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Is the ASUS X205 Microsoft's Chromebook killer?

Howard Wen | Jan. 27, 2015
Low-priced, lightweight Windows 8.1 device challenges Chromebooks in low-end notebook market.

UPGRADES: This could also be a problematic even if you don't want to install a different OS. For example, you can't boot up the Windows 8.1 recovery tool written onto a USB flash memory stick, to try to fix Windows 8.1 on the X205 if something goes wrong with the OS to where you can't start it.(Even if ASUS remedies this in a BIOS update, what about upgrading to Windows 10 when this new OS is released? At least based on its Technical Preview version, Windows 10 requires more than 16GB of free space to install, but there's less than 13GB on the X205 for the user. Hopefully, ASUS and Microsoft have a process in mind to help users upgrade their X205 notebooks to Windows 10 when this OS is released later in 2015.


The X205 is definitely more than able to serve as a secondary computing device -- the kind of notebook you take with you for hanging out at a coffeehouse, typing in a classroom, or as a lightweight client to access an office network, or while traveling. But it handles web browsing and watching streaming video with such ease that I found it suitably tempting to use as a primary machine while at home.

Most Chromebooks at the lower end of price right now are generally as powerful as this notebook. So is the only differentiator here going to be your OS preference (Chrome OS vs. Windows 8.1)? Maybe. For now, what the ASUS X205 has going for it against the Chromebook encroachers are its small form factor and weight. You can tote it with you effortlessly, just as it can handle most of your basic computing needs effortlessly.((


OS: Windows 8.1 with Bing, 32-bit((

Processor: Intel Z3740, 1.33 GHz((RAM: 2 GB RAM((

Onboard storage: 32 GB

Display: 11.6", 1366 x 768 pixels

Audio: microphone, speakers (two)((

Camera: VGA, front((

Networking: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi((

Ports: headphone/microphone combo jack, Micro HDMI, Micro SD/SDXC/SDHC, USB 2.0 (two)

Battery: Up to 12 hours (listed); over 8 hours (as tested for this review)(

Dimensions (width, depth, height): 11.3" x 7.6" x 0.7"(

Weight: 2.2 lbs.(

Price: $199((


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