ASUS N10Jc, A Performance Netbook
Before we get into the nitty gritty of hands-on evaluation, let's see what the N10 looks like on paper.
For the most part, the ASUS N10 is like any other netbook. It sports the ubiquitous Atom N270 processor on the venerable Intel 945 platform complete with DDR2 and integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics. Things get interesting when we start to look at the trimmings however. Packed into the N10 along side the integrated graphics is a discrete GeForce 9300M unit with 256MB of dedicated memory. This secondary graphics processor can be enabled via a toggle switch on the side of the laptop for additional graphics processing power when needed (more on this later). Other features like networking and available ports also seem to be beefier than usual for a netbook. The N10 features both a standard VGA output port as well as a much welcome HDMI-out port. All N10's also get a media card reader and ExpressCard port for added expandability. Wireless-N networking and biometric security are available as optional features.
The ASUS N10Jc we received for review is one of three N10 sub-models currently listed by ASUS. Also available is the cheaper N10E which is missing the secondary GeForce chip and the N10J which has extra options such as more memory and bigger hard drives (up to 320GB). ASUS seems to be offering all three sub-models with either a 2400mAh 3-cell or a 4800 mAh 6-cell battery. As for real-world availability, the N10 is currently being offered in a variety of configurations by many retailers, so finding one that fits you shouldn't be hard. Real-world pricing currently ranges from about $580 to a very un-netbook-like $800, depending on sub-model and configuration.
The remainder of this evaluation will focus specifically on the ASUS N10Jc-A1, as configured above.