"Disappointing or Unsuccessful? Your decision."3.0 starson by CNETOfficialReviewer
Pros: 12.1" Inch Monitor
USB 3.0 Port
Latest AMD E-450 CPU
ATI 6320 Capable of basic 3D Gaming
4 GB RAM & 500 GB HDD
Can be upgraded to 8GB
Fair casing for fingerprints
Good quality of external plastics
Good Wi-Fi Range
Cons: Cheap LCD Screen
Bigger/thicker than other netbooks
Lack of design
Jack of AC adapter is small/fragile
Screen does not tilt back to 150 degrees
Stereo Speakers could be louder
Access is not easy for upgrading RAM/HDD
Summary: Before I bought this netbook the specs seem very nice, I also read many reviews but only if you are the owner you can have a true opinion about it.
SPECS & DESIGN:
The bigger screen is a pro & a con because it is better for viewing but makes the netbook much bigger and less portable than the other competitors. The version I own has the best available specs with the latest E-450 AMD CPU and integrated ATI 6320 Graphics card thats capable for some basic gaming. The desing is very plain and does not stand out from the competition. Matt black color with seashell casing that can absorb most of the fingerprints. Also has VGA,HDMI output and USB 3.0 port with a nice webcam with vivid colors that has a small manual ON/OFF shutter (looks kind of cheap though). It is also difficult to access the RAM & HDD if you want to upgrade.
Seriously, this is the biggest drawback of this netbook. This is the main reason you shouldn't buy this netbook. The cheap LCD has very narrow viewing angles, colors are washed out, and even after altering the factory defaults there is a very slight improvement (Yes you heard right it is shipped out with wrong factory settings for the monitor). Outdoor use is out of the question with the reflective coat making things worse. The LCD build quality is so bad, that you can practically see the differences of the backlight on the monitor edges. Last but not least the monitor does not tilt back to 150 Degrees like ACER 722,HP DM1 & Lenovo.
KEYBOARD & TOUCHPAD:
This is the second reason why you shouldn't buy this netbook. The keyboard is not solid and has flex while you type. The keys are very small with a large space between resulting many mistakes while typing. Also the right shift key is very small. You will need a lot of practice in order not to make mistakes. ASUS could have made the space between the keys smaller so the keys could be bigger.
The surface of the touchpad is the same seashell with the rest casing.The drawback is that feels a little slippery, your hands must be completely dry otherwise it does not work. Also the keys are a little hard to press but that might be a pro for some other users. Something I liked about the keys is that they are made from aluminum and that makes them a lot durable.
GAMING/ MULTIMEDIA & SOUND:
This is not a gamers netbook. Unless you buy an Alienware netbook, dont expect miracles from AMD CPU & ATI GPU. Yes it is far better that Intel's combination of Atom & Intel GMA but this NOT for games. Maybe you can play some new games in very low detail or some old (2007 or older). That is better than nothing (Intel).
Yes, it is capable of playing full 1080p videos even on Youtube where other Intel's netbooks fail. It also has HDMI & VGA port like most of AMD series netbooks.
The speakers are neither loud or weak. I can say that their sound is acceptable (but the volume is lower than the Acer 722).
BATTERY LIFE & WIFI/CONNECTIVITY:
WiFi range is good and I did not experience any problems with the connection. I read on a review that there are low transfer rates from the WiFi. I personally did a small test copying a large 4GB file with a transfer rate of 2.6MB/Sec over WiFi. Compared to Acer 722 it is the same.
The unit provides also Bluetooth connectivity.
Battery life is mediocre compared to other units. It only lasts about 4 hours of light mixed usage (Internet browsing & some office processing).
I previously tested an ACER 722 with a C-60 CPU, 320GB RAM & 4GB RAM. Please note that the tests have been made with the same circumstances with new installation of latest Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit. This netbook did not fulfilled my needs and left me with a taste of bitterness. On the one side you have the USB 3.0 the 12" monitor and the latest E-450 CPU. On the other hand the monitor & keyboard are very bad and the CPU does not provide that big kick compared with the AMD C-60 CPU. I suggest you go for the cheaper Acer 722 model.