6 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 6 reviews of the Asus Eee PC 1201N. Experts rate Asus Eee PC 1201N 8/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Asus Eee PC 1201N and Asus Netbooks.
What differentiates one netbook model from any other of the same size? There are only a few flavors, after all: last-gen netbooks, with Atom N270 or N280 processors and Windows XP; current-gen netbooks, with Pine Trail Atom processors and Windows 7; and Ion-based netbooks, with Nvidia mobile graphics and middlin’ battery life. Well, you could wait for second-gen Ion netbooks, which promise excellent gaming power and 10-hour battery life. Or you could go for the Asus Eee 1201N, which offers first-gen Ion performance and—get this—a friggin’ dual-core processor. The 12-inch 1201N is the first netbook we’ve tested with an honest-to-goodness dual-core processor inside—Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom N330, which you may remember from bare-bones Ion boards and nettops. Paired with the N330 is Nvidia’s first-gen Ion platform, which turns a 12-inch netbook into something approaching a gaming platform (if 7-year-old titles fit your idea of games). The last Ion device we reviewed, the HP Mini 311 (February 2010), used a single-core N280, while upcoming second-gen Ion netbooks will use single-core Atom N450s. So is there a niche for a dual-core Atom netbook with Ion? We’re gonna say yes.
Would you spend almost $600 for a netbook--even a top-of-the-line one, like the Asus Eee PC 1201n? At first blush, the 1201n physically resembles more conventional thin-and-light laptops based on low-voltage (CULV) mainstream CPUs. It's certainly priced in that ballpark, at $580 to $599--and it has both a crisp 12-inch, 1366-by-768-resolution display and one of the more usable keyboards I've seen on a netbook; but it also has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom 330 processor, albeit one hosted by the capable nVidia Ion chipset (the first-generation version). It's the Ion that's really the secret sauce for the 1201n, and it is the Ion's video performance that Asus is betting will bring buyers to the table with their 600 bucks. Video performance and image quality on the 12-inch LCD screen was definitely a cut above that of Atom CPUs using the stock Intel chipset. 3D gaming performance was also better, but with the caveat that "better" here means "sucks less." This is not a gaming system. The bigger display means slightly larger overall dimensions than many netbooks have, which is a positive. The keyboard is also larger, so it offers a more usable layout than many netbooks with a 10-inch screen.
The Eee PC 1201N has the same glossy black exterior as the . It gives an elegant finish, but you can't avoid getting greasy fingerprints all over the outside. In short, the finish is attractive to start with when the netbook is clean, but gets dirty very easily as you use it, which puts us off. The 1201N is very well made and feels solid: the base is rigid and the hinge for the screen feels very robust. The chiclet-style takes up the whole width of the computer, and is made up small (15 x 14 mm) flat keys with plenty of room between them. They're firm to the touch, but typing is comfortable and not very loud. The multitouch blends in with the rest of the laptop and you can only tell where it is by feeling the difference in texture. The little dots that stick out of the case feel a little odd at first, but the touchpad is fast and accurate. Just underneath is a shiny metal bar that allows you to click, and although it's good quality, it's quite loud. The produces a decent video signal. Colours are accurate and movements are nice and fluid. On the other hand, areas that are overexposed are too bright, and it's difficult to rely on the camera in low light conditions. Despite having a more powerful configuration than the majority of other laptops, the 1201N manages to stay .
Two trends have hit the Netbook world recently: new Atom processors, and the spread of the Nvidia Ion GPU to finally give tiny Atom-powered notebooks some graphics muscle. Though the Asus EeePC 1201N doesn't use a new "Pine Trail" Atom N450 processor, it instead has a rarely used dual-core Atom at its heart. Normally used in desktop or set-top small form factor machines, the Atom N330 gives the 1201N the ability to multitask in a way that Netbooks normally never do. With a 12-inch screen and a decent keyboard, plus its dual-core processor and Nvidia Ion graphics, the EeePC 1201N seems like a package that's more a souped-up mini-laptop than a large-screen Netbook. Indeed, it exceeded our standard Netbook expectations, but the 1201N shouldn't be confused for a dual-core ULV thin-and-light laptop, either--it still feels slow under heavy work conditions. And, alas, the addition of a dual-core CPU and a discrete GPU has a price: the battery life on the 1201N is definitely its weakest link. On the other hand, for $499, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better-performing Netbook this small. With a sleek, black curved case and a glossy shine, the 1201N bears a similarity to other recent EeePC models.
It's like ASUS is cheating--in a good way. With now dual-core mobile Atom processors on the horizon, the netbook piooner is truly pushing the envelope with the Eee PC 1201N, the first netbook to pair a dual core Atom N330 CPU (normally reserved for desktop PCs) with Nvidia Ion graphics. The result is the best performance we’ve seen in this category at a very reasonable price. Just don't leave the charger at home. The 1201N sports the same glossy black plastic chassis and thin curves as other Eee PCs with ASUS’s Seashell design, including the 1101HA and 1008HA. At 11.6 x 8.2 x 1.3 inches and 3.2 pounds, the 1201N is smaller and lighter than the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 with Ion (11.5 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches, 3.4 pounds), and about on par with the HP Mini 311 (11.5 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches, 3.4 pounds). The overall look is attractive, but beware of fingerprint smudges. Keyboard and Touchpad The 1201N’s island style keyboard offers strong tactile feedback that allowed us to get our typical 80 words per minute and a 2 percent error rate on the ten thumbs typing test. However, we did notice a little flex under the keys.
The proliferation of NVIDIA's Ion GPU has been a long time coming. We've been talking about its merits for the better part of this year, but only recently has it been able to find its way into more than a handful of mainstream, shipping netbooks. We recently had a look at HP's Mini 311 with Windows 7 Home Premium, and while the Ion definitely enabled smooth HD playback where it was previously impossible with a paltry 1.6GHz Atom N270 and Intel IGP, the CPU bottleneck held back the entire system. Today, however, we're taking a look at a much more powerful system. Asus has come a long way since the launch of its original Eee PC. 7" and 8" netbooks are no longer the norm, and the availability of 12" netbooks is on the rise. The newest member of the stylish Seashell lineup is the Eee PC 1201N, which easily bests any other netbook we've tested in terms of specifications. It's also one of the larger netbooks out, blurring the line between the netbooks of old and the ultraportables of today. Featuring a 12.1" HD display, dual-core Atom 330 CPU, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium, an HDMI output and NVIDIA's Ion GPU technology, there's not much to dislike about the newest Eee PC based on its build sheet.