The Asus Eee PC 1015PN is a 10 inch netbook with a dual core Intel Atom N550 processor and next-generation NVIDIA ION graphics. While it doesn’t have the same ION chip found in nettops and larger laptop computers, it should have more than enough power to handle 1080p HD video playback and some 3D graphics acceleration.
Asus sent me a demo unit to review, and it features 1GB of RAM, a 56Whr battery, a 250GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, and a 0.3MP camera. The netbook has a 1024 x 600 pixel display and ships with Windows 7 Starter Edition.
Physically, the Eee PC 1015PN looks virtually identical to the Eee PC 1015PED I recently reviewed. But while that model had a 1.83GHz single core Atom N475 processor and Intel graphics, the Eee PC 1015PN’s ION graphics warrant the addition of an HDMI port on the side of the case. Sure, the low resolution display isn’t going to show 1080p videos in their best light, but you can play HD video without transcoding them to a lower resolution first, and you can plug the computer into an external display if you want to watch videos in all their high resolution glory.
The US version of the Eee PC 1015PN has a suggested retail price of $429.
You can check out my unboxing video after the break, and yes, I need to get a better tripod for my iPod touch/video camera.
Stay tuned for more details and a full review.
I don’t know where else on this site to post this question, so I will pose it here. It’s relevant to the discussion and is by no means an attempt to hijack this thread. My Sony Vaio TX recently died, so to replace it I am considering getting both a Mac Mini and a Netbook. Therefore, I ask your help for a recommendation. I prefer a Netbook 10″ or smaller, lightweight, affordable, and with a good battery life. I will use it only for MS Office Suite, Web Browsing & Email, Multimedia (music/video), and as a PDA. I am not a gamer, but need to be able to run VLC, Pandora, Netflix (fullscreen streaming), Youtube, Hulu, and Skype without skipping, jumping, or any other annoyances. It would be nice to be able to watch movies from a flashdrive or with an external DVD drive on long flights. I have no interest in HD or 12″ screens because I expect to replace the Netbook in five years’ time. Would the Asus 1015PN meet my needs or am I better off with something else? Thanks in advance.
All those apps should run fine on the 1015PN, but if you have no interest in HD and don’t mind avoiding h.264 encoded videos then you can probably go for the 1015PEM, which is like the 1015PN minus the ION and is just over $50 cheaper.
Though Nvidia’s CUDA acceleration could be useful to run applications that would otherwise be hard to run on a netbook and the 1015PN HDMI can be handy whenever you have access to a HDMI monitor or TV.
Hmmm, I thought I read a review that the 1015PEM had difficulty with streaming video. Something about the CPU and GPU not being properly configured to effectively divide labor, but I could be mistaken. I’ve read so many reviews from so many websites the last few weeks about the 1015 that it’s becoming a blur. I really don’t have any interest in HD as long as the image isn’t badly pixelated, but it seems that the trend is toward uploading more HD video so I guess I’m forced to buy the technology or be shut out later. For what it’s worth, I DO have a HP w1907 HDMI monitor, but to be honest, I didn’t notice much of a difference when I borrowed a Mac Mini and compared the VGA vs. HDMI output. As a control I plugged in a VGA only PC laptop with similar results; hence, I don’t understand the whole HDMI hoopla.
My local shop already stocks the 1015PN for $429, but I’m waiting for the review on here first. I’m curious how it does on multitasking — multiple tab browsing while playing music or video and working on a spreadsheet. If it’s powerful enough to burn quality DVDs in a timely manner on an USB drive I might not have to buy an additional desktop system at all.
HDMI hoopla is because it’s basically DVI with audio combined. So one cable does what you would otherwise need two for less clutter and digital is more capable and better for digital displays than analog, which is what VGA outputs.
You can appreciate the difference more on either a much larger screen or at least one with a much better image quality than the HP monitor you’re using is capable of showing you.
Brad will eventually get a more detailed review out for the 1015PN. But since it’s out now users will soon start posting their experience with the system and you can check out sites like forum.EeeUser.com, which is a friendly community of Eee PC users that share experiences and help each other with any problems they may have with their system.
waiting for the review still
Brad I have really high hopes on this review from you. No pressure. Honestly though, I’m hoping you can come to a conclusion whether this is the “ultimate” netbook at 10″. I think the key is how long this battery lasts. I guess you will have to have fun testing with and without ION via the reboots. I still think an 11″ version of this netbook with the HD display is actually the “ideal”. My opinion only of course. I just can’t see myself settling on less than HD display moving forward.
Partly, I think the decision to back off the HD display probably comes down to pricing for now. Screen makers haven’t really kept up with demand, for example products like the Archos 70 tablet were delayed because of a lack of screens.
Similarly, HD 10″ displays aren’t being produced in the quantities that regular 1024×600 screens are and with lower quantity means higher costs, on top of the higher cost you would expect for a higher quality screen.
This would also explain the release of this product with only Windows 7 Starter Edition instead of Home Premium, along with the 1GB of RAM (which is a pre-requisite for W7S).
Prices though for DDR3 should drop as they become more dominant, and similarly the cost of the HD screen should drop as they become more common.
So we may see a later version with HD screen, but for now let’s hope they release a version with Home Premium to at least get Optimus working properly because having to reboot to switch graphics is archaic and negates the battery saving benefits and convenience that Optimus would provide.
Alternatively, so long as you don’t mind investing a little more you could always mod and install a HD screen. Jkkmobile plans to get the 1015PN and mod the hell out of it. So there will be videos showing how pretty soon…
Thanks for the reply. I haven’t been able to sit with an HD display on a 10″ netbook. From what I’ve read from Brad, it’s not ideal because of washout issues. I know Sascha doesn’t believe HD works on 10″ displays also. I guess in a way, I still see 11″ being the most ideal size for a number of key reasons. I can live with 1024 resolution if that netbook gives me amazing battery life. That is the trade off as I see it.If these experts are finding HD 10″ display to be sketchy, then it’s simply not worth the risk. If some people buy a 10″ HD display netbook and dislike it, that’s bad news. It’s established that 1024 can work on 10″. The HD on 1024 is simply too sketchy to make it mainstream. It’s not going to happen for a reason. Which again, keeps taking me back to 11.6″ being the ideal. There is simply no reason whatsoever, that this netbook couldn’t be on that size form factor as a HD display. The problem will be, that nobody would by the 10″ version. Asus needs to test the market to see if people will pay a few extra dollars for that 11″ model which to me, makes a lot more sense. Aha, well just wait a couple more weeks and the Apple 11.6″ will put an end to the 10″ craze. Just watch. I just think it was Intel restricting the Atom+11″ size and it wasn’t because of anything else. Aha again, because well, that’s the death of netbooks because non of the so called “experts” want to consider 11.6″ as netbooks. When it dies, look in the mirror. Some care, some don’t. I’m more forward thinking I guess. gemasteraka gman
Well, it’s not quite that simple. Main reason why HD on a 10″ is iffy is because Windows isn’t optimized by default for that size screen and that resolution. So even if you take the time to customize the fonts and icon sizes you’ll still occasionally run into something that isn’t optimized for the size. But this breaks down to a limitation of the OS.
A OS that can be optimize for the display size and not just to what resolution it’s set would alleviate this problem.
But HD screens are increasingly becoming the norm. Like the iPhone 4’s so called retina display. When even Smartphones are demanding increased resolution it’ll eventually go upwards as everyone tries to one up each other and it eventually becomes standard. Hopefully by then Windows will have adjusted it’s defaults and made both HD on smaller screens and touch interface more of a priority than they do now.
For now, it’s mainly people with excellent vision and don’t mind a little eye strain that will go for the HD displays for these smaller models.
It’s just not everyone has perfect vision and is why 11.6″ and larger is preferable when using an OS like Windows that is mainly designed for desktop use and generally 17″ and larger displays.
Great insights. I appreciate that. Something that I certainly hadn’t considered. Cheers.
Should point out that the retail version is presently being sold with a 48Whr battery and not the 56Whr they gave you with this review unit. Unfortunately, not the first time Asus gave a reviewer a larger capacity battery than the unit actually sells with…
Basically it seems they’re cutting corners to keep the price low for now but hopefully they should release a version with Home Premium to enable Optimus and hopefully with 2GB or RAM as well…
The *only* reason to prefer this over the PEM is to watch videos right?
Not quite, basically the list goes something like…
1) HDMI output capable of full 1080p…
2) 720p-1080p Flash video support, PEM can handle only up to 720p…
3) Bleeding edge gaming, 3DMark score is basically 10x the Intel GMA 3150’s…
4) CUDA acceleration, apps that take advantage of this can really boost performance…
Though you could just install a Broadcom Crystal HD card to get improved Flash support and HD video capability, if you don’t need the other benefits of the ION.
“You can check out my unboxing video after the break, and yes, I need to get a better tripod for my iPod touch/video camera.”
I don’t see any video posted.
Weird… I could have sworn I added the video.
It should work now.
Now I see it. Thanks.
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