May 14, 2009 at 11:26 am
TechRadar has this morning released the first review of the much anticipated Asus Eee PC T91 netbook. The 8.9-inch convertible tablet is probably one of our most eagerly awaited netbooks and judging by the review, it won’t disappoint. TechRadar says that the T91 “genuinely moves things forward” in the netbook space and the only factor that could hinder its success will be its price. They also confirmed that the T91 is expected to launch at the beginning of June.
It’s worth noting that the review was based on a pre-production sample so there may be a few differences come the final retail release. This is probably the reason that they found the Asus Easy Mode touch interface still needing a bit of polishing. Other than that, the T91 was found to have a comfortable keyboard, an excellent touchscreen display as well as a reasonable battery life of over 3 hours.
Unfortunately, it looks like the T91 is taking a leaf out of the 1008HA’s book by having a non-removable battery. The touchscreen display also means that fingerprint smudges are something you just have to get used to. The Asus Eee PC T91 is expected to hit the UK at a £449 price point. This is certainly not cheap, but the T91 is placed in a unique position with few competitors. TechRadar awarded the T91 an impressive four and a half stars. Check out the key review points after the jump.
Key points from the TechRadar review:
- Touchscreen uses a resistive display, which whilst not as accurate as capacitive displays, keeps the T91 affordable.
- The Asus touch screen interface (Asus’ Easy Mode software) still appears to need more work, something that should get addressed by release. However, the interface is intuitive to use and shows off the machines potential. Despite this, even XP works well using the touchscreen.
- A disadvantage of the touchscreen is the inevitable fingerprint marks on the display. This was something that can be seen quite easily in a few of the videos we have seen, so it seems you should keep a cleaning cloth nearby if you want to keep it looking pristine.
- The T91 comes with the power efficient 1.33 GHz Z520 Atom processor with US15W (Poulsbo) chipset. Despite the lower clock speed over the popular 1.6GHz N270 Atom CPU, the T91 could happily play 720p HD content. I’m not sure whether refers to HD videos on YouTube/Vimeo are raw HD files, but it is no doubt helped by the Poulsbo chipset.
- It also comes with a 32GB SSD which is just about enough room for your most important files and media.
- The keyboard was found to be responsive and comfortable to use, something I was worried about given the smaller 9-inch form factor. There were rumours that Asus were looking to extend the keyboard for the retail release, so I’m not sure whether there are further improvements to come. The touchpad also worked well.
- In terms of battery life, the T91 managed 3 hours and 20 minutes when looping 720p video. As seen in the 1008HA Seashell, it looks like Asus have sealed the battery in the T91 too. I really hope this doesn’t start to become a trend.