Asus Eee PC T101MT Touch Screen Netbook: Why Ship It With Media-less Windows 7 Starter Edition?

I’ve had the Asus Eee PC T91MT multi-touch touchscreen netbook for about four months now. I carry it with me every week day to and from the office. It generally serves as my lunch hour news reader and meeting note taker (though I usually use a LiveScribe smartpen for meeting notes taking and audio recording). Its small keyboard makes it difficult for me to type quickly. In fact, its keyboard was the main reason I left it at home when I went on week long conference trip last month. I took an Asus Eee PC 1000HA with a 10.1-inch display (vs. the 8.9-inch T91MT) and a larger keyboard that is very comfortable for typing. I recall thinking that I would have been much happier with a larger version of the T91MT because of a larger keyboard at the cost of a bit heavier netbook to carry around. Although such a model was not available when I bought the T91MT last year, there is one now and provides a brief review of it…

ASUS Eee PC T101MT video hands on and short review

There’s a couple of interesting differences between the T91MT and the T101MT aside from the display size and shift to the newer Atom N450 processor.

– 2GB RAM instead of 1GB
– 320GB hard drive instead of the 32GB solid state drive (SSD)
– Windows 7 Starter Edition instead of Windows 7 Home Premium Edition

One T101MT feature omission is understandable. It only has a single SD card reader. The T91MT’s second SD card reader is made available to permanently install a SD card to provide more storage. This is important for the T91MT since it has a relatively small 32GB SSD.

The report that the T101MT will ship with Windows 7 Starter Edition instead of the Home Premium Edition that shipped with the T91MT is a bit puzzling, however. Starter Edition doesn’t support the following features found in Home Premium Edition:

– Aero Glass (visual chrome), Taskbar Preview, Aero Peek
– Personalization for desktop background, window color, sound scheme
– Multi-monitor support (split display across the built-in and an external monitor)
– Windows Media Center
– Remote Media Streaming

These missing features are a problem, in my opinion, for a tablet device that many people will want to use as a media device.

I haven’t seen a price for the T101MT. However, based on the T91MT’s $500 price point, I expect the T101MT to be priced around $600.