ASUS Eee PC 1201N Review It like ASUS is cheating in a good way.
With now dual core mobile Atom processors on the horizon, the netbook piooner is truly pushing the envelope with the Eee PC 1201N, the first netbook to pair a dual core Atom N330 CPU (normally reserved for desktop PCs) with Nvidia Ion graphics. The result is the best performance we've seen in this category at a very reasonable price. At 11.6 x 8.2 x 1.3 inches and oakley outlet coupons 3.2 pounds, the 1201N is smaller and lighter than the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 with Ion (11.5 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches, 3.4 pounds), and about on par with the HP Mini 311 (11.5 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches, 3.4 pounds). The overall look is attractive, but beware of fingerprint smudges. ASUS Eee PC 1201N Keyboard and Touchpad The 1201N's island style keyboard offers strong tactile feedback that allowed us to get our typical 80 words per minute and a 2 percent error rate on the ten thumbs typing test. However, we did notice a little flex under the keys. The small, but accurate touchpad sits flush with the palm rest. A textured surface filled with dozens of tiny indentations, reminiscent of artist Roy Lichtenstein's ben day dots, makes the pad extremely accurate and pleasant to use. It also supports multitouch gestures oakley snowboard such as pinching to zoom, rotating fingers to rotate an image, and using two fingers to scroll. After 15 minutes of streaming HD video oakley shirts clearance from Hulu, the touchpad never exceeded 83 degrees, the keyboard (between G and H) registered a pleasant temperature of 85 degrees, and the even the bottom of the system chilled at 87 degrees. We consider temperatures below 90 degrees to be very pleasant, temps between 90 and 95 to be acceptable, and those above 95 to be unpleasant with temps above 100 being very unpleasant. Display and Audio The 12.1 inch 1366x768 screen provides crisp, bright colors, both when using applications on the desktop and when watching high definition video. However, from the sides colors washed out dramatically in these videos, even from a 45 degree angle. Sound was surprisingly good for a notebook of this size. When streaming both jazz and heavy metal tunes from Napster, the music was only a little tinny and definitely good enough to listen to for an extended period of time. Ports and Webcam ASUS has loaded the Eee PC 1201N with all the ports you'd expect from a netbook and more. It has both 3 USB connections, audio in/out, a memory card reader, Ethernet, and a Kensington lock slot. Best of all, it has both VGA and HDMI out ports so you can connect it to either an older external monitor or a high definition TV. As it has the graphics horsepower to play 1080p video without a hitch, ASUS even suggests that travelers connect the 1201N to their hotel TVs and avoid paying for expensive in room movies. The.3 megapixel webcam produced sharp, smooth images, even in the dim lighting of our office. Everything we tried on the system was incredibly smooth, whether it was scrolling over New York City in Google Earth, surfing the Web, or playing a high def movie. On PCMark Vantage, a program that measures overall system performance, the Eee PC 1201N scored 1,488, which beats the netbook category average of 1130 by a mile and also stands way ahead of the HP Mini 311 (1227) and Lenovo IdeaPad S12 with Ion (1306). The Acer Aspire 1410, a similarly priced 11.6 inch oakley sunglasses online notebook with a 1.2 GHz Celeron CPU, got a much higher score of 2,475 but it is not considered a netbook. The Eee PC 1201N finished our video transcoding test, in which we use HandBrake to convert a short MP4 file to AVI, in just 16 minutes and 24 seconds, nearly twice as fast as the netbook average of 29 minutes and 42 seconds and even faster than the HP Mini 311 (30:30) and the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 (31:16). Once again, the Acer Aspire 1410 notebook came out a bit faster at 12:47. One advantage of the Eee PC 1201N's Nvidia Ion chip is that it supports CUDA, a software technology that lets the graphics processor help with certain processing tasks, like encoding video. Using vReveal, a transcoding app that supports CUDA acceleration, we were able to transcode the same MP4 video to AVI in just 7 minutes and 51 seconds. This was pretty impressive compared to the Lenovo IdeaPad S12, which took 10 minutes and 58 seconds, but the HP Mini 311 was quite a bit faster with a time of 4:52. The 250GB 5,400 rpm Hitachi hard drive booted into Windows 7 Home premium in just 53 seconds, which is 4 seconds faster than the netbook category average and a whopping 20 seconds faster than the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 with Ion. The 1201N completed the LAPTOP file transfer test, in which we copy 4.97GB of mixed media files from one folder to another, in 4 minutes and 47 seconds for a rate of 17.7MBps. That's about 2MBps above the category average (15.2) and about on par with the HP Mini 311 (17.2). On 3DMark06, a benchmark that measures graphics prowess, the 1201N returned a strong score of 1538, about 10 times the netbook average of 159 and better than other Ion netbooks like the HP Mini 311 (1450) and Lenovo IdeaPad S12 (1377). The Acer Aspire 1410 notebook managed just 595, demonstrating why a user would want an Ion netbook over a similarly priced ultraportable. When it came to gaming the 1201N was equally impressive. At 1024 x 768 resolution, we were able to play World of Warcraft at a blistering 48 frames per second. That's significantly faster than the HP Mini 311 (35 fps) and the Lenovo S12 (36 fps). At 1366 x 768 resolution, the rate slowed to 14 fps, which is too slow to play, and on par with the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 and HP Mini 311. Asus Eee PC 1201N Battery Life The trade off for the Eee PC 1201N's fantastic performance is lower battery life than other netbooks. The Eee PC 1201N's 6 cell battery helped it last 3 hours and 53 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuous surfing over. The average 6 cell netbook we've tested has lasted 6 hours and 18 minutes, but most of these systems have had integrated graphics. When compared to other netbooks with Ion graphics, the 1201N's endurance is about equal to the Lenovo IdeaPad S12's time of 3:56, but the HP Mini 311 lasted a full hour longer (4:52). However, at a distance of 50 feet, the transfer rate dropped to 14.6 Mbps which is slightly below the category average of 17Mbps.
The HP Mini 311 was significantly better, with rates of 33.2 Mbps and 20.3 Mbps, respectively.
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