Asus F102BA: last netbook

Asus F102BA: last netbook

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F102BA Asus is a netbook with 10 inch touch screen, full keyboard with keys to the island, 2 or 4 GB of RAM and AMD dual-core 1 GHz

The netbook market is now virtually gone, undermined by competition from tablets and smartphones more powerful and versatile, but for those who wish to experience again in 2014 for the PC in real extreme mobility, Asus brings to the market its new F102BA ( known as X102 in other markets): An ultra-portable entry-level technical characteristics and price equally content. The basic version is in fact a proposal in Italy in about 299 Euros.

Equipment and Design

The technical details of the as an AMD dual-core 1 GHz frequency with integrated Radeon HD 8180G graphics card, supported by an allocation of RAM which can be either 2 or 4 GB, depending on the configuration chosen. Even the ‘hard drives can vary between 320 and 500 GB.

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The screen is a touch of 10 inches with a resolution of 1,366 × 768 dots. On board of this netbook are also 2 USB 2.0 ports (on the right side), USB 3.0 (on the left), Ethernet port, SD card reader, HDMI and VGA outputs, Bluetooth and of course Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n (with 802.11 b / g / n / ac optional). The integrated webcam is HD 720p, while the battery, which is also integrated and therefore not removable / replaceable, is a 3-cell and provides up to a maximum of 5 hours of use provided by the manufacturer. The operating system is pre-installed Windows 8, with the possibility of a free upgrade to version 8.1

All this is housed in a chassis certainly light and thin, as it was appropriate: the ‘Asus F102BA weighs only 1.1 pounds and measuring 266x185x23 cm. Obviously, we are not even from the territory to tablets and ultrabook, but the portability of this netbook is still adequate, especially for the price.

Less exciting is the build quality. Although the design is sleek, rounded corners and good joints, the plastic materials used are cheap and definitely show some structural weakness. In particular, the panel that includes everything from the buttons to the island keyboard is pretty fragile and tends to flex evidently inside as soon as you apply a medium pressure. Moreover, we can not expect much more in terms of materials from a netbook that costs less than 300 Euros.

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Performance and Usability

The performance of ‘Asus F102BA, as expected, belong to the entry-level. The chipset CPU and integrated GPU does not perform miracles, but it turns milder proper use of the machine (desktop navigation, launch simple applications, email, etc..). Most demanding tasks, such as multimedia or Web browsing intensive, are still possible, although with a yield less snappy performance. Gaming, of course, is to be understood only limited to securities lighter.

Our test unit incorporated 2 GB of RAM, which nowadays are really the minimum wage; in fact, proved to be just enough for normal use, they tend to fill up very quickly and create bottlenecks. We recommend to anyone wanting to experience appropriate to consider the version that integrates the two.

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Only decent display quality: the resolution is low by today’s standards, but it is not a big issue considering the distance of Use media from this panel. Less convincing is the ‘viewing angle, which is just a few degrees away from the perfection begins to return colors and contrasts strongly compromised. The responsiveness of the touch panel is still decent and adds interest to the experience of using Windows 8, an OS so strongly set on the touch controls. Discreet also the quality of the trackpad, wide enough and pleasant to use, although in our unit of ‘Asus F102BA we detected a certain inconsistency in the recognition of the right button.

The battery, as already said, is integrated. This choice allows a more elegant design, and perhaps without joints (as well as a slight savings in terms of space and weight), but in our opinion not optimal: we prefer to be able to replace the battery or disconnect at will, for example by avoiding any problems when you using a PC connected to the mains for long periods of time.

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Verdict

Asus F102BA is one of the few members of a species currently threatened with extinction, that of netbooks, and therefore is itself an offer to consider for anyone who is looking for a device of this band. Its performance and its build quality does not excel, but they are fairly Relate to the price, not excessive.

Clearly, competition from tablet (also Windows) in the price range of approximately 300 Euros is fierce, and allows you to bring home devices whose overall experience is much more consistent and enjoyable than what we find in this Asus.

If, however, what we need is a built-in physical keyboard and the presence of full size USB ports or traditional video outputs, then the choice of a netbook is still obligated or nearly so, and this Asus F102BA is a product able to meet, as long as you have moderate expectations.