The Asus Eee 1215N netbook I tested was the silver version; it comes in black as well. The machine has an MSRP of $499. Specifications include an Atom D525 CPU, Intel Optimus technology, Ion Graphics, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 12.1-inch LED backlit TFT LCD, and a 3MP webcam. The machine also has WiFi and a memory card reader. Power comes from a 6-cell battery and the machine should be available at multiple outlets as you read this.
To test the Asus Eee 1215N I will be using my iTunes encoding test, movie encoding test, and Battery Eater Pro. The Asus Eee 1215N was able to encode my Stone Temple Pilots test album from MP3 to AAC in 7 minutes and 20 seconds. That is much slower than the time other netbooks I have reviewed took for the same process. The Asus Eee 1215N had a similar performance on the movie encoding test again landing in last place with a time of 1379 seconds to encode my Magic of Flight Video.
If you simply looked at those two tests you might think the new 1215N was a subpar notebook and you would miss the point of this machine altogether. The Asus Eee 1215N, perhaps more than any other netbook I have tested is optimized for battery life. The Asus Eee 1215N owned in Battery Eater Pro with 293 minutes of run time in performance mode. The only machine I have tested that did better was the Viewsonic ViewBook Pro and that machine had two batteries.
After the benchmarks were finished, I played with the machine to see how it would work for a normal computer user. The larger 12.1-inch screen is a nice change from the 10-inch average machine that I am used to seeing. The big screen has 720p capable resolution and is very glossy. A glossy screen means lots of glare, as we know.
That glare is offset to some extend by the quality it brings to the table when you are streaming media on the Asus Eee 1215N. The colors are vivid and realistic and the machine has nice black levels.
The Asus Eee 1215N and its powerful Ion graphics are fantastic for streaming media. Streaming video from Hulu was smooth and silky just like I was watching on my TV or on a larger full power notebook. The best thing is that the Optimus technology means that you don't have to give up battery life to get that graphics prowess.
That larger screen also means that there is more room for the keyboard so the keys are larger than on smaller netbooks. The keyboard on the Asus Eee 1215N has well spaced keys that offer good tactile feel and feedback. Asus uses its standard keyboard with the smaller right shift key that bugs me, but the keyboard is easy to use small shift key and all. The machine also has a nice trackpad with buttons that are easy to use and the trackpad has plenty of sensitivity and is accurate.
The sound system is much like the sound system on the other notebooks and netbooks I have used. It lacks bass, but has decent volume so you can hear it in most environments without needing headphones. The Asus Eee 1215N has a webcam built-in and the machine has a little flap controlled by a switch over the webcam that covers the lens for privacy, which is a nice touch.
After all is said and done I really like the Asus Eee 1215N. This machine lacks the performance of other netbooks in encoding multimedia, but it is a class standout when it comes to battery life. Users who care more for good graphics, streaming video prowess, and run time will be very happy with the Asus Eee 1215N and its $499 price point is excellent for the feature set.
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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