Performance Summary -
The new Intel Atom N450 and its netbook platform vehicle that we tested, the Asus Eee PC 1005PE, offered a stronger general computing experience versus Intel's legacy single-core Atom variants. This was easily seen in each and every one of our stock benchmarks like PCMark Vantage, SiSoft SANDRA and 3DMark06. Where the Atom N450 fell a little flat was an area that Intel has had their work cut out for themselves for a long time now - that being video decode and 3D rendering. Though the Atom N450 offers a better general computing experience for the Asus Eee PC 1005PE, we were left wanting a bit more on the multimedia side of the equation, with the system's inability to handle even 720p content and struggling occasionally with certain flash video streams. Finally, what was more than impressive was that, even with its somewhat higher general computing performance, this Eee PC lasted longer on a battery charge than any other netbook we've tested to date.
Atom N450 - Intel's First Fully Integrated CPU and GPU Single-Chip Processor
Asus Eee PC 1005PE - Sets New Battery Life Standards For Netbooks
From a design and functionality perspective, Intel chose a fine partner to lead in Asus and the Eee PC 1005PE is a very impressive little machine for the price. The fit and finish of this netbook is second to none, it weighs in at just under a svelte 3lbs and looks plenty stylish to boot. What really knocked our socks off was the machine's battery life performance. Though perhaps its 14 hour battery life claim is a bit optimistic, it's quite possible under light duty workload, that this netbook could last even longer than our demonstrated 7 hour output.
When you consider the end result here, you have to hand it to Intel for delivering more performance in a lower power platform, that was already just sipping on the average 3 or 6-cell battery. We're looking forward to watching this evolution of Atom take shape in new products down the road and how far Intel can take this one-chip wonder in the future.