Test Setup

Below are the specifications for the ASUS 1201N we're testing. We'll include performance results from other similarly priced laptops, with a bit of leeway on total cost. The 1201N currently sells for just under $500, putting it in direct competition with entry-level laptops and CULV offerings. We'll include ASUS' own UL80Vt as the high-water mark of what you can get for $800, and we'll toss in results from a Gateway EC5409u CULV notebook that we're currently reviewing.

The EC5409u costs $630 and offers very similar performance and features to what you'll find in most CULV designs: a dual-core 1.3GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 1366x768 LCD, and Intel's GMA 4500MHD. (Models with 2GB can be found for closer to the $500 mark.) Battery life is competitive with most Atom-based netbooks, so while ION may be the clear winner in performance over a stock Atom, it has a tougher battle going up against CULV.

ASUS Eee PC 1201N Test System
Processor Intel Atom 330
(2x1.6GHz + SMT, 45nm, 2x512KB L2, 533FSB, 8W)
Memory 1x2GB DDR2-667 (Max 1x2GB)
Graphics NVIDIA ION (16 SPs)
Display 12.1" LED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)
Hard Drive(s) 250GB 5400RPM HDD
Optical Drive N/A
Battery 6-Cell, 11.25V, 5600mAh, 63Wh
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Pricing Available Online starting at $471

Gateway EC5409u Test System
Processor Intel Pentium SU4100
(2x1.3GHz, 45nm, 2MB L2, 800FSB, 10W)
Memory 2x2GB DDR3-1066 (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD IGP
Display 15.6" LED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)
Hard Drive(s) 320GB 5400RPM HDD
Optical Drive 8x DVDR SuperMulti
Battery 6-Cell, 11.1V, 5600mAh, 62Wh
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Pricing Available Online starting at $620

We'll include the usual assortment of application benchmarks along with a few gaming tests using minimum detail settings. Battery life is also going to be important, so we've run our usual assortment of battery drain tests.

ASUS 1201N: Eee 1005 Grows Up General Performance: Dual-Core Beats Single-Core
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  • chrnochime - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    Some of us don't want to lug around a 14" and its requisite 9 cell battery plus the charger and the bag.

    I'd still take the SU2300 version over this, that's cheaper and faster.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - link

    But some of us DO want to lug around a netbook with at least a 9 cell battery.

    I chuckle every time someone thinks "I'll only use it X amount of time", as if it's really acceptable to them to have to make a beeline to a power socket to recharge it every chance they get. THAT is far far far far more of a burden than the extra few ounces and cubic centimeters 3 x more 18650(?) cells take up.

    It's just plain madness. Even if you don't need that runtime when it's new, it'll retain the runtime you do need a couple years later rather than requiring another battery. IMO, a battery pack should last the viable lifespan of the system even if they have to move to LiPOFE4 and make it twice the size it already is! No more packs bursting into flames would be an added bonus.

    /rant
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Friday, December 25, 2009 - link

    "Lug around a 14" laptop" ? "requisite 9 cell battery" ? Netbooks do not have chargers, or bags ?

    All I can say is wow. Anything more, and I will become the troll. . . . Or maybe I already am ? Because some people can not handle criticism ?
    Reply
  • san1s - Saturday, December 26, 2009 - link

    I'm guessing he/she means that the netbook's battery life is long enough to not require a charger and/or additional batteries, and that it is so small that you do not need a separate bag. Reply
  • sublifer - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    I'd like to see the Gateway EC1435u compared or an equivalent. These cheap dual-core celeron proc's probably would smear the atoms across the floor. Same price, same size, better performance. :) Reply
  • yacoub - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    I am SUPER disappointed by the crappy LCD in this netbook. That was one of the things I was most hoping they would improve alongside the better CPU and GPU. :(

    Thanks for the review!!
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    Asus is an ODM and one of the largest lap top designers out there. I don't get why they add stupid features like a rocker mouse button to their own branded laptops, and netbooks. Also, why are they sticking to the glossy plastic. Gloss only looks good in a display window. Most people prefer the flat black that some Dells come with.

    I certainly hope they don't design it to be inferior to justify the low price of selling, and design their higher end laptops with the features people like/want.
    Reply
  • withog - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    Curious how the amd congo powered (dual core mv40+radeon hd3200) will fare up to its dual core atom+ion sibling.
    Should be cheaper (no hdmi, 7 starter ed.), lesser battery life (processor tdp of 18w), more appealing looks (silver version should cut the gloss at least) and i guess the overall performance should be more balanced as processor seems to be more closer to culv levels than d330.
    Reply
  • IdBuRnS - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    "I can comfortably type on such a laptop, though I still prefer full-size ergonomic ("natural") keyboards"

    So you've come across many portables with full-size ergonomic keyboards? Doubtful, so why even mention it in a portable review?
    Reply
  • brybir - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    He is letting you know what he prefers so that when he says "I dont like X, it is because I prefer Y" you have some basis of comparison. Would his review be better if it just said "I don't like the keyboard because its small"? That is nothing but a subjective statement, and when he makes those subjective statements, he qualifies them as a good reviewer does, rather than pass something that is only opinion off as fact.

    This would be different if he were talking about build quality of the keyboard, key response or anything else that is objective, but I for one like when authors qualify subjective comments like the one you quoted above so I know why they think what they do.
    Reply

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