ASUS Eee PC 1101HA Performance, Benchmarks and Conclusion

September 28, 2009 by Jerry Jackson Reads (70,163)

Performance and Benchmarks
The 1101HA might look like it’s “bigger and better” than the smaller 1005HA, but this 11-inch netbook is equipped with a lower performance Intel Atom Z520 processor running at 1.33GHz compared to most other Eee PCs that have N280 or N270 Atom processors running at 1.6GHz or faster. The Z520 suffers from noticeably more lag than the N270 or N280 when opening various applications in a Windows environment. The processor is still capable of running the same software that other netbooks do, but you might have to wait an extra second or two for a web browser window to open or for Microsoft Office to load a document.

If you’ve read our reviews of other netbooks that use the Intel Atom processors then you know that all Atom-based netbooks have similar performance in terms of actual real-world use. Overall performance with the Intel Atom platform is very reasonable for daily activities like Web browsing, email, using Microsoft Office, listening to music, and even watching movies. If you’re in a bind you can even use photo editing software like Photoshop or GIMP for basic image editing. Just don’t expect the fastest laptop on the planet and you’ll probably be satisfied with the performance.

On a positive note, ASUS includes a proprietary overclocking application on the 1101HA called the “Super Hybrid Engine” that allows you to cycle through pre-set power profiles to maximize battery life by underclocking the processor, keep the processor at stock speed or overclock the processor by roughly 30 percent (from 1.33GHz to 1.74GHz).

Unfortunately, there’s only so much anyone can do with Intel GMA 500 integrated graphics. This integrated graphics processor (IGP) is powerful enough to handle displaying a PowerPoint presentation on a projector or watching DVD quality movies, but if 720p and 1080p video playback is your primary concern then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):

PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

HDTune for the built-in hard drive:

Heat and Noise
Temperatures on the new Eee PC Seashell are in line with what we’ve come to expect from netbooks with Intel Atom processors. In fact, thanks to the Z520 processor, the temperature readings taken from the outside of the plastic chassis remained surprisingly “lap friendly” during normal use.

Below are images indicating the temperature readings (listed in degrees Fahrenheit) taken inside our office where the ambient temperature was 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Battery
ASUS claims that the 1101HA provides “all-day computing” with up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge. As difficult as that might be to believe, it’s not completely out of the question. In our test with the screen brightness set to 70%, wireless active, and XP set to the “Super Performance” power profile (with the CPU overclocked to 1.74GHz) the system stayed on for 6 hours and 57 minutes of constant use. If we allowed the netbook run at a standard clock speed of 1.33GHz we were able to get closer to 9 hours and 20 of battery life!

Conclusion
The new ASUS Eee PC 1101HA might seem like little more than an oversized version of the Eee PC 1005HA, but you really shouldn’t judge this netbook by its cover. The high resolution 11-inch display, larger keyboard, and easily overclocked processor make this little laptop a compelling option if you’re looking for a cheap travel companion.

On the negative side of things, the slower N520 Atom processor really “needs” to be overclocked in order to provide a reasonably snappy experience, and the weak Intel integrated graphics prevent this netbook from being much of a mobile entertainment center.

I’m glad ASUS is finally giving consumers a higher resolution screen, but I hope we’ll see a better graphics solution and better touchpad buttons in this generation of netbooks. If you’re in the market for an 11-inch netbook then the new Eee PC 1101HA is worth a closer look.

Pros:

  • Nice build quality
  • Good screen
  • Easy to overclock

Cons:

  • Has to be overclocked
  • Still uses weak integrated graphics
  • Bad touchpad buttons


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