Hands-on With The Dual-Core, Ion-Packin’ ASUS Eee PC 1201N

ASUS1201_heroIt seems everyone is enamored with the Nvidia Ion-powered HP Mini 311–and rightfully so. This graphics chip has changed the game for mini-notebooks, enabling full HD video playback, mainstream 3D games, and even video editing chops without adding too much cost. And while we’ve yet to review the Ion-enabled Samsung N510 or Lenovo IdeaPad S12, ASUS’ new entry could trump them all.

Today we got a first look at the Eee PC 1201N, which will sell for $499 with Windows 7 Premium. This 12.1-inch system looks a lot like a larger 1008HA, a design we like. It’s a sleek 1.3 inches thick, only 3.2 pounds, and sports the same dimpled trackpad as the 1008HA but the chiclet-style keyboard seen on the 1000HE.

The port spread is standard but includes HDMI for attaching the 1201N to a high-def monitor or TV. With this GPU and the addition of Flash 10.1, owners will be able to output full 1080p video from the 1201N and watch full screen HD Hulu and YouTube clips without a hitch, as we’ve proven.

In addition to the Ion GPU there’s an intriguing CPU: a dual core Intel Atom N330. This processor is usually found in nettops, and we’re psyched to see how this processor will affect performance and battery life. Add in 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive and you have a very well equipped machine for $499. In fact, the 1201N costs $80 less than a similarly configured HP Mini 311, and that netbook has a single-core processor.

This is shaping up to be one compelling Ion netbook.

ASUS Eee PC 1201N Specs:

  • Display size/resolution: 12.1 inches/1366 x 768
  • CPU: Intel Atom 330 dual core processor
  • Memory/Expandable to: 2GB/3GB
  • Graphics: Nvidia Ion
  • Hard drive: 250GB (plus 500GB online storage)
  • Ports: VGA, HDMI, 3 USB 2.0, Ethernet, headphone/mic
  • Card Slots: MMC/ SD(SDHC)
  • Wireless: 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Size: 11.7 x 8.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours with Super Hybrid Engine
  • Available colors: Black, Silver

The 1201N will also come with ArcSoft SimHD, which upscales standard definition video content to high definition, according to the ASUS press release. What remains to be seen is how energy-efficient the 1201N’s Atom 330 processor is; the Mini 311’s single core Atom N270 processor  saw 4 hours and 45 minutes of runtime on Windows 7 Premium.

Check out the images and hands-on video below and tell us how you think the 1201N stacks up to the Mini 311. Update: the full review of the Eee PC 1201N is now live. The short verdict? Fastest netbook ever.


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  1. Brian Sharp Says:

    When can we buy it through Amazon?

  2. S Says:

    Can’t wait for this thing to finally ship.

  3. David Marks Says:

    Intel has withdrawn the Atom 330 for netbook use. Will this kill the otherwise near perfect 1201?


  4. Paul Says:


    I hope that’s not the case. This 1201n model looks like the perfect replacement for my old 1000H.

    Laptopmag, please look into that!

  5. José Anderson-Cuff Says:

    Netbooks are coming of age! Dual-core processor + N’Vidia ION, superb! And this from my favourite netbook company; ASUS… leading the way again. I’ve an Eee PC 1000H & it has performed well although I am not able to game on it. The Eee PC 1201N will be a dream machine for me. I only have two issues… I don’t like the 12″ screen concept, couldn’t Asus stay in the 10″ screen realm & just improve the resolution? Secondly, I’m hoping that I will be able to get more than 5 hours worth of battery life. I know that the ‘dual-core’ will eat up the battery but I am hoping for the best. Go Asus!

  6. Avid Says:

    Great configuration.
    Am going in for this model as its got a good processor as well the Ion graphics & 5 hours battery during normal use.
    The only I need to know is if it can handle GTA 4 in 1024 x 768 resolution with all settings to minimum (Have to be sure it has no lag).
    I am stressing on GTA 4 gameplay, since it is both CPU & GPU intensive game.
    Cause if it plays this game, we can be pretty sure it can handle any other game well.
    Could you help me out with this & if possible do post the FPS.
    I am really excited.
    (Getting it for $500 + 4% VAT)

  7. Avid Says:

    I thought purchasing HP Mini 311, since I saw a video of GTA 4 gameplay, but made up my mind to purchase this as it is much better in hardware & color (All Black!) too.

  8. Avid Says:

    I have done a lot of research which includes: Samsung N510, Lenovo S12, Asus N10J-A2, HP Mini 311, …. two more models… but all these could not match the Asus 1201n. Nice move Asus, that too at such affordable price.

  9. BenjaminJi Says:

    Now, add multitouch screen it’ll be superb!

  10. cole Says:

    it’s finally out! I’m buying it at central computers.

  11. ian Says:

    where can I buy this item online? worth$499?
    I’ve seen a pc store here selling like this brand and its specs but it costs P26,990 very expensive for me.
    Pease help me.

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