. How many Chromebook Pixels have you seen in the wild? 'Easy' is important too, but at the end of the day the low risk of entry due to the cost is the biggest factor. Same applies here. In developed countries, this isn't something you are going to cry about if your kids/grandparents destroy it. Reply
  • bryanb - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Just let these low end Windows boxes die already. You can't even change your desktop wallpaper with Windows unless you upgrade it to a more expensive version.
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Windows 7 starter has no relevance to this article as the laptop featured has a fully functional copy of Windows 8.1 so you change the desktop background if you wish. Having used the bay trail platform on a Dell venue 8 pro I'd say it makes a lot more sense for low end windows machines as general use is quick and responsive despite the low end hardware, better than windows 7. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    Agreed. These new low end Win8 machines are a huge step up from the old netbooks, and "Windows 8.1 with Bing" is full Windows 8.1 - just with Bing as default search engine. You can even change the search engine if you want, it's fully customizable and not limited in any way. I'm surprised there are people that still don't realize this. Reply
  • schizoide - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Not good enough. You can get a chromebook with a haswell celeron (much, much faster) for that same cost.

    Also, windows needs 4GB RAM to be actually usable.
  • kyuu - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    No, it doesn't. I would know, since my Dell Venue 8 Pro has no issues running Windows with 2GB of RAM. Reply
  • schizoide - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link


    Chromebooks need 4GB RAM to be actually usable too. Otherwise once you get past 3-4 tabs they slow to a crawl.
  • mkozakewich - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Well, sure, because Chrome. If you're not using Chrome, you can get away with about 2GB less RAM. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    ChromeOS doesn't have a swap file, so that's a problem as well -- use too many browser tabs and some can get dumped and reloaded, which is a problem on some AJAX enabled sites. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    Yikes! That is a problem. I had no idea it lacked a swap file. Run a few apps, open a few too many tabs... something has to give. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Friday, September 05, 2014 - link

    You've never actually used a chromebook have ya? :) What "few apps" are we talking about here? The 3.5 web apps that it can run outside of the chrome window?

    And yes it does have a swap "file" or more like a swap partition to be precise. That's why you don't see it :)
  • Alexvrb - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    I've used tablets running full Windows 8.1 with 2GB of RAM and they work fine as long as you have an even halfway decent CPU. Not sure what's wrong with your Chromebook, maybe you should contact Google and see if they can't trim some of the fat out for their next big release. Reply
  • kudura1 - Saturday, September 06, 2014 - link

    I disagree. Win uses 1.5 Gb by itself. Always read the "minimum" requirements for a product and then double it for usable requirements and then double that for preferable/ performance. Win 7 and above (64 bit is standard equipment these days) requires 2 Gb to run at least 3 Gb to be usable and 4 is preferred.
    Know your product before you spew nonsense for an up and coming product release.
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    "Know your product before you spew nonsense for an up and coming product release."

    Gosh, I'd better click your link and Inform Myself then!

    > If you want to run Windows 8.1 on your PC, here's what it takes:
    > RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

    So 1GB minimum, double that for usable is 2GB. Sounds to me like it will be "perfectly usable."

    Disagree with the truth all you want but it doesn't make you right.
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    Rubbish. My T100 is perfectly usable with 2GB of RAM (even Office). My other laptops are i7s with 16GB of RAM, so it's not like I'm only accustomed to poverty spec mobile hardware. Yes more is better, but the idea that the existing Bay Trail machines are dogs for basic day-to-day usage is bollocks. Reply
  • markiz - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    My T100 is perfectly usable with a Baytrail and 2GB of RAM. IE and Opera desktop can handle a couple of dozen of tabs, office runs just fine, 1080P video (streaming and local) as well. I can even play a few years old desktop games on it, but I don't push it.
    Plus, the windows store, for all it's problems, is perfectly adequate for most people, I dare say.
  • trivor - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    I bought the $99 Toshiba Encore - 16 GB eMMC, 1 GB Ram, 7" IPS LCD @ 1280x800. Windows runs fine - the biggest problem is lack of space to put anything on the built in storage as there was only 4-5 GB available (of the 16 GB total). That was a bigger problem than the 1 GB RAM - it runs fairly well on Modern (Metro) Apps. It's a little thick (hard plastic with texture for back) so not the best in hand feel, the screen is quite good since it's an IPS panel, and it's biggest problem as a tablet is the same problem as Windows Phone - lack of apps. You can't run Office or it's competitors (Libre/Open Office or WPS Office (my favorite)) very well on a 7" screen. The WiFi is a little finicky as it sometimes doesn't pick it up when being woken from sleep. It runs Office/Office competitors with minimal lag, the modern apps work fine and other things like Quicken, etc. also run just fine from an OS perspective. I would not buy another 16 GB tablet with Win 8.1 as I would consider 2 GB RAM/32 GB storage a much better choice - you are now in the $150 - $200 range in price. Better than I thought for $99 but a number of Asus Android tablets are better bets with 12-13 GB left on built in storage with a 16 GB device with a dual core Bay Trail Atom and micro SD expansion with an IPS panel. Reply
  • harrymcback - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    I have one colleague who could use this for international travel so if something bad happens the cost isn't a big deal but he can still have his desktop version of Outlook he depends on. Reply
  • Jambe - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure about 2 gigs of RAM on Windows, even W8. My dad just got a Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK for $250 and it's snappy enough with an SSD in it. He plays his casual Steam games and Flash games on it, watches YT/Netflix/etc, that's about it.

    The one stupid thing about it is the 5400 RPM HDD it came with; blegh. It'd be better with one of the cheap SSDs this Asus has in it. Might also be better with the Chromebook-staple 2995U instead of the Bay Trail N2830 it has (not sure) but he likes it just fine.

    Oh, and it's fanless. That, too, is nice.
  • mkozakewich - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    The obvious difference is that 10" tablets aren't $200. Actually tablets have a heavy screen focus, and this is neither a good screen not a touch screen.

    Atom worked pretty well in 2010, and could play the less-demanding games, so a modern Atom should be plenty fine if the graphics drivers have been ironed out. (I'm going to guess they haven't.)
    2 GB RAM is about the least you should have today, but it'll definitely work fine. I think 4 GB is the least you can have if you don't use a swap file, but SSDs have mostly fixed that whole issue anyway.

    In short, this compares in price to a netbook from 2011. For a bit more, you'd get a 1024x600 screen, no video out (or possibly VGA), 1 GB RAM, and a crappy 300 GB HDD. I'd say this is at the bottom end of what's acceptable today, rather than slightly below the bottom end. 600px was really hard to work with.

    This one also has a *very* nice keyboard, compared to what ASUS had been doing. The ASUS netbook I had back then was seriously mangled for no reason. The Ctrl button on the right side was to the right of the Shift button, or something weird like that.
  • icebox - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    The number of free storage years is a clear statement of the life expectancy of such machines :) Reply
  • hojnikb - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    If this has a expandable ram and msata ssd, i might just buy it :) Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    That would be cool, but I doubt they're being that generous. Soldered on components all around! Reply
  • MikeMurphy - Sunday, May 03, 2015 - link

    4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage would make for a much more usable product. Reply
  • bleh0 - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    I hear it is quite difficult to get a *nix distro on these. Is that still true? Reply
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    I would have lusted for this weren't for that 2GB RAM. My browsing style is to open all interesting links with multiple tabs. I'm currently on an Asus with 4GB RAM and it uses the swap file in my everyday use.
    Microsoft should relax the specs a bit for their free OS.
  • xrror - Thursday, September 04, 2014 - link

    Argh, what is it with 1366x768 panels? Are they an optimal size for when you cut scrap off of bigger defective panels or what? I hate that 16:9 "won" the screen wars, because even a low end 16:10 panel gives you 1280x800 (okay not much) or 1440x900.

    I hate 1366 panels only because 768 vertical just sucks. It's like the bad old days with 1024x768.
  • MrAOK - Friday, September 05, 2014 - link

    why would you make a laptop at this time without USB3.0. It's nutty. Reply
  • jazzisjazz - Sunday, September 07, 2014 - link

    So, why not a comparison to the latest competition hardware, software, useability rather than an extended advert/fluff that starts with an opinion in the very title itself. Is anybody looking out for the folks who don't have big dollars but still want to spend them well? Reply
  • S.IslasGIS - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    I want this so bad! Tablets aren't good at all for serius productivity "programs", and not just "apps". Leave alone woking with them offline or whenever online connectivity is compromised.

    That ability to be more autonomous and more versatile with professional purposes kept me so close to my old EeePc 1201 until the keyboard finally gave up last year.

    Sure the EeePc was slow and ccomprised on its hardware, but I could carry it anywhere and could run any full-desktop program to quickly edit and modify CAD drawings, vector files, or excel macros...

    Heck, i could even relax watching hd videos or playing serious games (mine had an nVidia Ion gpu!). What ever the need on the go, it was covered just until i got to a proper desktop pc.

    Look for a single tablet that empowers you as much as the old EeePc without spending a lot of money, as you would on ultra books or apple stuff, and the answer is that of a criket on a silent room. That is the sheer beauty of netbooks.
  • HelpDesk Geek - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    I'm having a hard time deciding between the HP Stream 11/13 or this Asus. What do you folks think? Reply

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