Recommending Asus X205TA

I’m writing this post on my Asus X205TA 11″ laptop, and I must say it’s the best electronics purchase I’ve made in 2015. (Of course there are other, similar laptops in its class like the HP Stream which I suspect are just as good. I must say the biggest reason I chose the Asus machine was because of its calmer dark blue color, instead of the neon blue/pink of Stream)

The laptop costs less than $200, often cheaper on social shopping sites like Groupon. It uses an Intel quad-core Atom processor, 2GBs of RAM, and runs Windows 10. For its price, the specs leave little to be desired. It even includes a (albeit crappy) webcam. Since most of what I use my laptop for is using a shell to connect to a remote server, or creating simple Powerpoint slideds, these specs are more than enough for most of work. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who needs to work on more complex software, say, Photoshop, or even needs to create complex Powerpoint slides though.

It also helps that the battery lasts a very long time. With my usage pattern, I use it on-and-off throughout the day and charge it every day or so. It’s refreshing not having to look for a power outlet everywhere I sit down.

The laptop handles like a windows tablet with a keyboard. I guess with the overabundance of really cheap android/windows tablets and the economy of size regarding their production, they decided to build one with a keyboard on it and call it a laptop. Which I didn’t know was what I always wanted, but did.

The only major downside in terms of the hardware specs is the size of the internal flash storage, which boasts a measly capacity of 32GBs. This can be somewhat mitigated by plugging in a microSD card into the slot in the side.

A minor issue I had sometimes with it was with the touchpad sensitivity. It’s fine using it to move the pointer around, but often gets confused with multitouch, or tapping to click. I’ve been considering carrying a mouse around with me at all times, but I guess things haven’t been that uncomfortable yet.

A major pitfall most users will probably fall into is the wireless network problem: where the WLAN driver sometimes suddenly stops working and you don’t have wireless network anymore. No amount of rebooting helps.

This problem can be (airquote) solved (end airquote) by going into the device manager, removing the offending WLAN device, reboot, reinstall the WLAN driver and rebooting. The ASUS X205TA Broadcom Wireless Lan Driver can be found in the Asus Website.

Despite its little quirks, I’m very happy with the Asus X205TA. It’s also fairly good looking :) It’s a good lightweight laptop that handles most of my workload. Thanks to its price, I probably won’t cry too hard if I lose it during a conference overseas.