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[Review] Asus X205TA - HATM1102M Portability on a Budget

It's quite clear by now that Asus has no intention of slowing down in its quest to take over the laptop market. The company has managed to launch attractive prospects across all segments of the laptop market and its latest machine is proof that the company is not above selling a laptop basically at the same price it spent to build it if that means winning market share from its competitors. We're talking, of course, about the Asus X205TA-HATM1102M.

Priced within an extremely affordable bracket, the X205TA- HATM1102M flaunts a polished design, 32 GB of SSD storage, 8 hour battery life as well as the Windows 10 operating system. Today we take the gloves off and do an in depth review of the ASUS X205TA-HATM1102M to find out if it's all it's cracked up to be.

ASUS X205TA - HATM1102M the perfect travel laptop

An ultraportable design

When you're looking at buying a laptop like the X205TA you're likely drawn to the portability factor as well as the price factor. In this sense, we've got an 11.6 inch LED display with an HD resolution and a native 16:9 aspect ratio. This means you get a higher definition display than its 15 inch or even 13 inch counterparts because there are more pixels per inch on this laptop than the bigger ones that share the same pixel amounts.

However, portability isn't exclusively tied to the display, there are other factors at play. This notebook, or better said netbook, doesn't weigh much with just 2.1 pounds and measuring a little under 0.7 inches. That means you'll be able to take it along with your wherever you go without having to worry about carrying a lot of extra weight with you.

The display is not backlit but we hardly expected it on a netbook yet typing is still a pleasant experience thanks to the chiclet styled keyboard.

Built for basic computing tasks

Let's not beat around the bush; this is an entry level laptop which means it was designed for basic computing tasks and it's not really equipped to go beyond that. For proof you can look at its processor; an Intel Atom Z3735F. This is a quad core processor with 2 MB of L2 cache working on a base frequency of 1.33 GHz that can reach a maximum of 1.88 GHz when pressed for more demanding tasks.

Couple that with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 32 GB of SSD internal storage and you're looking at a laptop that has all the ingredients to be the perfect travel laptop.

What does this mean? Well it means that the ASUS X205TA - HATM1102M will be good at doing stuff like editing text documents, surfing the web, watching videos, chatting with friends and that's about it.

The 2 GB of RAM also mean you're not meant to launch several programs at a time but rather run one or two programs simultaneously and the 32 GB of internal storage should give you a clue as to how this machine was not built to house demanding software that takes up too much storage space and wouldn't work properly either way.

How about gaming and battery life?

Gaming is out of the question from the get go. This isn't a laptop that features a dedicated graphics card but rather an integrated one, couple that with a very limited processor and you can assume that anything beyond angry birds or the likes won't run even remotely well.

Jump over to battery life and things seem quite a bit better with a two cell lithium battery that delivers an estimated battery life of up to 8 hours per charge. Even if we cut down to a more "realistic" 6 hours with normal mixed usage over WiFi it's still pretty good for most standards and great for students who don't wanna be burdened by carrying a power plug everywhere they go.

What are my connectivity options?

To our surprise the ASUS X205TA-HATM1102M in review features quite a decent set of options in the connectivity department. Specifically, we've got a couple of USB 2.0 ports, a microHDMI port, an audio combo and even an SD card reader. 

That's quite a bit more than most portable laptops feature and therefore we were very pleased to see Asus took special notice of this, especially when you consider that adding an SD card could significantly improve onboard storage for a very low price.

Anything else worth knowing?

While we reach the end point of this review we should note that this laptop comes with Windows 10 pre-installed as well as the standard software suite that you can easily delete if you don't wish to waste any of your precious space.

We appreciate the SSD storage because it greatly improves the speed of the laptop as well as the boot up times but you should know that this laptop is not meant to be a primary device but rather a travel laptop or an entry level laptop for people who don't use computers very often and won't do much more than edit docs, view pics and surf the web.

Is it worth buying?

This is a very subjective point. That said, once we've stated that this isn't meant to be a primary device it's actually a pretty good secondary laptop/student laptop for people who wish to carry around a fully fledged laptop without forking over several hundred dollars and carry around several pounds. Overall, we would recommend it as an entry level machine for anyone in the market for a budget friendly netbook that can still carry a punch. You can look up pricing and availability for this laptop here.