eee pc 1201n

One of the most highly-anticipated netbooks of, well, next year has finally landed on the website!

Yes, the NVidia Ion-powered Asus Eee PC 1201N is now available for pre-order. The price: a paltry $499US.

I’m seriously impressed. I’ve been able to pre-book the 1201N through one of my distributors for a little while now, but this is one of those cases where Amazon beats wholesale pricing hands down. My cost is currently about $523US. Dang.

Here’s what $499 gets you:

  • Intel Atom Dual Core N330 Processor 1.6GHz
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM, 2 x SODIMM Slot, 8GB Max
  • 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) + 500GB Free Web Storage; NVidia ION Platform
  • Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System (32 Bit)
  • Bluetooth; Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n; 0.3MP Webcam; Free Sleeve Case

Not a bad deal at all, if you ask me. I just wish they were shipping on December 15th 2009 and not January 15th 2010. While you wait, you can always check out Brad’s previous coverage of the 1201N.

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

18 replies on “Asus Eee PC 1201N up for pre-order on Amazon, ships January 15 2010”

  1. This isn’t any thing special, I don’t think! Full-sized laptops have been on sale at $299 for a while now. Even ones with Windows 7 Premium (i.e. NOT Starter Edition). Where is the extra $200 in this unit? Are they hiding it? Is Houdini at play here?

    Windows 7 isn’t even a plus in netbooks yet as it harms battery life.

    And the only thing that could make this one worth it is battery life — which probably isn’t all that impressive either. So it’s a fail for me.

    Esp. with an Atom processor (dual core or not), I see no reason why this thing could be even remotely described as being worth an extra $200 over what is currently available — heck no. Not in the world of computing. A 500 GB hard drive can be had for $88 and a 640 GB Scorpio Blue is $129. I’d rather purchase a cheaper netbook then outfit it with a larger hard drive. Rather than be stuck with the 250 GB hard drive loaded on this thing — which isn’t any better than the standard paltry 160GB netbook drive of two years ago — and either way needs replacing. This puts the total at $654 in my book which is a ripoff ($523 + $88 for a bigger drive + tax).

    You would have gotten much more with a $299 15-inch laptop (DVD Burner, 250GB Drive, Windows 7, 6-cell battery) plus a $199 Black Friday Netbook. Two laptops for the same price as this 1201N including Windows 7 Premium and XP.

    Even the Gateway EC1430u CULV probably makes much more sense at $549. And a further shock is the 1201N’s 0.3MP webcam. Not for me.

    I’ll pass on this.

    1. I stopped reading your post after you started comparing a netbook to full sized ones.

    2. Umm, CULV processors don’t seem to be that much more powerful than dual core atom processors from everything I’ve been reading, an atom 330 actually runs within about 10% of the performance of the CULV SU2700 in the gateway you’re quoting, which may be one of the key reasons that Intel has been fighting so hard to keep 330s out of netbooks. The difference comes down to whether Ion is worth the price. From all the benchmarks and everything I’ve seen it most definitely is, especially when the competition is the GMA 4500HD graphics.

      1. This should pretty well destroy any SU2300/4500MHD CULV notebook in terms of performance and graphics.

        Yeah, it’s $100 more than the Acer and Gateway SU2300… but seriously.

    3. This is also the webcam in the Gateway you mentioned is 0.3MB, and having looked back over the Black Friday adds, the 15″ systems you’re quoting were pretty crappy, generally single core systems depending on which big box you were talking about. I doubt the performance on any of them would be better than what you’re getting here. But to each their own.

    4. The extra $200 is in the ION graphics chip, the larger screen, the bigger hard drive and the extra RAM. And it’s not “really” an extra $200; more like an extra $150 or $100 depending on what models you compare it to.

      The HP Mini 311, another ION netbook which has an inferior single-core Atom compared to this one, absolutely blows away both standard netbooks and 4500MHD-packing CULVs in 3DMark06.

      If Asus’s quoted five hours of battery life is accurate (it may not be as the Atom 330 is a *nettop* processor and uses more power than the N or Z series Atoms) this will be *the* portable multimedia solution.

      Full 1080p video playback through HDMI via DXVA and even a little casual gaming, all for $500? That’s a damn good deal, especially since non-ION netbooks typically choke and die when commanded to play back 720p h.264 encodes.

      For a lot of folks a tiny and inexpensive computer with a decent graphics chip is a godsend.

      1. Hey Cori, I understand what you’re saying. I’m not fully against this netbook — only against it’s $523 pricetag being touted as paltry. Without users willing to pay a premium for ‘less’, then real deals would probably dry up over night.

        I also disagree (respectfully, of course!) that the extra $200 is in the larger screen, bigger hard drive, and extra RAM. The LCD screen is usually the most expensive component on a laptop and the 1201N is inferior in each of these three respects to much larger 15.6-inch laptops that have sold for 40% less. It also doesn’t come with a DVD Burner included so I don’t see where the ‘extra’ is there either.

        But we still want to believe that it is okay to pay more for something that is less (i.e. smaller, etc.)? This thinking is silly! I’m not taking the bait and am looking forward to ARM-based netbooks to expose this artificial pricing we’ve been swallowing for the past decade.

        The extra $200 is only in ION as far as I’m concerned — which some may see as an okay buy and I can understand that. It’s just a “Heck NO” for me. Not when real netbooks are available at $199 and — $300 — is leftover to spare.

        For gaming, the XBox 360 is $199 and a big screen 40″ Dynex 1080p (panel made by LG) is $499. The 42″ Dynex 1080p TV (which, by the way, trumps the 12″-inch joke on the Asus) — was $549. Also, a 1.5TB Hard Drive is $109.00 (no tax and free shipping at ChiefValue or Newegg). Rosewill 3.5-inch enclosure = $19.99 (no tax either). These are real deals. HD Multimedia Player — $99, etc. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007 with GPS Locator ($23.00 New on Amazon). 2007 GPS Locator used with MS Streets & Trips 2010 for 60-days (free). Streets and Trips on a netbook — AWESOME! The list can go on.

        …Going back on topic. The killer for me with the 1201N is battery life since portability and battery-life go hand in hand, I think, and this is actually a 4-hour step backwards — something many of you don’t seem all that concerned with. I’m sure that some will still be willing to pay the extra $200. And, in any case, the price will likely drop to what it should be a few months after it is released anyway.

        1. Not everyone needs 9 hours of battery life in their portable. I have no problems carrying my power brick around in my backpack (which is easily big enough to carry a 1201N and a full-size 16″ laptop, plus tons of accessories with room to spare).

          There’s a niche for this sort of thing. It’s not a mainstream product like the bog-standard sub-$300 10″ netbook with an N270, 1GB RAM and a 160GB hard drive.

          But the niche DOES exist, else we wouldn’t be so excited to finally have a small computer that can fill my need.

          I cannot use a computer with an Intel IGP. I need to be able to use CUDA (that means I need an nvidia graphics chip) so I can tell CoreAVC to hardware-decode h.264. Yes, the 4500MHD supports DXVA, but DXVA does *not* allow the use of external filters (VSFilter, Haali’s Renderer, etc). Plus, Media Player Classic Homecinema only allows DXVA to run in bitstream mode (so Intel IGPs won’t work).

          So, unless I go for a full-blown laptop with a real Core 2 Duo and let the CPU handle video decoding, I’m stuck with something that has an nvidia solution unless Microsoft lets DXVA use external filters.

          1. Point taken Cori! I understand that people would be happy for this graphically-tough netbook! But, sheesh, at $523 I think it is a bit overpriced. I don’t think it is for the mainstream netbook crowd by a long shot (Hey, we agree!). It is a step backwards. Netbook battery life should be increasing and the price decreasing — not the other way around. I can also imagine that most people who would seriously want the 1201N would have ample reason to already be packing something better.

            I, for one, know that there is no way in heII I’ll drop down to using a 250GB hard drive again ever — esp. not at $500 bucks. There’s no chance. But Apple fans, for example, don’t seem to mind it.

            For $500, I expect nothing less than a Core 2 Duo — and there certainly are a few laptops available right now with the ‘2 Duo’ for less than $500 (Dell has a customized Inspiron 14-incher with 2.2ghz at $469 — add a 9-cell battery and it becomes $544). There’s also 13-incher as well as regular-sized laptops with Core 2 Duo for around or a little over $500.

            But then I don’t really need a Core 2 Duo on the go either (99% of the time). Netbooks were about portability, price, and battery life.

            The truth is simple and we haven’t forgotten it! The most anticipated netbook of the year was discontinued (the MSI Wind U115 hybrid) thanks to the price inflating hounds at Microsoft. Now they are back overcharging for less with Windows 7 included. And, even with their manipulating of prices, 25-hour battery life still is on the horizon!

            The 1201N is a step backwards in value as well as an insult to what netbooks have been all about, IMHO.

  2. the guys over at electricpig are going to post a full review soon. Hopefully within the next week or so. :O

  3. I think this is something for people, like me, who don’t need a full blown laptop, and aren’t really concerned with having 11 hours of battery life, either. It would be nice to play a couple of games, surf the net, etc., all while watching TV, and not have to pay $800+ with something with nVidia or ATi graphics suitable enough for gaming. I doubt your true netbook crowd, those with a need for all day battery life, will be interested in something like this.

  4. I think this is something for people, like me, who don’t need a full blown laptop, and aren’t really concerned with having 11 hours of battery life, either. It would be nice to play a couple of games, surf the net, etc., all while watching TV, and not have to pay $800+ with something with nVidia or ATi graphics suitable enough for gaming. I doubt your true netbook crowd, those with a need for all day battery life, will be interested in something like this.

  5. The big question is battery life. Asus is quoting 5 hours but given how optimistic vendor quotes can be, battery life may be a downer.

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