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Asus Eee PC 1215N review

Does dual-core performance and Nvidia Ion graphics make this a netbook to look for?

asus eee pc 1215n

Although it comes from Intel's Atom line-up and runs at just 1.8GHz, the D525 processor powering the Eee PC 1215N has two cores at its disposal. This means it's far more capable in terms of multitasking and won't slow to a crawl when your weekly antivirus scan kicks in. It also supports hyper-threading, so Windows will see it as a quad-core processor.

A total of 2GB of DDR3 memory is supplied, which is double that of most netbooks and helps Windows 7 tick along that bit smoother.

Graphics performance also gets a shot in the arm thanks to the use of Nvidia's Ion chip. Impressively, when running tasks that aren't graphics-intensive, the netbook is able to fall back on Intel's integrated GMA 3150 graphics chipset, and the dynamic switching between the two is handled so smoothly by Nvidia's Optimus technology that you won't even know it's happening.

More powerful graphics means shorter battery life, so the netbook's ability to automatically switch between the two is welcome. However, it's also possible to manually choose when to activate Nvidia's Ion chip.

This can either be done using Nvidia's Control Panel or on an ad-hoc basis; for the latter you can choose whether or not to use the more powerful graphics by right-clicking a program icon and selecting 'Nvidia' or 'Integrated' from the 'Run with graphics processor' option.

The big question is whether Nvidia's Ion graphics makes a difference. In short, it does, but it's not a massive leap. We managed smooth fullscreen 720p playback on the 12-inch display and, impressively, even when outputting Full HD 1080p content via the HDMI port. Adobe Flash Player 10.1 also supports Ion, so you'll be able to enjoy stutter-free playback online.

However, you can banish all thoughts of playing graphically intensive 3D games. When we gave Crysis a whirl, it just about managed 12fps, but that was at the very lowest resolution and detail settings – not exactly a fun-filled gaming experience.

Despite the dual-core processor and 12-inch display, battery life on the Eee PC 1215N is pretty good, and when we ran it at full pelt with the brightness at full whack it lasted 204 minutes.

Running the same test, but with the Ion graphics chip activated, saw this drop to 156 minutes, which highlights the added power-draw of Nvidia's chip. Stick to the integrated graphics and dim the screen, though, and you can expect around five or possibly even six hours from a single charge.

It's by no means table-topping battery life (Samsung's N230 can manage well over 10 hours), but it's not bad considering the higher-spec components.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Battery Run Time6 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEee PC 1215N
Processor ModelD525
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAsus
Processor Speed1.80 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size30.7 cm (12.1")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.46 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Height38 mm
Width296 mm
Depth203 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Product Series1215N
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product Model1215N-BLK054M
Product NameEee PC 1215N-BLK054M Netbook PC
Product LineEee PC
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number1215N-BLK054M
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

The Eee PC 1215N defies the notion of netbooks being designed just to cater to basic computing needs. The 1215N packs the Intel Atom D525 dual core processor, as well as the next generation NVIDIA ION discrete graphics processor with NVIDIA Optimus technology to deliver a netbook with hard-hitting multimedia performance capabilities.

Package Contents
  • Eee PC 1215N-BLK054M Netbook PC
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter