For the past year my netbook of choice has been the Samsung NC10 as while it shipped with stock Intel Atom hardware like other netbooks such as the Dell Mini 9 and earlier ASUS Eee PCs, the Samsung was built very well and possessed a rather large and well laid out keyboard for only being a 10.6" mobile computer. Catching my attention recently though has been the ASUS Eee PC 1201N netbook, which packs quite a bit of horsepower with offering the Intel Atom 330 dual-core CPU and NVIDIA's ION platform to provide compelling graphics capabilities. The Eee PC 1201N also ships with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a 1366 x 768 display that measures in at 12.1". Oh yeah, ASUS claims a several hour battery life for this $500 USD netbook too along with a full-size keyboard. As was alluded to last week, I ended up purchasing the ASUS Eee PC 1201N as soon as it was made available on the Internet. This is now the initial Phoronix rundown on the 1201N for how it works with Ubuntu Linux, including many benchmarks.
ASUS has not been putting too much effort into their Xandros-based Linux operating system lately since Microsoft Windows 7 had launched, and sadly, with the Eee PC 1201N this does not change the game. At this time, ASUS only makes the Eee PC 1201N available with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium with no other operating system options. The official specifications for the ASUS 1201N-PU17-BK include an Intel Atom N330 dual-core processor clocked at 1.60GHz, a 12.1" WXGA display, NVIDIA ION graphics that use GeForce 9400M graphics, there are two DDR2 SO-DIMM memory slots that come with 2GB of memory installed but upgradeable to 8GB, a 250GB hard drive (with 500GB available through the ASUS Internet Storage system), a 0.3 mega-pixel web-camera, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and the weight on this netbook is just 1.45 kilograms. The dimensions on this netbook are 30 x 20 x 2.7 cm.
The Eee PC 1201N arrived in a small cardboard package that was not very different from earlier Eee PC models. Included with the 12.1" netbook was an ASUS warranty card, six-cell battery, user's manual, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium CD, and the AC/DC power adapter.