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First Impressions: Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS in Review

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Martina Osztovits), 12/01/2014

Netbook, redefined. Asus sells a handy subnotebook with Windows 8.1 Bing for 219 Euros (~$272). So how much netbook do customers get for so little money? Asus refers to elegance, premium experience, performance, 12 hours of web surfing, and vibrant colors. In addition, a one-year license for Office 365 is included. Is this all too good to be true?

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German-English-Translator - Details here

ASUS EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS: 219 Euros (~$272) - Does the manufacturer want to gain market shares at the end of the year?
ASUS EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS: 219 Euros (~$272) - Does the manufacturer want to gain market shares at the end of the year?

For the original German article, see here.

Elegant, yet cheap? We feel like it is a few years ago when netbooks were in fashion, since the EeeBook X205TA appears to be such a handy, mobile mini-notebook with limited performance, which can be used as secondary device for online tasks under Windows. While netbooks were priced at just under 400 Euros (~$498) at that time and at about 250 Euros (~$311) at the end of their era, Asus only charges 219 Euros (~$272) for the 11.6-incher today. Admittedly, the used technology is nothing special: a run-of-the-mill Bay Trail Atom SoC, small flash memory with Windows 8.1 Bing, a glossy HD panel and a few interfaces.

Does the EeeBook X205TA have a right to exist? Is it a device without touch input for diehards, who stick to simple laptops without touch or convertible functionality? It appears to be a counterrevolution: In the past two years, manufacturers have tried to outpace each other in offering cheap convertibles. Apparently, customers have not been ready for the tablet world and wished to return to the good old notebook mode with fold, plug, or swivel hinges. Now, Asus undermines their own efforts and could make life difficult for their own Transformer Books T100 and T200. We will cover the bargain EeeBook X205TA in an in-depth review at the end of the year. In the following, you'll find a brief overview over the already recorded measurements and benchmarks.

First Impressions

Weighs less than 1 kilogram
Weighs less than 1 kilogram

At the time of writing, only an elegant white model is available. The base is from matte plastic, the top side is made from a single part and the base plate is fixed with screws from the underside. Opening the notebook appears to be simple. More details about this will be available in our in-depth review. The stability is adequate, yet not especially high. Nevertheless, the light case feels good in the hands. Due to the low weight, maximum stability is not required for quality experience. However, the stability of the thin lid should be higher. It can be easily twisted and the black frame around the panel creaks in the corners if you do so. The fitting accuracy is too low here.

The thin chassis houses two big USB ports; however, they are only USB 2.0. But, this might already be considered a highlight, since there are otherwise only mini-HDMI and a card reader (microSD) available. However, since microSD cards are widely spread, users might prefer microSD over standard SD, anyway.

Asus put a lot of effort into key layout and completely utilized the width of the chassis. The big gaps between the keys are advantageous. Even men can type comfortably. In view of the slim case, the travel is quite distinct. However, keyboard and base can be easily depressed when higher pressure is applied. If you only push the keys gently, you'll appreciate the hard stop and the clear pressure point. The affixed labels could turn out to be a weakness. It is likely that they will have been rubbed off after a while.

We like the distinct pressure point and the short, yet sufficiently long travel of the ClickPad. Left and right mouse buttons are in its front part, where travel is longest. The surface is matte, yet quite smooth and allows fingers to quickly and comfortably glide. Unfortunately, the Asus touchpad does not support any multi-touch gestures; not even two-finger scroll. The mouse driver does not have such settings.

Display

With 260 cd/m² in its center, the glossy HD panel delivers a rather good brightness and the contrast of just under 600:1 makes us sit up. Actually, Asus appears to have changed their strategy for TFTs: Alike in more expensive devices like the Zenbook NX500, a color profile is active in factory state. We used it during our CalMAN measurements. The display is not bluish and the colors are almost exactly as defined in sRGB (albeit a small spectrum). However, the entry-level class gets immediately apparent with the viewing angles of the TN panel. 

266
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
261
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
260
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
235
cd/m²
225
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 266 cd/m² Average: 249.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 260 cd/m²
Contrast: 684:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.33 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 6.25 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
36% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.26
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3735F, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3775, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745D, Hynix HCG8E 64 GB
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2840, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
15%
-26%
28%
-34%
Brightness middle
260
284
9%
230
-12%
357
37%
251
-3%
Brightness
250
275
10%
205
-18%
330
32%
239
-4%
Brightness Distribution
85
90
6%
84
-1%
87
2%
78
-8%
Black Level *
0.38
0.4
-5%
0.36
5%
0.37
3%
0.74
-95%
Contrast
684
710
4%
639
-7%
965
41%
339
-50%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.33
4.56
28%
10.22
-61%
3.88
39%
9.61
-52%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.25
2.99
52%
11.7
-87%
2.79
55%
10.54
-69%
Gamma
2.26 97%
2.58 85%
2.37 93%
2.26 97%
2.18 101%
CCT
7906 82%
6749 96%
13107 50%
6849 95%
12432 52%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
36
42
17%
40.92
14%
40
11%

* ... smaller is better

Performance

The Intel Atom Z3735F (1.33 GHz) belongs to the Bay Trail-T SoCs. With its low power consumption, it was made for tablets. Today, most low-end convertibles or netbooks use this platform. There are small differences between Atom, Celeron and Pentium models. As a result, the EeeBook X205TA is good for computationally undemanding tasks, and it copes well with (simple) parallel tasks.

We found that the system performance is agile and lively. Unless CPU stress reduces performance, you can quickly switch between windows and simultaneously run several applications. Since only 14 GB is available (gross capacity: 32 GB), you'll sooner run out of storage space. The 32 GB eMMC flash memory does not stand out positively in any way. Its read and write rates conform to low-end NAND memory on average.

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Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
813 Points ∼8%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
1108 Points ∼10% +36%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
1334 Points ∼12% +64%
Lenovo S20-30
1202 Points ∼11% +48%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
972 Points ∼9% +20%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
1031 Points ∼10% +27%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
2867 Points ∼6%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
3997 Points ∼8% +39%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
2533 Points ∼5% -12%
Lenovo S20-30
2224 Points ∼4% -22%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
3389 Points ∼7% +18%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
2826 Points ∼6% -1%
Shading 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
1740 Points ∼9%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
2408 Points ∼12% +38%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
2476 Points ∼12% +42%
Lenovo S20-30
2270 Points ∼11% +30%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
2004 Points ∼10% +15%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
1799 Points ∼9% +3%
PCMark 7 - Computation (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
5830 Points ∼21%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
6999 Points ∼25% +20%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
8087 Points ∼29% +39%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
8333 Points ∼29% +43%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
3457 Points ∼12% -41%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
3483 Points ∼7%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
4320 Points ∼9% +24%
Lenovo S20-30
7261 Points ∼15% +108%
Lenovo S20-30
4542 Points ∼9% +30%

Legend

 
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS Intel Atom Z3735F, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Transformer Book T200TA Intel Atom Z3775, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101 Intel Celeron N2840, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A Intel Celeron N2840, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo S20-30 Intel Celeron N2830, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
 
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU Intel Atom Z3745D, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Hynix HCG8E 64 GB
 
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX

System Noise and Waste Heat

We cannot say much about system noise and fan characteristics since Asus used a fanless design in the X205. This conforms to the basic idea of the Bay Trail T platform. The waste heat of the processing unit is quite low. Unless the stress test is running, your hands will hardly sweat. The hotspots in our image only come up when the stress test is run for multiple hours. The idle image is much closer to realistic web surfing. The X205TA runs very stably, which was proved by nine hours stress test with Furmark and Prime95. The temperatures on the SoC increase to just under 70 °C and the CPU clocks between 1.3 and 1.5 GHz. The power consumption via the small power adapter was only 9 Watt during the stress test.

 27.2 °C
81 F
25.7 °C
78 F
23.5 °C
74 F
 
 26.7 °C
80 F
25.7 °C
78 F
23.5 °C
74 F
 
 23.8 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
23 °C
73 F
 
Maximum: 27.2 °C = 81 F
Average: 24.8 °C = 77 F
23.6 °C
74 F
26.3 °C
79 F
27.2 °C
81 F
23.2 °C
74 F
24.7 °C
76 F
25.3 °C
78 F
23.5 °C
74 F
24 °C
75 F
24.1 °C
75 F
Maximum: 27.2 °C = 81 F
Average: 24.7 °C = 76 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.8 °C = 87 F | Room Temperature 22.2 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.9 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 29.8 °C / 86 F for the devices in the class Netbook.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44.5 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F, ranging from 21.6 to 53.2 °C for the class Netbook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.8 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 36.6 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.8 °C / 77 F, compared to the device average of 29.8 °C / 86 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28.9 °C / 84 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.3 °C / 84.7 F (+0.4 °C / 0.7 F).

Power Consumption and Battery Life

The 38 Wh lithium-polymer battery ensures good battery runtimes, which is especially note-worthy in view of the low price. The idle test is not completed until after 19:33 hours. This value is even too high for reading E-Books, since the idle test is run with minimum brightness, which is too low for work. Asus allows a very low setting. However, you can hardly read from the screen with it even when it is dark. Our in-depth review will inform you about the other battery tests.

The power consumption while idle of 1.6 to 3.2 Watt is even surprisingly low for the Bay Trail platform. The latter value exceeds 3 Watt because of the high maximum brightness. The X205TA only has the energy profile "balanced."

Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
1173 min ∼309%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
450 min ∼119%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
405 min ∼107%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
min ∼0%
Lenovo S20-30
min ∼0%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
475 min ∼125%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
379 min ∼100%
Load (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
305 min ∼270%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
189 min ∼167%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
170 min ∼150%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
min ∼0%
Lenovo S20-30
min ∼0%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
180 min ∼159%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
113 min ∼100%
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
1.6 Watt * ∼23%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
2.6 Watt * ∼38%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
4.6 Watt * ∼67%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
2.6 Watt * ∼38%
Lenovo S20-30
4.9 Watt * ∼71%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
1.7 Watt * ∼25%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
6.9 Watt * ∼100%
Idle Average (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
2.9 Watt * ∼31%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
4.9 Watt * ∼52%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
5.8 Watt * ∼62%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
4.2 Watt * ∼45%
Lenovo S20-30
6 Watt * ∼64%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
3.1 Watt * ∼33%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
9.4 Watt * ∼100%
Idle Maximum (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
3.2 Watt * ∼26%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
5.1 Watt * ∼41%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
6.1 Watt * ∼49%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
4.4 Watt * ∼35%
Lenovo S20-30
6.2 Watt * ∼50%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
4.1 Watt * ∼33%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
12.4 Watt * ∼100%
Load Average (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
8.1 Watt * ∼44%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
12.5 Watt * ∼68%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
12.4 Watt * ∼68%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
8.4 Watt * ∼46%
Lenovo S20-30
12.8 Watt * ∼70%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
9.3 Watt * ∼51%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
18.3 Watt * ∼100%
Load Maximum (sort by value)
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS
9 Watt * ∼39%
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
11.7 Watt * ∼50%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101
15.5 Watt * ∼67%
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A
11.5 Watt * ∼49%
Lenovo S20-30
13.4 Watt * ∼58%
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
16.1 Watt * ∼69%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
23.3 Watt * ∼100%

Legend

 
Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS Intel Atom Z3735F, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Transformer Book T200TA Intel Atom Z3775, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 L10-B-101 Intel Celeron N2840, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Acer Aspire ES1-111-C56A Intel Celeron N2840, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo S20-30 Intel Celeron N2830, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPCX-24C6HT0
 
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU Intel Atom Z3745D, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Hynix HCG8E 64 GB
 
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.05 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.6 / 2.9 / 3.2 Watt
Load midlight 8.1 / 9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 960

Verdict

Asus brings all the core features of a netbook without neglecting some degree of quality and look. The EeePC revival is handy, delivers a long battery life and features acceptable input devices. Alike in other devices with the same components, the Bay Trail platform brings decent office performance, which goes beyond keeping the web browser active. For an aggressive price, the X205TA even offers small highlights, for example good contrast, high brightness, and very low power consumption.

How long is the WLAN battery life? Are the webcam and microphone good? What is behind the base plate? More information will be provided in the following days in our in-depth review.

Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS (EeeBook Series)
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR3L 1333 MHz SDRAM, on-board
Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel, TN, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 14 GB free
Soundcard
HD Audio
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: microphone-in/headphone-out jack, Card Reader: Micro SD, Micro SDXC, Micro SDHC
Networking
Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.5 x 286 x 193.3 ( = 0.69 x 11.26 x 7.61 in)
Battery
38 Wh Lithium-Polymer, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 12 h
Operating System
Windows 8.1 (32 Bit) + Bing
Camera
Webcam: VGA 640x480
Additional features
Speakers: stereo + microphone, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 33 Watt power supply, one-year Office 365 license, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
980 g ( = 34.57 oz / 2.16 pounds), Power Supply: 200 g ( = 7.05 oz / 0.44 pounds)
Price
230 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > First Impressions: Asus EeeBook X205TA-FD005BS in Review
Sebastian Jentsch, 2014-12- 1 (Update: 2014-12- 2)