Good news, portable computing fans -- Asus has just announced the Eee PC 1201N multimedia netbook, which packs a twin-core Intel processor and dedicated Nvidia Ion graphics. In other words, it's one of the first netbooks to offer decent processing power and the potential for complex 3D graphics.
Whereas many of its rivals resort to either an Intel N270 or N280 CPU, the 1201N uses an Intel Atom 330, which has two cores, each running at 1.6GHz. If this sounds familiar, that's because it's the same dual-core chip used in Asus' Eee Box 1501 mini PC.
Unlike the Eee Top, the 1201N has built-in Nvidia Ion graphics, which Asus reckons will allow the viewing of streaming 1080p videos from YouTube "as proficiently as a high-end desktop PC". It'll also run games such as Call of Duty 4, albeit at modest resolutions and low-ish detail settings on the device's 12.1-inch, LED-backlit 1,366x768-pixel display.
The 1210N is well-equipped in other areas. Its comes with 750GB of what Asus refers to as hybrid storage. Don't get too excited, though. This basically consists of a 250GB internal hard drive and 500GB of online Asus WebStorage storage, so you'll need permanent Internet access to make the most of your files.
The rest of its spec is rounded off with 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a 0.3-megapixel webcam, HDMI video out, and a six-cell, 63Wh battery rated at 5 hours.
The 1201N will be available in January for £399. We've asked our buddies at Asus to send one over for closer inspection, so expect a full review of this in the near future.