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Asus Eee PC 1215N review

Ardjuna Seghers



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Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Eee PC 1215N-BLK054M 30.7 cm 12.1" LED Netbook - Atom D525 1.80 GHz - Black (1366 x 768 WXGA Display - 2 GB RAM - 250 GB HDD - Bluetooth - Webcam - Windows 7 Home Premium - 6 Hour Battery - HDMI)


Our Score:


Compared to the rest of the technology world, progress in the Intel-based netbook market can at best be described as conservative. Since the original Atom processor made its way into netbooks (with the award-winning Eee PC 901 20G), it seems very little has really changed. Atoms have gone dual-core, but still run at the same - or even a slower – clock speed, there is still no digital video output, and in general Full HD video playback is still not on the menu. Of course Nvidia's ION solution (as found on the Samsung N510) did a lot to address this, but we haven't seen it in as many netbooks as we would like. Asus' new Eee PC 1215N changes all this.

Asus hasn't been at the cutting edge of netbooks as it once was, but now the company is once again out in front with a netbook that not only features ION2 graphics but also a new, faster 1.8GHz dual-core Atom, and doubles the usual paltry 1GB of RAM to a far more useful 2GB. With a HD Ready screen to enjoy the benefits on, is its new Eee PC 1215N the best netbook ever?

It's certainly the most powerful Intel-based netbook we've encountered. The N525 Atom CPU should handle Full HD Flash video and multi-tasking with ease, while ION2 will let you play smooth 1080P, high-bitrate video, accelerate some applications and even play undemanding 3D games (though not in 'true' 3D like the recently-reviewed Acer Aspire 5745DG).

2GB of RAM helps significantly in all of these scenarios and indeed with most usage. Another significant advantage the 1215N enjoys is that rather than the hobbled Windows 7 Starter, it comes with the full-fat Windows 7 Home Premium – so just for starters you'll be able to change desktop background at will. Thus all the weakest areas of the average netbook have received a shot of nitro.

Only the 5,200rpm, 250GB hard drive is bog-standard. It's supplemented by a generous 500GB of online storage, but this is only a one-year trial, after which you have to pay for the service.

Connectivity isn't as inspiring as this Eee PC's specifications, since USB 3.0 is optional on the 1215N and hasn't yet made it to the model available in the UK – if this is an essential feature for you, Asus' Eee PC Seashell 1015PEM is still one of the few choices out there.

However, when it comes to video outputs the 1215N is certainly a cut above, as in addition to the analogue VGA output found on most netbooks it sports an HDMI output courtesy of ION2. This will of course allow you to output Full HD video digitally to a television or monitor.

Aside from these you'll find three USB 2.0 ports, a memory card reader supporting SDHC and MMC, 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, and an Ethernet port. The wireless front is well-covered by both Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi N.


December 14, 2010, 3:47 pm

Thanks for the article.

I've said this on many occasions, so I'll say again - PLEASE include a feature table. Whether it is a Phone, PC or camera.

Reason? It is nice to glance over the specs to decide whether to read the article in detail.



December 14, 2010, 4:26 pm


You're welcome.

A feature table has been included for your glancing pleasure :)


December 14, 2010, 5:42 pm

12 inches is a bit bigger than a netbook, no? And in that sense may be reviewing it as a cheap, small laptop might make us view it more favourably, than an expensive netbook. But then, ever since I adopted that 10 inch rule of thumb, everything seems a bit bigger than a netbook to me - even the Air.


December 14, 2010, 7:22 pm

I think 10 inches is fun, 12 inches is painful.

The 10 inch format works well in economy class and those fold down tables on trains. I would think 12 inches would be a real pain in the neck because the screen might not be fully opened.


December 14, 2010, 8:00 pm


The definitions of a 'netbook' are loose at best. As netbooks get gradually more powerful the line between laptop/notebook and netbook becomes increasingly blurry. Personally I find 11in offers the ideal compromise between size and space.


That's one of the many reasons I love convertible tablet laptops: their screens simply twist around and fold back, giving you the ideal view on cramped aeroplane/train tables. Check out the Butterfly Touch mentioned in the review, or HP's tm2 { http://www.trustedreviews.c... }.


December 14, 2010, 9:29 pm

"I think 10 inches is fun, 12 inches is painful." - Insert Terry Thomas voice here!

I'm disappointed and confused as to why none of these latest netbooks are able to play 1080p smoothly? Why is it that the tiny chip in the 5DMK2 (and all other HD DSLR's / compacts) plays it perfectly, as does the tiny chip in the WD Live box, yet these dual core Atoms can not?

I was recently on a trip to Central America and wanted to show a client some HD video on Vimeo - they had a brand new 'all singing and dancing' dual core Atom EeePC and it was absolutely pathetic. It could barely play SD youtube videos smoothly let alone HD content, it stuttered it way though all the videos I pointed it at with the fan on full blast all the time.

Are there any 10-12" netbooks (small screen laptops) that can easily play back full HD both streaming and from local files? This ability is seriously overdue in my mind.


December 14, 2010, 10:07 pm


"Are there any 10-12" netbooks (small screen laptops) that can easily play back full HD both streaming and from local files?"

This one :)

Keep an eye out for our Christmas netbook (and small laptop) buying guide, coming soon.


December 15, 2010, 12:10 am

Re 1080P, doesn't it all depend on software these days?

I haven't tried it on a netbook yet, but I loaded up IE9 beta and Flash 10.2 beta onto my CULV (SU2300) a week or two ago and was amazed at the difference - 1080P flash plays smoothly with only 25% max CPU usage.

Has anyone tried this software combination on a netbook yet?


December 15, 2010, 3:48 am


I've had a 10" Acer Aspire One 521 with a ATI Radeon HD 4225 for a few months now. I upgraded the RAM and it plays 1080p from youtube and HD Vimeo flawlessly - even whilst outputting via HDMI to my full HD TV. I'm frankly amazed that it has received relatively little attention, it's relatively difficult to find (purchase) and there is no review for it on this site. Plus, it was only 350 Euros.


December 15, 2010, 3:50 am

Scamevoli is right, HD media players and 1080p shooting cameras play back their video the same way, every time, and are designed to do a specific task very well.

You need supporting software (try XBMC or media player classic) to take full advantage of the hardware support in computers, because they're general purpose devices. My m101z was at 30% CPU playing back a 720p mkv in VLC, until I used XBMC which took the CPU processing down to 10% because it was offloaded the work to the GPU (what a mouthful).


December 15, 2010, 6:29 am

Thanks for the comments people, appreciated. I read the this review but somehow came away with the incorrect thought that it couldn't play 1080 video, must have got confused with the 17 tabs open at once :)

I'm toying with the idea of getting a Dell M101z for use when travelling far flung places that i wouldn't normally consider taking a laptop on a job, owing to weight and size restrictions when travelling light. I just need to be sure that is can handle 1080p easily and output it over HDMI. I'll have a look into XBMC too, thanks GherkingTR.


December 15, 2010, 9:21 pm


I tend to average over a 100 tabs open at a time, so I know what you mean :)

The Dell M101z is an excellent choice, and if you go for the dual-core version should handle pretty much anything you might throw at it. But why not have a read of our netbook/small laptop guide (which is now going live tomorrow!) to see if it's the one for you?


December 15, 2010, 10:27 pm

@Ardjuna - 100 tabs?! I begin to get lost after 15+, not to mention all the browser issues that crop up having that many open...most caused by flash, I suspect. That's impressive information management :)

I will do - hitting F5 awaiting the guide, with one finger hovering over the 'Buy it' button simultaneously. There are only so many pairs of socks that a man can cope with as presents over Christmas, so this is my present to me. Cheers & happy Christmas TR. Humbug. :)


December 16, 2010, 2:32 pm


Well, divided over several windows... :)

And issues do occasionally crop up, but that's where Firefox's Session Manager extension comes in handy.

Hope that guide was useful (going by your comment, did you opt for the Scrooge category? ;)

Thanks and a Merry Christmas to you too, dear reader!


February 25, 2011, 7:35 pm

How can the Dell M101z "more competent CPU and larger hard drive making up for the shorter battery life" ? And given that statement, why does the Dell get an 8 for battery life and the Asus only 7 ? Indeed the marks for the Dell are "generous", when other comparisons make them more equal. The Dell is a decent laptop with an unexceptional battery life. The 1215N has similar performance for video playback and gaming, but a much better battery life if the Ion GPU is not used i.e. for most other tasks. For those general applications, the speed advantage of the Dell is not very important, and the short battery life a disadvantage for an ultra-portable/netbook.

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