ASUS’s Eee PC 1215B is the newest player in netbook segment and equipped with AMD’s Fusion Brazos APU (APU is short for Accelerated Processing Unit). An APU combines a northbridge, a CPU and a GPU on the same chip. This ultra portable has got much potential then any other netbook in this segment. It packs faster processor, faster graphics and can easily handle full HD (1080p) videos. So let’s see how this fusion powered ultra portable performs. In this post, we’ll do a short review of Asus Eee PC 1215B netbook.
What’s APU ? According to Wikipedia
An accelerated processing unit (APU) is a processing system that includes additional processing capability designed to accelerate one or more types of computations outside of a CPU. This may include a graphics processing unit (GPU), a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), or similar specialized processing system.
Technical Specs of Asus Eee PC 1215B
Processor: AMD Dual-Core E-350 (1.60GHz)
Display: 12.1 inch LED backlit display
Screen Resolution: 1366×768
Memory: 2 GB DDR3 RAM (upgradeable upto 4 GB)
Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Hard Drive: 320 GB (5400 rpm)
Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 6250
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN
USB Ports: 3 x USB 2.0 and 1 x USB 3.0
Video ports: 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI
Audio ports: Microphone jack and Headphone jack
Speakers: Built-in stereo speakers
Camera: 0.3 M Pixel Camera
Battery: 6-Cell 56Wh Li-ion Battery
Weight: 3.21 lbs
The AMD Brazos platform with Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) combines high performance with low power consumption. Thanks to this new technology, it can play some games at low to medium settings like Call of Duty 2, Farcry, etc. But don’t expect wonders, you’ll need to change the video settings sometimes to low.
The APU has integrated both the CPU and the GPU within one chip. That means best of both worlds integrated into one chip. So the AMD fusion platform is finally here and it performs really well. Now here’s definitely a competitor to Intel Atom processors, which are the king of markets for netbooks. Thanks to AMD for introducing an alternative.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The chiclet style keyboard makes it easier to type. The full sized keyboard and enough space makes it comfortable to work for long hours. Even the ones who have bigger fingers, they will also find this keyboard as comfortable.
Now let’s talk about the trackpad. There’s nothing extra ordinary here, its a normal sized trackpad and separated from palm rest by two silver plastic bars. Multi touch and gestures such as pinch to zoom are also supported. Its very smooth using this trackpad.
Display and Graphics
The screen on the Eee PC is glossy, 12.0 inch having a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Because of the 6310 graphics chip, the display is sharp and bright, and ofcourse it can play 1080p videos without any problem. Like most other laptops, the viewing angles are narrow, and if you’re going far back, then the colors get washed out. So if you are sitting away, then the viewing angles will need to be adjusted, but then again, this is normal in a laptop. The 12.1 inch screen offers a larger display when compared to traditional netbook sizes of 10.1 inches and offers a more comfortable viewing experience.
Coming to the graphics part, this baby can surely output high definition video via its HDMI port. Just connect a plasma or a LCD via this HDMI port, and enjoy everything in a big screen. And it can even play some old games, and games like World of Warcraft (with medium settings). But don’t get this wrong, as this is not a gaming laptop. There’s also a VGA out, incase one wants to connect a VGA monitor.
Connectivity and other ports
This one comes with standard features offered in netbooks. Its integrated with Wireless N, Bluetooth and Gigabit LAN to help you stay connected. Lack of 3G is a minus point though. But at the price point which this is offered, we can’t complain much.
The USB 3.0 are ofcourse is an eye catcher and is a worthy addition to this netbook. However there is only one USB 3.0 port and 3 USB 2.0 ports. Its quite strange why Asus have felt the need to do this. VGA, HDMI, mic/headphone jacks, card-reader and all the other standard features are included.
As per their official site, if fully charged, then it can run continuously for 8 Hours. This must be under their test conditions, but in real world situation it should be able to give around 6 Hours of life. It has 6-Cell 56Wh Li-ion Battery.
Price of Asus Eee PC 1215B in India is Rs 20,000 (and $440 USD on Newegg). This baby is really attractively priced and worth every penny spent on it. Afterall, you don’t get such a performance and battery life at this price range. The only competitor that Asus 1215B has got this time is HP dm1z. But dm1z costs more, and thus this netbook from Asus makes it a good buy.
Its not always about budget, but its about performance, battery life and looks also. This Marble Silver color really stands out from the crowd, as Black is common nowadays. But ofcourse in the end color doesn’t matter, its performance that matters. And this time Asus has surely didn’t disappointed us. The looks (seashell), graphics (Radeon HD 6250), and performance (AMD Dual Core Fusion platform), all this at this price makes this netbook a superb deal. Thinking to get an ultra portable that’s not pricey, then this is for you.
Take a look at the official page of this Product at Asus.