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.