Hands-On With The ASUS N10 10-inch Ultraportable

The Eee PC family may have put mini-notebooks on the map, but when an ASUS representative swung by our office this afternoon, he had in tow a small, lightweight, 10-inch notebook that he stated (on multiple occasions) was a “notebook, not a netbook.” Although, spec-wise, there are quite a few similarities to those lovable, huggable mini-notebooks, the upcoming ASUS N10 (set to arrive at the end of September) packs some features you won’t find in an Eee PC. Let’s look at the specs, shall we? We’re told that N10 will come in two main configurations, the N10E and the N10J. The lower-cost N10E starts at $599, while the higher-end N10J will go for $699 and include switchable graphics, and a larger hard drive for the extra money. Specs are as follows:

  • 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor
  • 10-inch (1024 x 600) display
  • 160GB HDD (N10E) / 320GB HDD (N10J)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 802.11n
  • Bluetooth
  • SmartLogon facial recognition
  • DisplayPort Video Out
  • ExpressCard slot
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Windows Vista (with an option to downgrade to XP)
  • Switchable Integrated Intel or Nvidia GeForce 9300 MS (with 256 MB of dedicated video memory) graphics (N10J) / Integrated Intel Graphics only (N10E)
  • 6 to 12 hours of battery life with 6-cell battery

Not too shabby.

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  1. Clueless Says:

    what is the ext case made of ? is this plastic or more like the HP Mini Note’s case?

  2. David Says:

    Will you guys do a video on this? Been so looking forward to this model; mainly because of the dedicated NVIDIA card which I hope helps HD internet video content on Hulu and some light gaming.

  3. Martha Hollis Says:

    Will you guys please include the WEIGHT when you review ultraportables? Kthxbai.

  4. Glenn Says:

    Seems vaguely ridiculous. It appears to be a 10″ display in a 12″ laptop. Look at the bezel around the display, its huge! The dimensions on this thing are:

    10.8″ x 7.6″ x 1.2″

    A Compaq 2510p, a 12″ notebook, is:

    11.1″ x 8.4″ x 1.2″

    Here’s a size comparison:

    http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_comparison/17585-Apple-iPhone-vs-Pack-Of-Playing-Cards-vs-HP-Compaq-2510p-vs-asus-n10

    Or check out this one:

    http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_comparison/17421-asus-n10-vs-MSI-WInd-vs-Aspire-One-vs-Lenovo-S10-vs-Dell-Inspiron-Mini-9

    It’s clearly a LOT bigger than the other netbooks. Sure it has some nice specs, but I thought the whole point of a netbook was its physical size.

    Oh, and Martha, its 2.3 lbs.

  5. meatpuppet Says:

    is the trackpad still multi-touch?

  6. IanK Says:

    If it looks like a netbook and quacks like a netbook…..

    Personally, I feel that at the current time, if it’s 10″ or smaller, and uses an Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor, it’s a netbook. It’s not supposed to offer the performance of a traditional laptop, not even the slow speed of a typical ultra-mobile laptop, and this doesn’t even come close.

    And what’s the point of having a laptop with an Intel Atom coupled with this graphics card? What will I be able to do using this computer that I wouldn’t be able to do with simple integrated graphics? The IG GMA 950 has worked very well on full-sized laptops, so the real bottleneck is going to be the Intel Atom.

  7. Glenn Says:

    On jkkmobile you can see him watching 1080p video on his ASUS Eee PC with an Atom processor and integrated graphics. Sure it probably pegs the CPU but so what? Its a netbook.

    On other boards its been suggested that the HDMI port can’t be driven by the integrated graphics, so that’s one reason the graphics card is there. Not sure this is going to be a big use of netbooks, but there it is. In theory it will allow you to play some games you otherwise wouldn’t be able to play, but of course the Atom could easily be a problem there anyway, we’ll have to see over time. A netbook could be a good platform for portable gaming of course, i.e. something to do while you’re on the plane, or waiting at the doctor’s office, etc.

  8. Klud Says:

    So how does one get one WITHOUT the Microsoft tax, and with full drivers?

    If you do a video, PLEASE do it in mpeg4 — I’ve already been glad many times I don’t even have a flash plugin.

  9. Ahmed Says:

    Well, I had to say something about this …

    I did buy a netbook to tote around with my projector for presentations and wouldn’t run away from sending an occassional e-mail from the “thing”. Fullstop. No more than that. However, I have a hard time to see a purpose for making a “bigger” netbook (?!)

    “Not too shabby” specs when the a/m thing is getting close to an ultraportable range of laptops without actually “catching up” with features ?

    My personal opinion is that the hype went too far without actually generating the devices that we all hoped for … why don’t they make a more affordable ultraportable instead of all this “netbook” stuff ?

  10. Are Says:

    Personally, I find this concept very intriguing. I’d very much like a ultraportable, but I’d like it to be small and capable of decent 3D gaming – say Trackmania, Team Fortress 2 and Battlefield 2. The N10 fits my needs perfectly – a GMA950 does not cut it in these games.

    Sure, I’d like it to exploit the physical size better and have a slightly larger screen (11″?), on the other hand having a think bezel hopefully makes the lid more sturdy.

  11. Reply Says:

    I have an Eee 1000h and am considering the N10J to replace it which comes with the nVidia 9300m GS 256MB. It will allow gaming for stuff like Battlefield 2 and many other recently released games like Call of Duty 4.

    I like the 10″ screen. My only issues is that the resolution is non-standard at 1024×600, and some games require minimum 1024×768 that do not support widescreen, which is not playable on this smaller screen native resolution.

    Either way, though, it is an ultra portable that is affordable with gaming capabilities. Don’t expect miracles, but it will get in your gaming fix without issue.

  12. n00dles Says:

    I think its always been everyones wish list to have a netbook that is capable of playing 3D games, however at present these netbooks aren’t designed for such segment in the market. It’s original plan was to target those seeking portability and the ability to with last 3hrs+ at least. Sure the N10 comes with what sounds like a good decent gfx card, but as someone else mentioned, the atom just won’t hack it for the mainstream 3D games and that includes Call of Duty 4 but hey I could be wrong and this little beast could be the unit to prove that but I highly doubt it.

    Maybe a couple of months down the track someone might come up with a nice spec thats aimed at the gaming segment but like with most things, we might see bigger and thicker netbooks and ultimately end up back where we started with normal conventional laptop sizes. Even if they were able to pull it off, the price already on these netbooks are very high and in some cases quite outragous. I still believe the original eee-pc is the ultimate portable netbook, pitty the battery doesn’t last as long as ones such as the MSI Wind or Samsung NC10 (reportably 8hrs with wifi on)

  13. Jacob Says:

    Why these small netbooks don’t come all with white keyboards?
    I have an Acer Aspire One and the white keyboard is great in low light conditions (in bed).
    I am not a good typist and as I guess most users aren’t.
    The white keyboard has proven to be very easy.

  14. tj Says:

    give it a year and a half maybe two and every netbook will be atom 330 on the ion platform anyways this is just something new for people with the money to buy the “latest and greatest”

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