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

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

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...

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...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.

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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.

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

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DISCUSSION

I HAVE an Atom/ION netbook, and I would GLADLY trade it for a Core2 Duo with the same size and battery life.

$400 was a good price point for netbooks, but I don't think they'll sell at $500, when you can a full-size laptop for the same price.

I understand that people like small and portable, but the Eee's promise was originally a $200 laptop. I was excited because of the price, not because it was small or portable. Whoever put a $500 price tag on this thing forgot that he's directly competing with Toshibas that have a 15" screen and twice the CPU for the same money... and if I had to make that choice, I'd go for the bigger, more capable machine.