First Look: ASUS Eee PC 1215B
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First Look: ASUS Eee PC 1215B

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Asus updates the Eee PC line with AMD's excellent ultraportable CPU, making for a powerful, portable package -- but the field is getting crowded in this category.

I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the new ASUS Eee PC 1215B. Now, you know the Eee PC line, you love it, but this is a little bit different. Historically, Eee PCs from ASUS have been netbooks which meant that they're 10-, 11-, sometimes even 12-inch systems with that Intel Atom processor. You know, super low cost, $300, maybe a little bit more. It didn't really do that much beyond web surfing and some basic productivity. This is actually much more of an ultraportable laptop because it has AMD's new Fusion platform and it-- specifically the E-350 CPU which we like a lot. This is almost the same machine as HP's Pavilion dm1z which we were very fond of. It's basically under $500, an 11-- or in this case a 12.1-inch screen, and can do a lot more than a netbook can. It's almost as good as a regular full power computer, and whether you're watching HD video or you're e-mailing or you're surfing the web or even you're playing some basic games, this should be just about good enough, and, of course, because it's so compact, you can just stick it into the bag, take it with you much more easily than you could even with a 13-inch laptop. Despite the fact that we loved the internals of this machine, I'm a little bit less enthused about the outside because it's got the same basic Eee PC look and feel we've had for years. It's starting to get a little bit long in the tooth, and, because this is a little bit more expensive, it's about $450, you'd want sort of some design differentiation to help you tell the difference between this and like a $299 Intel Atom netbook, but you've got the same kind of black matte plastic, the same kind of island-style, very basic keyboard. It does have a big touchpad, which we like, but it's got this button bar below it instead of separate left and right mouse buttons, or a big click pad like they have on that 11-inch HP which also has the same CPU and is the same essential class of machine. So if you're looking to trade up from a lower-cost netbook, just having a little bit more capable, this system or something like it is something you should definitely take a look at. One little extra thing we like about the ASUS is that it has a USB 3.0 port. This is probably the first time we've seen it in something this inexpensive. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the ASUS Eee PC 1215B.

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