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back to article Asus Eee PC 1215N 12in netbook

Asus' Eee PC 1215N is an unusual netbook. It has a 12in, 1366 x 768 screen, not a 10in, 1024 x 600 display. It has an HDMI port. It has a dual-core processor, though one developed for desktops rather than laptops. It has USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0. Asus Eee PC 1215N Asus's Eee PC 1215N: two cores, two GPUs Heck, it doesn't …

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Dead Vulture

Where?

Where is its nubile young friend?

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Anonymous Coward

If....

......you'd posted the price and battery life figures in the first paragraph I could have saved myself a couple of pages of reading.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: If....

Turn your computer off, and it'd be an even greater saving.

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Thumb Up

Turn your computer off, and it'd be an even greater saving.

Ah, but the AC is right, in my books anyways.

I too wanted to know immediately what the battery life and cost was :) Not likely to buy this thing as my current Eee probably boasts better endurance than it,and quite likely runs cooler. And cost less, apart from upgrades. Slower, for sure, but ... compromises...

Nevertheless, you get an upvote from me for the snappy comeback.

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Thumb Down

What?

The price is on the front page, and the battery life is pretty good for a netbook (or for a notebook, which this is).

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erm

There are direct links to all the pages at the bottom. I always read the verdict first and then decide whether to read the rest of the article.

It's a shame there weren't more benchmark comparisons with the M101z and 1810TZ.

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Dead Vulture

How much?

Thanks heavens we didn't end up calling them Small Cheap Computers, or this would not qualify.

That's it really, my only point but it seems to short for a whole "comment" so I've padded here.

I'm removing you from my bookmarks, again.

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Why oh why...

is there no EEE701 - type netbook anymore??

one that costs £150

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Silver badge
Gates Horns

Oh

You can thank our friends at Microsoft for that.

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J 3
Troll

@Oh

...and the morons who wanted to "run Photoshop and Office" on a machine that had a completely different intended function -- I remember well the comments at the time...

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Graph on page 4

The memory performance graph on the 4th page is a bit misleading. At first glance it looks like the 1215N completely creams the competition in this benchmark, but on closer inspection it only scores 300 points more.

Otherwise great article!

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Size?

Would be nice to see photos/comparison with how the size differs from 10" netbook if at all. Size being the main reason people buy netbooks, isn't it?

Odd you read several reviews of the latest netbooks having usb3 yet user reviews of owners always say its missing. Either reviewer models are different or the cynic in me wonders if "comes with 3 usb ports" is getting turned into "comes with usb3" by over excited people.

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Re. USB 3.0

The 1215N has been released with USB 2.0 only, but the version - as reviewed - with USB 3.0 should be out any day now. There's no clear way that I know of to see which is which, so take care when buying.

This point should have been mentioned in the review - apologies for leaving it out., folks.

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Alert

Missing data.....

Is the screen glossy or not? This is the primary gating factor for my purchase decisions...

Second, it is mentioned that the trackpad buttons are too stiff - care to elaborate? I had to return a HP notebook due to excessive force needed to press the buttons, as well as the trackpad buttons clicking before making contact; is this Asus any better? I tried the 10" eee notebooks and the buttons were OK, except for missing the third button in the center (and emulation software for the third button which did not work reliably).

Third, how is the trackpad in real use? Getting back to the HP I had to return, the trackpad was simply an area on the palm rest, so while typing you had a high probability of touching it my mistake, and moving the cursor randomly - no indentation, no demarcation you could feel with your hand and avoid unintended mouse movements.

I see more and more ergonomically challenged notebooks and El Reg is a great source of info on which ones to avoid - please do not skimp on details :)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Missing data.....

The screen is glossy - as it says in the specs box on page two of the review.

How stiff is stiff? Good question, but one not easy to answer. It requires some force, yes - a gentle tap will not do. But you can always just tap the touchpad.

Which is separated from the rest of the wrist-rest area by a pair of raised bars. And you can disable the trackpad with a function key press.

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Thank you!

My bad - I missed the table on page 2 :)

Re the touchpad - does it have dedicated scroll bar areas or any support for gestures? Other eee notebooks have some gestures support (two fingers used for zoom and scroll for example instead of a dedicated area for scroll). Is there mechanical or audible feedback when the trackpad buttons are pressed? The HP mentioned before had tactile feedback that the buttons were pressed, but you had to push well past that point for the "click" to matter, to the tune of hurting your fingers. Pressing both buttons to open a new tab (standard in IE8, FF, Seamonkey) was a hit or miss proposition (mostly miss) - it it working reliably on the Asus 1215N?

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Pint

Glossy?

Can anyone tell me why someone would want a glossy screen over matte?

Cos I don't get it. Is it that the kids have fallen for the contrast/brightness BS without understanding it?

It def isn't cost. Although matte screens are gen only found on higher end devices.

What is the production cost difference in a panel covered w 0.25sqM of smooth plastic rather than reflection reducing matte?

<$1?

We are not talking polarised 'privacy' screens here after all.

Modern matte screens can be viewed from angles way wider than anyone would wish to do so, so that can't be it.

The miniscule reduction in sharpness is insignificant in screens above cell-phone size.

The miniscule reduction in brightness/contrast (in a matte screen) is *completely irrelevant* as anyone that has properly calibrated monitors knows that both must be reduced from max to get the monitor calibrated. Unless it is the cheapest unit from way back when. Not sure new lappys come with them.

Unless you only use the lappy in an unlit cave whilst wearing a matte-black ninja-suit*, matte is always better. Or if your highlights and shadows must always appear clipped without using software to achieve the same effect.

Well except perhaps glossy screens are better for the final stages of polishing in your lapidiary hobby. But there are better surfaces for that too, so even an impoverished lapidiarist should not want glossy.

*Ninjas hate gloss too. Not stealth.

ANYONE that uses their lappy with the lights on, takes it out of the cave, or uses it whilst their ninja-suits are at the dry-cleaners, wants matte, whether they understand the reasons why or not.

As a London artistic director, I know many ninjas. Most would like to pop a shuriken in the ass of kids that buy glossy based on a failure to understand the specs.

I wonder how many noobs insisting on glossy screens have never used the curves adjustments via their GPU or Photoshop etc.

Last time I went, cinemas etc use matte, so don't say glossy is essential for movies! Not many complaining in the cinema about anything other than the whiff of BO from the audience, the stench of bad acting, and the rotting hollywood scripts/plots that have been dragged from their graves and 'recycled' (again).

However, the reflection of the hunchback of notredame look-alikie sitting behind you picking his nose and eating it, whilst likely more original that the film itself, might detract from the movie.

Once you use a decent matte screen that is set up by someone that knows what they are doing (ideally you). You just never want to see glossy again.

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Jobs Horns

Re: Glossy?

"Can anyone tell me why someone would want a glossy screen over matte?"

It is because it is then so shiny, and as Apple have shown with their own products (look at all the MacBooks out there), people do like their shiny even above mundane practical things like "Can I see things on screen?"

Maybe people also associate shininess with brightness: "It reflects light so well, so it must transmit light just as well!"

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Silver badge
Pint

Amen!

Yeah, glossy looks really cool... until you try to see what's on the screen.

Beer for you, my friend

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FAIL

Another cry for help for the CHEAP bit

£450 is more expensive than laptops, hell I can get a second hand BluRay playing Sony Vaio for that , my gaming laptop I use for LoTRO I picked up for that.

I have a Asus EEE701 and my only regret is that I didn't hang off for a 901 before Microsoft screwed the market. I could live happily with the EEE if the screen used the entire lip space as my eyes have deteriorated due to Age.

The prices of Netbooks are getting silly

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Absolutely

You can get better for less and more importantly more future proof and therefore even lower cost on a per-unit-of-ownership-duration basis.

But you need a brain for that and kids want these things. They don`t care about value of even thought. So I`m sure it`ll sell nicely.

NB, IMO, if you care about performance/value, Sony ain`t in the game either, so keep looking around.

Toshiba. Lenovo. MSI. Acer or Asus if you don`t care about expansion slots. Even HP - although personally I prob wouldn`t stoop that far.

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Gold badge
FAIL

NOT a netbook

NET book? Are you joking? Anything with a screen bigger than 9" is not a netbook.

Next thing you'll be saying that a laptop with a 18.4" screen is a netbook.

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Go

Netbook - under 14"

Until they started doing sub-notebooks with less than 14" screens, netbooks already had 12"screens. Check the Asus 1101HA and 1200HA. The main problem with these was that they used Intel's GMA500 chipset, which Intel has being trying to kill by releasing only terrible crappy drivers for the last couple of years.

Besides, for me that is the perfect screen and resolution. I don't mind if they are still netbooks or are now called sub-notebooks. I just want one with a non-Intel chipset, and battery life on pair with my 1101HA.

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Anonymous Coward

Netbook

If you said that this is not a netbook due to COST - then I might be with you.

A netbook is a low cost, relatively low powered machine that can handle light web-surfing and such but cannot tear though multiple power-apps at once, like editing high res imgs whilst your vid edit encodes whist, you capture a clip of a game whist another core works on a distributed computing project. Screen size has little to do with it other than helping to reduce the cost to make them competitive against real lappies despite relatively low power and therefore useful life.

And to extend battery life

Under $500 - thats DOLLARS - is the fig usually floated for those that care about definition.

More here: http://news.cnet.com/what-is-a-netbook-computer/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

m

Netbooks came with Linux cos otherwise M$ instantly added such a whack to the price, that it became hard to keep the cost down within the range that got people excited. Linux (esp Ubuntu) is finally ready for your avg user and so should be an option here. Would make this machine more attractive to me - if I did not already have v powerful (yet efficient) lappies and custom build desktop.

Wish one could fully custom build lappies too. Building desktops is just lego. And many parts of lappies are like that too (drives, memory, CPU etc). It`s the chassis that`s the problem.

If I could pick a lappy chassis and then fill it w parts like I do w desktops, that would be great.

So much better performance/value and always all the features I want in one package.

I spend longer looking for new lappies with all the relevant card slots and specs at a decent price than it would take to fully build my own. Often you find almost everything you want but then a deal breaker like a glossy screen or a non-ATI card sends you back to square one.

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Go

Not a netbook ?

Peronally I think this is a netbook for the very simple reason of the weight. Anything under or around 1.5kg is a netbook in my mind and they includes those expensive MacBook things.

Speaking of price I'm more than happy to pay over 400 quid for this when it (finally !!) makes it to the uk and I've been itching to for 6 months. Reaons being that I travel allot for work and I'm looking for something light, reasonable resolution and able to play some games to entertain me on an evening. I may also swap the HD for an SSD but DVD/Blu ray drive is optional and I'm not actually that bothered about battery life as I won't be far from a power point.

For the same money yes you can get a higher spec laptop (not sure about the 3D Mark score) but it'll be maybe double the weight once you account for accessories (power, bag etc).

So I want it and I want it NOW but it's still not in stock :(

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Linux

...and

Why did you not try UNR or crunchbangEEE on it?

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Gold badge

Pointless

When they cost £449 there just isn't any point. Especially when the size of the device is creeping up.

The next one will have a 13 inch screen, then 15 inch and then it will just be a laptop.

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Silver badge

Netbook?

Price, weight, screen size, higher Windows version... Is Asus trying to make more expensive laptops to distinguish it from the iPad?

We had notebooks, subnotebooks, netbooks... This must be a supernetbook!

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Battery Life

Can anyone tell me if I will get two hours more battery life if I upgrade from 1201n to 1215n? I am currently getting four hours with wifi on and about five and a half hours with it off on my 1201n and I would like to upgrade if I can get two hours more life. I noticed on all the forumns there is no performance improvement by upgrading, I see people are getting the same frame rates in the gaming due to the pci bottleneck on the 1215n, but if there is a decent improvement in battery life I still want to upgrade. I need six hours with wifi on to get through my work day and with optimus I hope to be able to obtain this. Thanks

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Unhappy

Some help with ION needed please !

Hi there !

Just received mine today. Love it so far, but it seems to stutter and lag a lot when I play HD files (MKV, M2TS), just like an old netbook... Very disappointing... Am I missing something?? I activated the "Super performance option" but even with it, it fails to play them to full perfection as adverstised...

How to activate the ION 2 processor which is supposed to pmlay with perfect smoothness, even Blu Ray files ?

Thanks a lot !

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Some help with ION needed please !

Add your media playback app to the list of software that triggers the Ion 2 graphics. You'll find this list in the Nvidia Control Panel.

Until you do this, the app will run on the Intel graphics - hence the stuttery performance.

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Bronze badge

Linux on this model with nVidia?

If the "Nvidia Control Panel" required then perhaps Linux users needing the nVIdia will be unable to use this? If the Intel chip is primary then I imagine on Linux you might not be able to run with the nVidia chip at all?

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Not a netbook

Sub notebook perhaps, but not a netbook by any definition I know of. No more than the Samsung NC20 was.

It'll be interesting to see if this is usable under Linux though.

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