Asus Ion-Powered Eee PC 1201N Review

Introduction and Specifications

The proliferation of NVIDIA's Ion GPU has been a long time coming. We've been talking about its merits for the better part of this year, but only recently has it been able to find its way into more than a handful of mainstream, shipping netbooks. We recently had a look at HP's Mini 311 with Windows 7 Home Premium, and while the Ion definitely enabled smooth HD playback where it was previously impossible with a paltry 1.6GHz Atom N270 and Intel IGP, the CPU bottleneck held back the entire system. Today, however, we're taking a look at a much more powerful system.

Asus has come a long way since the launch of its original Eee PC. 7" and 8" netbooks are no longer the norm, and the availability of 12" netbooks is on the rise. The newest member of the stylish Seashell lineup is the Eee PC 1201N, which easily bests any other netbook we've tested in terms of specifications. It's also one of the larger netbooks out, blurring the line between the netbooks of old and the ultraportables of today. Featuring a 12.1" HD display, dual-core Atom 330 CPU, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium, an HDMI output and NVIDIA's Ion GPU technology, there's not much to dislike about the newest Eee PC based on its build sheet.

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Asus Eee PC 1201N Netbook
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Atom 330 CPU (1.6GHz; Dual-Core)
  • 2GB of DDR2 RAM 
  • 12.1" LCD (1366x768 resolution)
  • NVIDIA Ion Graphics (Based on NVIDIA GeForce 9400M)
  • 250GB (5400RPM) Hitachi Travelstar 5K500.B Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • No Optical Drive
  • 0.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • VGA and HDMI Outputs
  • USB 2.0 x 3
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100)
  • Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
  • SD / MMC / SDHC Multimedia Card Reader
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Full-Size 'Chiclet' Keyboard
  • Gesture-Enabled Multi-Touch Trackpad
  • 3.22 Pounds (with 6-cell battery installed)
  • Removable 6-Cell Li-ion Battery
  • 5 Hours Claimed Battery Life
  • 296mm (W) x 208mm (D) x 27.3~ 33.3mm (H) (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit)
  • Price (MSRP): $499.99

Slapping together a good list of components and actually producing a system that performs well in the real world and is enjoyable to use are separate things entirely though, so join us as we review the latest Ion-powered netbook (and what's likely to be one of the more highly anticipated netbooks of 2009) in the pages to come.

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