Just over a year ago, ASUS made some big waves in the mobile computing world with the launch of the Eee PC. The idea was to make an ultra small laptop that could provide "enough" computing power for a very low price -- something like an oversized PDA but with a full OS and a standard user interface. The concept seems simple and obvious in retrospect, and the Eee PC has created an entirely new category of laptop: the netbook. Competition in this market that ASUS spawned has become fierce, with Dell, HP, Acer, and others now shipping netbook PCs ranging in size from the same 7" chassis as the original Eee PC up to 10" models.

One of the interesting corollaries to this whole story is the ultraportable market, typically consisting of 10" to 12" laptops designed for corporate users that want mobility and a lightweight form factor above all else. We've reviewed a few of these laptops over the years, and we always end up with the impression that, sure, these things are light and offer good battery life, but performance is often terrible and frankly the cost is often a major deterrent. It's not unusual to see prices upwards of $2000 for such a laptop, so mostly they end up in the hands of corporate employees.

So we now have the $300 to $500 netbook and the $1500+ ultraportable markets, but there's a gaping hole for those that would like a small, inexpensive PC like a netbook, but with better quality, features, and performance. Enter the ASUS N10JC, which ASUS is billing as a "corporate netbook". What makes this more of a corporate netbook than something like the Eee PC 1000? Only a few minor differences, really: an exterior that looks a little nicer, a larger battery, a fingerprint scanner, and a two-year global ASUS warranty. Those are all nice things to have, certainly, and alone they might be enough to convince people to shell out the extra money.

There's a bit more to sweeten the pot, however, like the inclusion of an NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS 256MB. The LCD panel may also be a bit better -- certainly the N10JC has a good panel, but we haven't personally used the Eee PC 1000 so we're not sure if it's the same panel or not. The entire package is still very reasonably priced too, at just $650. The interesting question is going to be how well this netbook performs in comparison to some of the ultraportables we've reviewed, like ASUS' own U2E and U6V -- both laptops that cost over twice as much.

Specifications and Features


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  • Penti - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    That's mostly directed towards iFX and I do agree that they don't get much rebates on hardware (probably a lot more on software anyway which is a bigger cost then the hardware itself many times even for desktops).

    My point however is that you aren't reviewing the business version, not that it differs any more in hardware then I mentioned earlier in another post and you mentioned now but rather the important fact that it contains a VB OEM license as you can't include a XP H license in your volume license agreement. That's an important difference and you don't really test it for that scenario any way.

    OEM's aren't much more then retailers themselves, i.e. they can't charge the costumer less then what the ODM or Taiwanese-based contract manufacturers charge them. There really isn't much for system builders to do with laptops more then order them. It's usually as you have experienced some other company that actually put the companies images of the OS/software on them. I guess there's some potential to save there if those who act as the system builders of the OEM-computers can get cheaper OEM licenses for that costumer and orders without licenses from Asus. A OEM license is always needed though. But a XP H OEM licenses is useless for them.
  • iFX - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    Yes, they do. I have worked in IT procurement for large, Fortune 500 companies, I speak from experience. Reply
  • icrf - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    Interesting addition to the netbook lot, but I'd still rather have a Samsung NC10. The discrete GPU is nice for video decoding, but if the display can't show 720p, I'm not sure what the benefit of being able to decode it is. Give me a 10" 1280x800 screen and we'll talk. Otherwise, the NC10 still has better battery life. Reply
  • skaaman - Sunday, December 28, 2008 - link

    Totally agree. I picked one up for my better half for Christmas for $499.00. Notebook Review has an excellent write up on it. The display is beautiful (same as the ASUS I believe) and easily get 7-8 hours battery life. I accidentally stumbled on the touch pad gesturing support and it works very well.

    I loaded the two simple games she plays and they run fine (simple games.) While a lot of time on this board is dedicated to considering how far we can stretch a system, it would seen that this and most Netbooks would more than satisfy about 90% of the consumer market. I mean really, how many systems out there are used for nothing but Internet access, email and word processing.

    Also, I think we have become spoiled with cheap memory prices. 1GB for running basic apps on XP Home should be plenty for anyone. Yes if you beed to run 10 apps or want to overclock then you want as much memory as you can get. But again, 1GB will prove more than adequate for the average user.
  • l00tz - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    Ahhh but you have hdmi out for 1080p goodness. The n10 works with and external bluray drive and powerdvd8 as well Reply
  • drfelip - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    A user at Notebook Review forums claims to get quite good gaming performance by overclocking the Atom to 2.1 GHz, so the CPU seems to be the bottleneck. Reply
  • gipper - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    I have the 1000H, and I love it. However, we really need 1280x800 screens in 12" sizes. Several corporate apps like the Citrix client all but requires 1024x768 minimum resolution to run without problems.

    I want the 1000H in a 12" size, NOTHING changed (except maybe and even larger battery than the already ridiculously good battery it has) except for the screen. That is the perfect notebook.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    The table says 2x2048MB, but the test says 1GB.

    I was not aware that LED backlights contained Mercury, is there a version of the computer that uses a conventional backlight for that sticker to be on there?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    ASUS told me that the sticker was only on early hardware and that it's just a mistake. Good eye - I forgot to mention this, but ASUS specifically told me about the sticker when I asked if it was really an LED-lit LCD. :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - link

    Oh, and the 2x2048MB was a missed copy/paste (or reuse of a table). It's fixed now. Reply

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