Computers
Asus 1201N Review
Asus 1201N Review
7 years, 4 months ago Posted in: Computers, Education, News, Opinions, Slider 1

After years of loyal service my Dell XPS 1330 finally kicked the bucket.  Of course, my warranty expired just months ago.  Enter the ASUS 1201N EEE PC.   Now that I’ve had a few months to put it through the paces I wanted to tell the world how much I love my little EEE.  When I opened the first thing that I realized was how shinny it was.  The thing effectively doubles as a mirror in a tight squeeze.   In order to fit my personal preference when choosing the size of my ‘couchtop’.  Anything smaller than a 9 inch screen is too small and anything larger than 16 might as well be a desktop.  For me it hit the sweet spot at 12.1″ with an LED-Backlit WXGA screen with a resolution of (1366×768).

It also comes standard with a roomy 250GB, 5400RPM hard drive, which is more than enough space for most people.  I was disappointed  that they did not offer this model with a Solid State Drive (SSD).   I installed a SSD with my XPS 1330, and I have long been a proponent of swapping out mechanical drive with a SSD.  So I wanted to get the hard drive swapped from the gates.  But I must admit that this operation is not one for the feign of heart.  There is a lot of places where this swap can go wrong.  This operation involves cracking open the case and getting under the keyboard removing something like 20 screws.  You can easily do irreproachable damage to your netbook all while voiding your warranty all in one movement.  This in an attempt to get more speed out of a computer that hardly needs it.

Here is what comes in the box.

As a owner of the original EEE PC I can attest to how far Asus has come in regards to their netbooks design and speed.   As you can see the clam shell case is something of beauty.  But you WILL need a polishing cloth to get the fingerprints off of this.  After a few hours of use the case will need a new cleaning.  Like a black car though, when its clean it looks real good.  Its dimensions are 296mm (W) x 208mm (D) x 33mm (H) at a paltry 3.2lbs.  There is not much weight to this computer, but once it is powered on and started you wonder where all of that power comes from.  The EEE is powered by a 1.6Ghz Dual core Atom, it has no problem handling normal applications (even Photoshop).  The combination of the Atom with the Ion is something to be marveled at.  It can play 80 percent of the games out there with little to no problem.   Crysis will run on this computer but only at about 15-20 Frames Per Second which would be too much of a hit on most gamers.  You are going to have the exact same problem on games like MW2, TF2, and L4D2, but their FPS should be more tolerable.  So if you want to try your hand at gaming on this computer add more memory.  Adding Memory (a much less evasive operation) will keep everything humming along.  With games just make sure that you tweak the settings down to their min.  You are not going to be missing much on a 13×8 resolution screen.

This computer uses the popular chicklet style keyboard.  This is a godsend for anyone who wants to do any amount of typing on their EEE, and also makes for a very competent gaming machine.  What defines this type of keyboard is the small amount of space between the keys as seen in this picture.

With the amount of power that is built into the EEE there are some obvious pitfalls to this computer.  One of the biggest is the battery life.  For normal use, while not plugged into a wall, you are going to get about 2-3 hours of use, and about 1.5-2 hours if you are watching video or gaming.  My other big gripe is accessibility to the hard drive slot.  You shouldn’t need to remove 20 screws, take out a wedge and literally crack its case open to get to the hard drive.  If your hard drive fails, which is a pretty common problem, you have to send it to Asus for service.  This seems expensive and time consuming both for the consumer as well as Asus.

The pros heavily outweigh the cons on this computer though.  You get a netbook that can be used to game on.  You get those 2 extra inches over most netbooks that makes a world of difference.  You have chicklet keys on nearly a full sized keyboard, and you have every port that should be on a laptop (VGA, HDMI, 3USB, an SD slot).  Right now,  if you are looking at the also very shinny line of Apple products, and cant choose between the iPad and the EEE.  Buy the Asus 1201n EEE PC you wont so much as look back. You will still have your USB, your flash, and your keyboard, and your games.  Simple.

-Marcus Espenlaub

One Response

  1. Marcus Espenlaub could use an editor. Any takers?

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