Hands on Use
After the benchmarking was all finished, I sat the Eee 1101HA on my desk and went about my day using the machine as I would any computer I owned. The Eee 1101HA looks huge next to my MSI Wind U100 10.1-inch netbook that I normally use. The extra 1.5-inches of screen space are very welcome and the keys on the keyboard of the Eee are noticeably larger.
The keyboard on the 1101HA is very good overall with well-sized keys and good typing feel. The keys are slightly clicky when pressed. The only issue I had with the keyboard is that ASUS decided to use a small right shift key. I am a habitual right shift key spammer to the point that I never use the left shift key. The small right shift key was a bother for sure at about half the size of the left shift key. I could get used to the smaller size, but I would rather see ASUS move the up arrow somewhere else and give me a full size shift key instead. I rarely ever use the arrow keys.
The 11.6-inch screen supports 720p HD resolution, which means you can watch HD quality streaming content from Hulu and other sources. The screen is very good for media consumption with good colors, nice black levels and good skin tones. The glossy nature of the screen means that you will have to contend with glare, but at least you can see who is walking up behind you without turning around.
Under the keyboard in the center of the palm rest is the track pad. The larger keyboard means that there is plenty of space for the palms of my hand without hitting the track pad accidentally, which is a big issue for me on my U100. The track pad itself is the same material as the wrist rest and is differentiated by little holes drilled in the track pad area.
I didn't care for the feel of the track pad, it's not as smooth as your typical track pad and using it took more effort than using the average notebook track pad with a smooth plastic top. The large single button under the track pad acts as the right and left click and works just as you'd expect it to.
The sound system is surprisingly full volume for a netbook. You can hear your music in another room if you want. The tiny speakers do the job of playing your music, but they sound flat and have no bass to speak of. Audiophiles won't want to listen to any music on them and your average person will wish the speakers were better. The sound system is average for the netbook class.
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