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ASUS EeeBook X205: An Affordable Chromebook Alternative

BERLIN — ASUS might make its own Chromebook, but Microsoft is making sure the company's budget tier isn't reserved just for Google's OS. Revealed at IFA 2014, the ASUS EeeBook X205 is an 11.6-inch notebook that brings back netbook affordability while introducing some neat features, such as the ability to stay online while asleep. We got some hands-on time with the mini-laptop, which launches later this year for an estimated $200. 

The EeeBook X205's lightweight, unassuming build makes it a standout, as its 11.26 x 7.61 x 1.09-inch, 2.16-pound frame won't weigh your bag down much. It's an attractive notebook, packing a smooth plastic build (available in white, black and gold) complemented by a snappy set of chiclet keys. 

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The X205 is far from a powerhouse, but it does have the unique benefit of staying online while on standby. This allows the notebook to wake up about as fast as a smartphone, and makes it easy to download updates without having to leave your laptop open.

On the inside, the X205 packs a quad-core Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3735 processor with 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of onboard storage. The notebook runs Windows 8.1 with Bing, which is essentially Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS. Appropriately, the X205 offers 500GB of ASUS WebStorage for two years, just as most Chromebooks offer 100GB of Google Drive storage for the same amount of time.

The ASUS EeeBook X205 is hitting Europe for 200 later this year, with comparable pricing expected for its eventual U.S. release. ASUS' Chromebook alternative certainly has our attention, and we look forward to delving deeper into the X205 for a full review.