Asus launches 12.1-inch Eee PC, AMD Congo and Nvidia Ion versions coming soon

By on November 30, 2009, 11:48 AM
Those looking to buy an affordable netbook this holiday season, with a larger than average display, might be interested to know Asus just launched the 12.1-inch Eee PC 1201HA in the U.S. The system includes a 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor with integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics and 1GB of RAM (expandable to 2GB).


The screen resolution is quite decent for a netbook, at 1366x768, which along the estimated 6+ hours of battery life and low price tag seem to be the netbook's key selling points. Otherwise, there is a 160GB hard disk drive, built-in Ethernet port, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1.3-megapixel camera, three USB ports, a multi-card reader and either XP or Windows 7. The Asus 1201HA is currently selling at Best Buy for $330 with free shipping.

If you are willing to wait some more and shell out a few extra bucks, a variation known as the 1201N will be the first Eee PC with Nvidia Ion graphics when it arrives in December, including 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and HDMI out for about $500. The Taiwanese manufacturer is also said to be planning a version with AMD's 1.6GHz Congo MV40 processor and ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics.




User Comments: 36

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Moltar said:

It seems as though netbooks are turning back into laptops again. I remember a few years ago there were several offerings of sub 13 inch laptops available from several retailers. Now it seems as they are making a resurgence under the netbook name.

harby said:

Hmm very interesting. But I thought that intel-based netbook chipsets (non-CULVs) were limited to 1GB or RAM so how come this can be upgraded to 2?

As for the 1201N, sounds good for sure but I wouldn't call it a netbook, clearly stepping into the ultraportable laptop segment.

Moltar said:

I completely agree, the netbooks seem to be stepping out of their segment and bringing back the ultra portable notebook segment. Shouldn't Netbooks be getting smaller and more streamlined, not bigger?

timljh said:

even the price is stepping out of their segment too =P $500, it seems that they are getting one step nearer to laptop...

Fada said:

will this fad with netbooks ever go away, if they just make one giant iphone like device then i would find it acceptable but using netbooks is akin to wearing shoes that are way to small in my opinion.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The chip manufacturers (and Microsoft) would like to keep a distinction between netbooks and notebooks, but in reality most consumers are bucking those restrictions. There is a larger margin to be made on the notebooks, so naturally those companies want you to have a clear-cut choice: either super limited cheap netbook, or powerful capable more expensive notebook. But as the lines blur more and more, it's become apparent that the majority of the marketplace wants something in between.

The limit that harby mentioned was true, netbooks were limited to 1 GB, but consumers demanded more, and the restriction buckled. Just one example of how the distinctions blur more every day. As tight integrated and highly efficient platforms like Ion hitting the scene, the performance differences will tend to blur as well.

Regenweald said:

Netbooks had a nice run, but we are basically heading straight back to reasonably priced ultra mobiles. The base thing about netbooks is that they helped to drive prices down across the board. To me the distinction is useless. I buy a portable device that suits my needs best. No need for catch phrases and marketing

FoReWoRd said:

looking good, this ATI might be slighly faster than the ION equvilant, why no 2gb ram

Puiu Puiu said:

I would buy the 330$ one but i would add another GB of RAM (2 in total) as it would help a lot.

@harby: Intel allows them to have 2GB of RAM now (starting with n470 atoms)

swilllx2p said:

Netbooks seem to be becoming just a marketing label to drive sales. As others stated, the lines between the netbooks/ultraportables/laptops are becoming pretty blurry.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Uuuuh I would love the 12,1 with Ion card for HD viewing.

Those comming are the 3rd gen netbooks, a step closer to notebooks but keeping the mobility always on. You could say they are UMPCs but they are netbooks, they are not still meant to be used as a full PC.

fref said:

Netbooks are getting bigger and bigger, which kind of defeats the purpose of a netbook if you ask me. Especially when that netbook sells for 500$... If they continue like this, they'll be releasing a 15.6" netbook next...

BlindObject said:

Eh, I'm kinda tired of seeing a new netbooks every-week. Seriously, what's the point? A bought an Asus g50 last year, and it still blows away all the laptops at the cafe lounge. (I love seeing the Mac peoples face when they see my super flashy LDs =)) They should get away from net books and start making MICRO books. lol

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

there are way too many of those tiny machines coming out, thank GOD, we can find some quite good reviews here & then. this one seems not bad, even if i would prefer a desktop PC with all options, would make a perfect gift to my wify would needs only a machine for the net, her recipes & a few simple games.

great dig techspot ....

cheers!

Serag said:

wow, other than the slow Atom processor..specs looks very "low-end notebook" like..

fair price as well..

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Seems like Congo is getting quite a few design wins. Lets see how it sells.

manintech said:

$330 is a very good price

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

Moltar said:

I completely agree, the netbooks seem to be stepping out of their segment and bringing back the ultra portable notebook segment. Shouldn't Netbooks be getting smaller and more streamlined, not bigger?

This. The definition of a netbook has seemed to be a screen size of about 11 inches or less, a scrunched keyboard, and limited functionality to provide the basics to people that need only the basics with a price accordingly matched. Higher performance graphics? Bigger screens? That definitely changes the netbook philosophy.

There definitely is ONE important thing to note here though; things are getting incredibly small. Can you imagine having a high performance gaming laptop that's about 1 foot square? That's pretty nuts. This netbook definitely isn't fitting the description or the bracket it should be in and is SLIGHTLY larger than its competitors, but it's definitely making a new benchmark for making high powered computing smaller. The Ion and the Atom are, for the moment, the pinnacle of miniaturized computing.

Guest said:

I don't mind paying another $100+ for the Nvidia ion for better graphics and HD!!

BlackIrish said:

At this point, the Wind12 U230 that TechSpot mentioned seems like a much better buy!

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

After playing with an HP netbook without the Ion, I'm willing to step in line and buy the Ion upgrade. Hulu in full screen was slightly sub-par without some sort of GPU acceleration card added in. Intel still hasn't learned how to make a descent GPU chip.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'll copy the same post I made on a fairly equal topic with one tweak:

"Netbooks COULD replace in time desktop PCs, really low power consumption and with small size that caracterize netbooks (They can be "hanged" behind the screen, since nowadays screen is at least 17" or even 19" big they fit back there and no one would ever know), connected to an external display and mouse/keyboard or even docks with optical drives (Or USB ones) they can (At least with this hardware) replace a normal desktop computer, with the plus that you can unplug it and use it wherever you want.

I'm really into the idea."

TechDisciple said:

ftw the kcuf is wrong with this pc industrie making Netbooks Bigger, Bigger and Bigger, and for that price tag $500 makes me want to buy a cheap Laptop instead... :@

lfg18 said:

The line separating netbook and notebooks is dissappearing, but I would not pay for a $300 netbook, they are not reliable, and as it was mentioned in an article some time ago here in techspot, you get what you pay for, so investing in a better laptop will be worth the money as they tend to break down less than netbooks.

kodrutz kodrutz said:

Why to say netbooks are not reliable? The idea is that, considering all those iPhones and BlackBerries out there, I see no reason in going for a netbook, when you can add a few extra bucks for a decent notebook (I am thinking about 16-17" displays and 1600X900 resolution here, 3-4GB of memory, 320-500GB hard drive, discrete graphics), and if you really need to go online, you can use your phone.

Come on, guys, are you really serious about watching HD movies on a 12" screen? I can't believe this!

yorro said:

I just have no idea why Netbooks keeps coming back for more.

yorro said:

I just can't understand why they keep making Netbooks

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Because the netbook market is a growing market Yorro.

It's like asking why they keep making more notebooks, or more desktop hardware. Since clearly lots of you are bots only posting for prizes and don't read other comments, are not aware that netbooks could replace desktop computers if they come this way:

Smaller, packing a lot of power, low voltage consuming, discrete video chipsets (You can play Modern Warfare 2 on an HD3200).

Put that into a dock that plugs into a screen, with a wireless keyboard and mouse, some more ventilation and you have a really nice desktop solution, much more power efficient, and in need take it wherever you want!

AbsolutGaloot said:

I'm really a fan of my HP mininote that I got a year ago, but the quality seems to be swiftly decreasing. My little brother has gone through 3 of the newer Minis in a year with various issues (dead/stuck pixels, won't boot, etc). I'm not surprised that the line has become so blurry between netbooks and ultraportables, and am glad that this is helping drive costs down.

kodrutz kodrutz said:

Kibaruk, I think you're confusing netbooks with notebooks here. Sure, I may be wrong, but I didn't see any netbook using HD 3200 graphics so far...

UT66 said:

Guest said:

I don't mind paying another $100+ for the Nvidia ion for better graphics and HD!!

good luck with that. intel >laughs>

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Kibaruk, I think you're confusing netbooks with notebooks here. Sure, I may be wrong, but I didn't see any netbook using HD 3200 graphics so far...

Read about MSI Wind12 U230, those were introduced in a couple topics after this one.

kodrutz kodrutz said:

I would really like to see full-size notebooks using netbook platforms. Just think about the possibilities! Speaking for myself, most laptops I can think of are too powerful for my needs (just a browser and a text editor would be enough), but netbooks have those damn small screens and keyboards I really hate... so why not bring together the best of these two worlds?

buttus said:

I agree that manufactures are trying to get netbooks up to the low end of full notebooks. They are still a niche product though and are more easily dropped and dammaged then full notebooks.

For myself, I would never get one as the applications I use (Photoshop for example) need too much horsepower and screen size to ever be practical on a netbook. But I DO love the size and weight.

RealXboxMaster said:

My friend bought one of these last month with Windows 7 Pro installed from Newegg. He paid $445 US. Based on performance wise, All I can say is "What a piece of crap" for that price, I can by a decent powerful laptop with a duel burner, nice size screen for that. Total waste of time n money.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@RealXboxMaster: Dude... who puts nicks like that? Comming back to the topic, if you don't like the idea of a computer without a burner and a small screen size, it's just your opinion.

So, you go for the notebooks, others go for the netbooks. How you feel about them is not an impediment to how others feel about them. Size and weight is THE thing taken in consideration when buying a netbook.

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