The Good Long battery life; dual-core Atom processor offers better multitasking speeds; cost for a dual-core Atom configuration isn't much more than for the single-core alternative.
The Bad Cramped keyboard; streaming full-screen videos don't look much better than on single-core Atom Netbooks; lacks HD screen and HD accelerated graphics.
The Bottom Line For only a slight price increase over its single-core cousins, the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM's dual-core Atom CPU handles multitasking better, but this Netbook doesn't offer the features or performance we've seen in higher-priced "premium" alternatives.
Asus Eee PC 1015PEM-PU17
Not much has changed in Netbooks since next-gen Atom N450 processors hit the scene at the beginning of 2010, which is why the emergence of dual-core Atom Netbooks merits some interest. Single-core Netbooks have always lacked the oomph to attack tasks the way a full-size laptop can, particularly when it comes to multitasking. The dual-core Atom N550 CPU in the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM provides slight performance improvements without causing any extra strain on battery life or your wallet; this configuration costs about $40 more than an otherwise similar single-core Asus Eee PC 1015PED with an Atom N455 CPU.
The 11.6-inch Netbooks featuring AMD Athlon Neo dual-core CPUs are still faster, but this more affordable CPU configuration gives the more expensive dual-core 12-inch Asus Eee PC 1215N, with its D525 Atom, a run for its money. Still, you get what you pay for: this Netbook's lack of higher-end features--HD screen, Broadcom HD accelerators, or Nvidia Ion graphics--place it in a non-premium category.
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