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This is a hardware review of a netbook: ASUS 1001PXB-BK301

I bought this netbook mainly for experimentation.

I wanted to know what Operating Systems would run on a Intel? Atom processor and what the upgrade paths were for the hardware.

This is a 'recertified' computer and was fairly cheap so doing experiments with the hardware and loading different OperatingThe netbook is very small, so the screen will be small... Systems and software for testing purposes is cost effective in my opinion.

Here are the ASUS 1001PXB-BK301 NETBOOK specifications:

  • Intel? Atom N450(1.66GHz) (Dual Core)
    • CPU L2 Cache: 512KB
  • 1GB DDR2 Memory
  • 160GB Hard Drive
  • Widescreen Display: Yes
    • Display Feature: LED backlight
  • Netbook Camera
    • Camera Type Built-in
  • Communications
    • WLAN 802.11b/g/n Wireless LANAs with the screen the keyboard although functional is also small.
  • Audio
    • Integrated Sound Card
    • Built-in speaker
  • Input Devices
    • Touchpad Yes
    • Keyboard Standard
  • OS Provided: Windows XP Home
  • Atheros AR8132 Fast Ethernet 10/100 MBPS LAN
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • External VGA port
  • SD/SCHC/MMC memory slot
  • External Head Phones port

My evaluation of this notebook:

What is Good:

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The previous page I wrote about mini computers or netbooks still holds true. When I wrote that article I had only six hours to use the netbook and I was attending a seminar so all I had time to play with was basic stuff and I didn't try to optimize it in anyway.

Not a bad little computer, reminds me of the old Compaq LTE series of computers from the late 80' s early 90's.

For a 1.66GHz Dual processor with 1 GB of memory (shared with the video card) it runs pretty fast, that is once you remove all the freeware /shareware / demo junk that ASUS is fond of loading on their computers now days (this is the third ASUS portable computer I have bought and they all have it, must be something to do with keeping the costs down?)

I found it to very light and the video is an improvement over the rented netbook by about 500% (which will remain nameless for now). It is clear and the fonts are readable. On the Newegg web site one of the reviews said the keyboard was small. It is indeed smaller than a laptop but a heck of a lot bigger than the Kendal or a cell phone! My Wife likes it, it will fit into her purse and is very light.

Once I stopped all the unnecessary services, removed the junk from the trunk the Operating System is using about 220 MB of memory. Not bad considering I haven't optimize the OS yet, and there are still some services that need to be stopped. I think it will be at around down to 180-200 MB when the optimization is complete.

What is Bad:

Because this is a small and light computer there isn't a CD/DVD drive (I will have to buy an external usb CD/DVD soon) and because of the SATA interface a bootable Pen/Flash drive can not see the internal drive unless you go in to the BIOS setup and change the drive settings from SATA Enhanced mode in ACHI to IDE.

I wanted to make an image of the drive partitions before I started messing with the settings and optimizing the OS. With a SSD the weight is just over a pound.

Once I figured that out it was fairly smooth making the backup images and then on with the cleanup of the junk.

Over all I am pleased with my new netbook, when I travel in the next few months I may take it instead of my laptop, first though I need to play a game on it to see if it is a viable traveling companion. (That would take about four pounds out of the backpack!

Support offerings:

Online support for ASUS 1001PXB-BK301 Netbook manuals, bois upgrades,  and  device drivers. One year warranty for most ASUS laptops. Having dealt with ASUS over the years I would give their support a 9 out 10.I may use this for my firewall / proxy server...

However does offer a one year no questions asked replacement for a nominal fee, I suggest you take them up on the warranty, this bumps the ASUS normal 1 year guarantee to two years.

This is another of those 'Reconditioned' computers that was about $80 off the regular price and one of the few that still was offered with XP, although it is the Home version. This is unfortunate because Home versions can not be brought in to a domain.

If you want to upgrade your netbook see this page: ASUS 1001PXB-BK301 NETBOOK

02/14/14 I have had this neat little netbook for about three years and it has more miles on it than my constant companion of over seven years my IBM T-30! Because it is small and light (with the SSD upgrade I have done) and the long lasting battery it makes for a good computer to use on say an airliner that the airline has deemed having electrical outlets for mobile devices unnecessary. To bad they have quit making these nice little computers and opted for the tablet instead. I do think this computer will be my next server.

03/15/14 - Because my Wife has opted for an iPad over the ASUS TF101 tablet and this nice little netbook I have turned it in to my VPN server. I loaded the server operating system on the computer with out too many problems, actually less hassle than loading Windows 7 (an oration it came with). Most of the drivers are still available on ASUS's web site. The only thing that is non functional is the Audio but who needs sound on a VPN server? I tested the capabilities of the VPN while on vacation for a week, works good. I plan on doing a lot of traveling this summer so the little ASUS 1001PXB-BK301 netbook will get a work out. Not bad for a $200 computer.

Emergency Repair
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You keyboard isn't thirsty, and it doesn't need calcium. Milk and other liquids will ruin a keyaboard!

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ASUS 1001PXB-BK301 Netbook, the bad news is this fad is over. I did a search only found three zero netbooks for sale.

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