Even at a time when there are a growing number of 11 and 12 inch laptops with Intel Atom processors and NVIDIA ION graphics coming to market, the Asus Eee PC 1201N is something unusual. That’s because it’s one of the only laptops ever to be launched with a dual core Intel Atom 330 processor. Normally that CPU only shows up in desktop systems. In other words, the Eee PC 1201N should not only have better graphics than most Atom powered netbooks, but it should also have somewhat better CPU performance in some tasks than competing ION-powered laptops from Lenovo, HP, and Samsung.
I’m still waiting for my Eee PC 1201N demo unit to review, as Asus North America is just starting to send them out. But a few European web sites including Blogeee in France and Noti in Hungary have already published detailed reviews of the laptop. Here are some of the highlights.
- HD video looked great on the 12.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display
- 1080p Flash video also plays well when using Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta with GPU acceleration
- It takes almost 2 minutes to boot the PC and connect to a WiFi network
- Handled several games smoothly including Torchlight, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty 4, and Street Fighter IV demo
- Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom were also usable, and Pierre could edit photos up to 10MB in size
- The 6 cell, 63Whr battery lasted for about 4 hours, 43 minutes of web-surfing involving reading RSS feeds and watching YouTube videos
- You’ll likely get less than 4 hours when playing games that tax the CPU and GPU
- The shiny black plastic case is a fingerprint magnet (but that’s nothing new for Asus laptops)
- The keyboard is large, and features two full sized shift keys and full sized arrow keys
- The battery ran for 2:45 when playing HD video in a continuous loop
- The computer is relatively quiet and doesn’t get too hot during operation
Noti also ran a series of benchmarks comparing the Eee PC 1201N to an HP Mini 311, which has the same ION graphics, but a single core Atom processor. As you would expect, the Asus Eee PC 1201N came out a bit ahead in these tests.