Price (RRP): $329
Another budget machine is ready for consumption for the masses, and this time it’s Asus that is taking a swing, crafting a computer for people that need a keyboard, a screen, and something that won’t hurt the back at all.
A new budget machine, the Asus X205TA borrows a formula used with other slimline inexpensive machines and makes it its own, bringing Intel’s system-on-a-chip to a low price point with the full edition of Windows 8.1.
As such, you’ll find the familiar Intel quad-core Atom Z3735 processor here clocked at 1.33GHz, paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. Windows 8.1 is installed on the computer out of the box, ready to go, with the storage able to expanded using a microSD slot found on the side of the computer, a change from the usual fare of a full-side SD card slot.
Connections are relatively standard for this machine, with 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, combined headphone and microphone 3.5mm jack, microHDMI, and the reliable USB 2.0 ports, of which there are two of them.
A camera is also provided in the unit, with a VGA camera found above the screen, as well as the regular trackpad and keyboard you expect a computer to have.
The display is something we haven’t mentioned yet, with an 11.6 inch display used here running the resolution of 1366×768, with this screen being a glossy screen.
The battery is built into the Asus X205TA and is not replaceable, and charged with a small power pack reliant on a small proprietary port.
It’s hard not to be a little envious of the computer choices they have this year, it really is.
We’re only in the second month of 2015 and we’ve already played with several laptops that bring Windows to budget price that is just impossible to ignore, making us wish these sorts of options existed when we were still going to school.
The Asus X205TA fits in with this category, and is one of the low-cost computers Microsoft has been working with manufacturers to make, producing a full Windows 8 machine on a budget, and so much of a budget that it comes in at well under the $500 mark that used to indicate if a computer was indeed labelled “cheap”.
In this model, Asus has taken a spec seen and used on most of the other ultra-light student-ready laptops out there, but given it its own design and style, and it’s a look worth talking about, too.
On first glance, the X205TA has a fairly generic glossy white look to it, but then you pick it up and see what Asus has done, minimising everything and generally cutting out extra plastic to make it light, very light, hitting well below the average for budget computers and coming in under a kilogram.