On one hand, the Asus Eee 1201N, the first Ion-packing Eee, will arrive in December for $US500. That includes Win 7, a dual core Atom processor, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD and 12-inch (1366x768) display. But on the other...
Should we consider $US500 a good deal?
Yes and no. The formfactor is thin and quite small — 3cm thick and just 1.45kg. That's great. It's a big-screen netbook... which I guess is a small laptop.
I mean, I'm not arguing that this is probably the most promising netbook of all time. But remember when we were getting Core 2 Duo computers like this from Dell/HP/etc for the 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. 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.