LCD Quality

We didn't have enough time to run our full suite of LCD tests, but we did check the contrast ratios on these laptops. Sadly, none of them are great, though the ASUS 1005PE is still better than most other inexpensive options.

Laptop LCD Quality - Contrast

Laptop LCD Quality - White

Laptop LCD Quality - Black

First, contrast ratio has taken a dive relative to the 1005HA. What we don't know is whether there's a panel lottery on all the 10.1" ASUS netbooks; that would seem very likely, since they're all 1024x600 LCDs, which means you might get 1005HA with lesser LCDs or 1005PE with better LCDs. If you can look at a unit in person, the difference between the two panels is very obvious. Blacks look very much like real black on the 1005HA we tested, whereas blacks on most other panels show a lot of backlight bleed.

Maximum brightness on both the 1201N and the 1005PE is relatively limited, and unlike the 1005HA we were unable to boost brightness via EeeCTL. It's likely an updated version of EeeCTL could help, but we're not sure if the utility is still in active development as the old website is down at this time.

So in short, the panels on both the 1201N and 1005PE are a letdown. We'd also like to see ASUS push the maximum brightness up to 200+ nits; we think they limit it in order to improve battery life results, since few sites actually take the time to calibrate LCDs to 100 nits. If you just run at 50%, you might have the LCD set at anywhere from 70 nits to 170 nits, depending on the laptop. For the record, you get ~100 nits on the 1201N at 66% brightness, or 80% brightness on the 100%PE.

Much Better Battery Life Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    You could use a discrete GPU and hybrid graphics (with Win7) to get ION 2. I think that's what NVIDIA will announce in the near future. For ATI, they would be doing the same thing. At present, there's no way to get Pine Trail/Pineview without the GMA 3150 baggage. What's really annoying is that GMA 500 had the necessary DXVA hardware with even less 3D power than GMA 950. Pineview should have been 4500 + DXVA but instead we got GMA 950 on 45nm. Reply
  • AmdInside - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    No because NVIDIA does not have a DMI bus license (nor ATI).

    I would like to see an Asus 1201N review. While I would prefer a 10" screen with an ION chipset, I may go with the Asus 1201N before Intel stops producing the first generation Atom processors. I really want a nice portable video player that doubles as a versatile notebook.
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  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 21, 2009 - link

    The Pineview launch preempted the 1201N review, which otherwise would have been posted by now. Expect it later this week. Reply

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