ASUS Eee PC Flare 1205C/1205CE, X101CH, and 1225Bby Jarred Walton on January 9, 2012 3:41 PM EST
A few weeks ago, Intel updated their Atom platform with the launch of Cedar Trail, the successor to Pine Trail. While CPU performance isn’t likely to have changed much—we’re still looking at a dual-core plus Hyper-Threading in-order architecture—the GPU core received an upgrade to a PowerVR SGX 545 (from the precious GMA 3150). The new chips are also fabbed on Intel’s 32nm process, making for a very tiny and power efficient processor that should improve on Atom’s already impressive battery life. Naturally, a new Atom platform means new Atom netbooks from all the usual suspects, and first out the door (at least in terms of detailed announcements) is ASUS with their updated Eee PC lineup. ASUS also has AMD-based netbooks and ultraportables, and with the release of E-450 a couple months back ASUS is also updating their Brazos offering.
First up is the ASUS Eee PC Flare 1025C—note the addition of the word Flare to the ASUS Eee PC brand; Flare appears to refer to the upgraded design and appearance. The Flare 1025C will be available in a variety of colors—we have pictures of black, brown, red, blue, pink and gray (or City Gray, Gentleman Blue, Lipstick Red, Paris Pink, and Tuxedo Black if you prefer the ASUS names), all in a matte finish—while specs receive a few minor bumps relative to previous Eee PC offerings. Specifically, the CPU is the new N2600 (1.6GHz), the standard hard drive size is now 320GB (5400RPM), and it comes with a 56Wh battery and a suggested price of $299; the battery life is quoted at 10:12 in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test. Other features include 3x USB 2.0 ports, a 1024x600 LED backlit LCD, 2.4GHz 802.11n WiFi, VGA, HDMI (a new feature for vanilla Atom), 100Mb Ethernet, and a Flash memory reader. The 1025C is your typical 10.1” netbook and tips the scales at 2.7lbs.
The Eee PC Flare 1025CE is very similar in specs to the above with two notable exceptions: it uses the Atom N2800 processor (1.86GHz) it includes a single USB 3.0 port (and two 2.0 ports) and has an MSRP of $319. The colors are also different with a metallic finish: Addicting Pink, Mysterious Blue, Plucky Purple. The addition of a USB port requires a separate USB chip, and combined with the faster N2800 CPU there’s a slight reduction in battery life: ASUS quotes battery life at 9:38 in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test. $20 extra for a faster CPU with USB 3.0 and a slight reduction in battery life seems reasonable. ASUS is also suggesting a 3-5 second resume time with up to two weeks of standby power (it’s not clear if that’s 3-5 seconds to resume from hibernate or sleep mode, but we’d assume the former as resume from sleep tends to be nearly instantaneous on any modern laptop). Both the 1025C and 1025CE are scheduled for availability in North America in February, and they ship with Windows 7 Starter.
The final new addition in the Eee PC line (for now) is the X101CH—this time without the Flare addition, which means less interesting color choices of red white and blue (matte finishes). This is the lightest and least expensive of the bunch, though some features are cut in order to reach the desire price point. The processor is once again the N2600, and the majority of the features are the same as the above two netbooks, but the X101CH comes with just two USB 2.0 ports and a 3-cell battery. The result is a pretty substantial drop in battery life: ASUS quotes 4:01 on the X101CH, less than half of the 1025C.
On the other side of the fence ASUS is also updating their Brazos offering with the 12.1” Eee PC 1225B, available in red white or blue (textured finish) at an MSRP of $399. The APU is the recently updated E-450, sporting a 1.65GHz base clock speed, and an HD 6320 GPU that can run at 508-600MHz. The base clockspeed won’t make for a major upgrade to the previous E-350 APU, but the Turbo Core GPU feature is a welcome addition. Other specs include a 1366x768 LCD, 2GB RAM, 320GB (5400RPM) HDD, and Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit). The 1225B also comes with two USB 3.0 ports, an additional USB 2.0 port, 2.4GHz 802.11n WiFi, 100Mb Ethernet, Bluetooth 3.0, and a flash memory reader. The battery is a 6-cell 56Wh model and ASUS quotes up to 6:02 of battery life. As with the other netbooks, North America availability is slated for February.