ASUS X205ta annoyances and bugs

A nice, tiny, computer.

  1. Creaky bezel. Squeezing the bezel to the right of the web cam (about half way between the webcam and the corner) gives a lot of flex and some creaking. This isn’t the kind of thing I expect from ASUS.
  2. No midi. A USB sound card will have to provide it. I accept that most people don’t care.
  3. Fluttering fluctuating volume levels. This is a bigger problem. When you listen to anything you find the volume flutters. It’s very annoying. Installing latest drivers (from the ASUS website, in the order that ASUS recommends) didn’t fix it for me, but some people say it fixed it for them. Windows Update or control panel do not find better drivers.
  4. FN F7 (turn off the screen) also mutes the audio. I want to turn off the screen but still have audio playing. Latest drivers don’t fix. Using FN F5 to turn down the screen brightness to the lowest level still leaves a backlit screen. :-( I listen to audio books at night. I want the screen off.
  5. Massive recovery partition.
  6. The combination of secure boot; bitlocker; 32 bit EFI bootloader (but 64 bit architecture) and weird devices mean that you’re not going to have a straightforward Linux install. It can be done, search for guides. (As always, Arch has a nice guide.)
  7. Mine (and I recognise this might be only my machine) has a speaker that sounds like it has a loose connection.
  8. The power socket is fiddly.
  9. The BIOS doesn’t include an option to toggle the FN key. So that I could just hit F12 (without holding FN) and it would turn the volume up. (Updated bios doesn’t fix this.)

That’s just the stuff off the top of my head. There’s probably a lot more.

There’s a bunch of other stuff which is as advertised, so I guess it can’t really be described as a bug. But it is annoying. So:

  1. Windows 8.1 with Bing — as above, this means you have a massive recovery partition. Upgrading to Windows 10 should fix that. Maybe.
  2. All the weird software.
  3. The screen isn’t great.
  4. The trackpad isn’t great.

This is not like my EEE PC 701 (which was an amazing machine) or like the Samsung NC10 (I didn’t own one, but I know someone who did and they said it was lovely.)

I hope the Linux hackers get given a few and drivers become better and more available. And that someone creates a tool as easy to use as EG Unetbootn that can create a USB installer that uses a 32 bit EFI. I’m getting ready to install Debian, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

If you’re in England and have a spare laptop (preferably Linux friendly) I’d be really freaking grateful for it. I have no money though.

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