ASUS T91: The Netbook-like Tablet PC Gets Reviewed


Touchable T91

Touchable T91

That ASUS Eee PC T91 prototype I prodded at CES gets a closer inspection today. Bit-Tech gives it a run-through and finds plenty to like about this low-cost hybrid between a convertible Tablet and traditional netbook. Like the Eee PC 900-series, the T91 uses an 8.9-inch display running a 1024×600 resolution; The screen is a resistive touch-screen, similar to the original UMPCs.

Bit-Tech didn’t care for the non-removable battery, even if ASUS expects five hours of battery life with the Z520 Silverthorne Atom platform from Intel (s INTC). I’m in agreement with them there and also with the commantary on the T91’s keyboard. For the prototype, ASUS is using their older keyboard style and layout.That should change prior to release as ASUS is planning to use the chiclet-style keyboard found on their new 1000HE model.

ASUS uses a 32GB SSD drive for the T91 and if that’s not enough, you’ve got a great option. The T91 will offer a special “Disk Expander” memory card slot. You simply pop in a supported card to expand memory beyond the permanent storage; Although Bit-Tech doesn’t offer details, I suspect this feature is similar to the original Acer Aspire One’s offering.

Perhaps the best news out of all this is the expected price. According to Bit-Tech, the T91 will sit between the 1000HE and the S101. If true, I’m figuring to see this pint-sized Tablet PC come in around $500. While you can’t exactly compare spec-to-spec, this is amazing when you think about a close cousin: The Fujitsu P16x0-series of Tablet PCs are the same size, but cost three to four times more.


Allan Jones

I’m hoping that the advent of Windows 7 will usher in some interesting netbook designs with touchscreens and (with luck) decent tablet functions. I’d like to think this device is just an indicator of what’s to come, and that better machines will follow soon after (as happened with the eeePC).


Is this thing ever going to become available?
Looks like the CTL is STILL the only widely available convertible netbook.
I envision using it as a slate while on foot also. In my case one of the main goals is use outdoors as a really trick GPS unit with air photos, topo maps both present and historic on hand. Idea being a sort of museum style tour guide for the forest and industrial areas. Not exactly a mainstream use I realize, and also not very text input intensive.
Chiclet keyboards are the bomb by the way. I’ve used one almost exclusively for a couple of years now (macbook) and anything else seems like driving an old farm truck in traffic now! My only minor niggle with the Apple version is that the keys could be a little stiffer to press.
Is this hatred for chiclet keyboards common?


I’m going to have to go against the grain and say I LOVE the new chiclet keyboards. It may just be the seperation of keys and low profile on the apple ones, but I am able to type significantly faster and with less finger strain than other keyboards.


OK, I may be a rather unusual slice of the demographic, but the main reason I’m looking forward to getting one of these is to use during my bus rides to/from work. You can’t always be certain you’ll get a seat, so it needs to be something I can hold in one arm and still work on. A traditional netbook doesn’t work so well in that setup (though I’ve considered getting one and trying to find a board to mount it on).

My current laptop is an HP Pavilion TX with a convertible setup and touchscreen, which would be perfect if it wasn’t so dang heavy, and runs so hot when it’s doing any real work. I’ve never burnt myself yet, but…

For that demographic, the choice is a $500 or so netbook like this, or a multiply more expensive Tablet PC, and I’m rather more interested in the cheaper option since I won’t be doing much art work with it.



It would be nice if it had Palm rejection like the Fujitsu P Series, not that it’s the best way to go but sure would be better.I can see that they are trying to keep the price down but if its only going to add a little it might be worth it. I’m looking at getting the T91 if the battery life is at least 5.5 hrs.

Nurhisham Hussein

I have to agree with the comments above. I have the Gigabyte M912 with XP Home, which is a similar size and configuration – inking is a terrible experience, with lots of vectoring. Putting Win7 on it made for a much better experience, but I just can’t get over the vectoring.

If on the other hand peoples expectations are based on just having a touch UI, this might work.


I don’t see the point of having a resistive touchscreen in a netbook.

A Tablet PC is only useful with a digitizer.

Well, if those low-cost tabler-netbooks cause the breakthrough for Tablet PCs in general, then I’ll be happy :)

After all, an HP tx2z, which is a great Tablet PC, really isn’t all that expensive.

Gordon Cahill

I sort of agree with you. There’s the P1630, which is not active but still useful.

I see devices like this doing a lot of damage to the tablet pc space. If this was your first “tablet” experience I’m sure it would be your last. Without a tablet OS and some form of palm rejection it’s a gimmick that borders on unusuable.


p.s. Is there a reason there’s no 10″ active digitiser tablet any more? I would kill for a p1630 with an active or dual digitiser.


This looks like a really cheap imitation compared to the Fujitsu P1630. I know there’s only so much you can do for $500, but if that’s my budget, I would rather go with a HP 2140 or cough up a few hundred more for a 12 inch tx2.


I’m with you Martin… I *DESPISE* chiclet keyboards with literally every last molecular cell of my body. They are absolutely horrible.

Otherwise, this device does seem like a great way to start driving down tablet costs and promote tablets in a favorable way. With any luck, these hybrid netbooks will become the netbook 2.0 form factor and finally make ink/touch applications more favorable.



looks good, though I don’t like the fact that they are coming two of the worse things about the macs. Non removable batteries and the ghastly chicklet keyboards. I tried one of those on a Sony at the weekend and thought why would you ruin an expensive laptop with it. At least with a desktop you can easily replace it with a usable keyboard. Are there people out there who like keys that don’t really move. Aren’t these keyboards particularly bad for RSI ?

Comments are closed.