Asus Eee PC 1201N...$500 Seems Like a Great Deal, But Have We Been Had?S

On one hand, the Asus Eee 1201N, the first Ion-packing Eee, will arrive December for $500. That includes Win 7, a dual core Atom processor, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD and 12-inch (1366 x 768) display. But on the other...

...should we consider $500 a good deal?

Yes and no. The formfactor is thin and quite small—1.3 inches thick and just 3.2 pounds. That's great. It's a bigscreen netbook...which I guess is a small laptop.

I mean, I'm not arguing this is probably the most promising netbook of all time.

But remember when we were getting countless Core 2 Duo computers from Dell/HP/Etc for like this same price? Yeah, they were chunky machines. But what happened to those computers? Where did they go?

I know I'm not hallucinating here.

Yes, the 1201N looks like a very cool little laptop, and I'm pumped to use an Eee that can handle HD video on a beautiful screen and through tempting HDMI-out. I'm not really upset about the Eee itself. I'm upset that the budget, jack-of-all trades laptop has virtually died as we've seen this artificial performance cap put on the budget laptop market whiled netbooks ballooned to $500-$600. Then again, maybe Ions have enough power that none of us will mourn the loss of cheaper, fatter Core 2 Duos. When reviews hit and the dust settles, we'll know for sure.

Until then, read Laptop's impressions: [Laptop via Netbook Choice via Engadget]