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CNET First Look
Asus Eee PC 1015PEMFor only $20 more than its single-core cousin, 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.
Hi, I'm Scott Stein, senior associate editor at CNET.com and this is the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM. Now, the world of ten-inch netbooks has probably gotten a bit blurred and confusing. They're all kind of the same. You've seen them out for a year and a half or more at this point. They're all about $300. There aren't many new wrinkles. Well, there is one. Recently, there have been dual core Atom netbooks that have hit the market and this is one of them. Now here's the good news about the dual core Atom that's in here which is a 1.5 GHz Atom N550 is that the cost of the system is only $20 more than its single core cousin so, really, for the upgrade, it's kind of a no-brainer. $20 is really not that expensive. The total for this does come to $369, though, which is a little expensive for netbooks, especially since this 10.1-inch screen does not have an HD resolution. It's 1024 X 600 and it doesn't really have any of the other special features that we've seen on high-end netbooks. It does not have a Broadcom HD accelerator. Doesn't have Ion graphics which means that streaming video in full screen actually looks a little choppy on this model, but, if you're looking for running multiple applications at once, the multicore processor on here actually makes multitasking considerably faster, by probably a couple of minutes on our benchmark test. Not tremendously faster so it's a nice little bump up but you won't be getting really any big gains on single core tasks which is your individual program performance. Other than that, you get a gig of RAM on here , you get a 250-gig hard drive, and three USB ports and it's pretty much what you'd expect out of a netbook. The other good news is that the battery life does not take a hit on our test using the dual core processor. We got over 5 hours of battery life and that's really great on a netbook like this, and the form factor is nice, although we've liked the form factor for over a year. It's kind of a teardrop shape. Comes in a variety of colors. There's matte-shiny type of a surface that sort of repels fingerprints but still leaves a few smudges and it's pretty lightweight at about 2.7 pounds. You know, overall, it's a netbook. Don't expect any great surprises from dual core but, hey, at least it's not gonna cost you an arm and a leg to get up to that configuration. I'm Scott Stein and this is the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM.