The Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17: Lightweight Tablet and Netbook

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Manufacturers have been in the business of perfecting tablet computers for almost 10 years, and in that time we have seen some highs, but plenty of lows. Mastering the touch sensitive technology of a stylus and most recently, a touchscreen has been a long arduous process. But now we are witnessing a renaissance of sorts with a new wave of tablet PCs that are sure to become ubiquitous as mobile technology continues to evolve.

Designed around the convertible design of tablet PCs, the Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17 is the latest entry in touchscreen PCs. Looking like a typical netbook, the 10.1" LED display is attached at a single hinge that can rotate 180º, fold down on top of the keyboard, and transform into a tablet, providing a flat writing surface.

The advantages to working in tablet mode include special environmental situations such as standing, lying in bed or operating with a single hand; in any of these circumstances, utilizing the touch environment makes navigation easier than using a keyboard or mouse pad. Using the tablet also eliminates the need to purchase a special keyboard for different languages and affords easy ways to create notations, symbols and diagrams.

The chassis offers a slide case for the included Stylus
The chassis offers a slide case for the included Stylus

The light 2.86 pound T101MT-EU17 netbook has a 10.1" backlit Multi-Touch display with full multi touch capabilities. The base model comes with Touch Mode software for single-touch capabilities. We should point out that the included operating system; Windows 7 Starter does not have multi-touch functionality but basic. You will have to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium or higher to access the Multi-Touch features. You can easily adjust the glare screen into several levels for better viewing and field of vision. The Multi-Touch monitor includes software that maps to your fingertip or stylus pen. And speaking of stylus pen, it has its own holder in the case of the computer.

The Asus in full tablet mode
The Asus in full tablet mode

This Asus netbook has an Intel Atom N450 1.66Ghz CPU, with 1GB SO-DIMM DDR2-5300 memory (upgradeable to 2GB), 160GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, an integrated webcam for mobile video conferencing and SD card reader for SD, MMC and SDHC cards. Depending on what mode you are working in, the Lithium-Polymer battery provides up to 6.5 hours of runtime using Asus's proprietary Super Hybrid Engine energy management technology. Asus has also delved into the world of cloud computing with 500GB of Asus Webstorage, making it easier to share resources, software and information and most importantly, to back up important data. Asus Webstorage also provides access to free games, desktop wallpapers and software, all as if it were an extra drive on your computer.

When upgrading to Windows 7 Home Premium or higher, the added multi-touch features turn the portable computer into a digital clipboard. Tasks that were once navigated by a mouse can now effortlessly be dragged, tapped, pinch or flicked with the use of your fingers. Reading documents or books can be accomplished by simply finger flipping through the pages and viewing photos takes on a new dimension with the touch of your fingers. The 256-level pressure sensor gives a firm and responsive reaction when moving your fingers across the screen, while flawlessly reacting to handwriting with the included ergonomic stylus. When putting the interface into Touch Mode, the icons appear larger for easier touch.

The Asus T101MT-EU17 is an ideal tablet with the feature set of a netbook. Size, weight and the inclusion of a stylus makes this an interesting competitor to the Apple iPad for users who want to stay with Windows.