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I got a chance to check out the new Asus Eee PC 1015PEM netbook with a dual core Atom N550 processor last night. Physically it looks identical to the Eee PC 1015PED Asus sent me to test this week. Both models feature the same slim “seashell” design, chiclet keyboards, and matte touchpads which no longer have the bumpy surface found on older Asus netbooks. I actually kind of miss the bumps.

The biggest difference, though, is the CPU. While the Eee PC 1015PED has a single core 1.83GHz Intel Atom N475 CPU, the Eee PC 1015PEM has a dual core 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 processor.

So far, the only netbook I’ve thoroughly tested with the new Atom N550 chip was the HP Mini 5103, but that’s not a typical netbook thanks to its business-class features including a 7200RPM hard drive and 2GB of RAM. I’ll be curious to see how the Eee PC 1015PEM performs. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to run any extensive tests last night, but I should be getting a review unit soon.

If you just can’t wait though, the Eee PC 1015PEM is available for purchase now, making it the first commercially available netbook with an Atom N550 chip in the US. J&R is taking pre-orders for $380, and Mobile Advance is selling the laptop through Amazon for $399.

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11 replies on “Hands-on with the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM dual-core netbook”

  1. So…would you say 1015PEM is better than 1015PED? I’m trying to decide between the two…

  2. Hi Brad,
    I read everywhere on the net that Asus will be launching the 1015PN with HDMI, NVIDIA Ion graphics, 1366×768 screen…etc…
    Do you think we should wait before buying the 1015pem?

  3. Brad,
    Can you tell me how to distinguish by model number between the three battery options that are/will be offered? Thanks

  4. Brad, do you have any thought on how the keyboard compares to the 1215? I’ve been reading that there’s quite a bit of ‘flex’ in the 1215.

    1. It’s smaller. 🙂

      But seriously, I’ve never had a real problem with flex on Asus keyboard. Sure, if you push down really hard in the middle the keyboard bends a little bit — but I’m not sure why you would push down so hard or what impact it would have on your typing.

      I’d say that there’s probably a little less flex on the 10 inch netbook keyboards from Asus than the 12 inch notebook keyboards — largely because the plate holding the keyboard is smaller. But there’s still a bit of flex.

      I personally have no problems typing on this type of keyboard though.

    1. You know, I didn’t really take the time to notice, but looking at the pictures, I’d have to say matte. The Eee PC 1015PED also has a matte display and for the most part these two netbooks have the same case, so I’m going to say I’m 80% certain the 1015PEM has a matte screen.

  5. Can you clarify what you mean by “matte touchpad”?

    I understand that many ODMs have released devices with these dimpled touchpads, and that many people haven’t liked them. It sounds like that’s gone from this device, and from your picture, it does look like a legitimately matte touchpad. However, recently I’ve handled some devices where the touchpad is of the same (or comparable) material as the case, and while these are visually matte (meaning not glossy) they are tangibly smooth, which isn’t really matte, which means “dull”. So, I guess I’m wondering if the tactile experience is smooth or matte. As a reference point, as a texture I tend to associate the traditional Thinkpad touchpad as matte. Thanks.

    1. Right, the reason I used the word “matte” instead of smooth is because there’s a slight texture. The touchpad feels like the rest of the case. It’s not bumpy, but there’s a little bit of friction as you rub your finger.

      Personally I kind of liked the bumpy version better, but I’ll be testing the Eee PC 1015PED over the next few days and I suspect the new touchpad might grow on me.

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