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Asus Eee PC 1215N 12in netbook

Dual-core and - oh yes - Nvidia Ion 2

Eee by gum

Lining the machine up against the notebooks whose price it most closely matches, in the 3DMark 06 benchmark the 1215N's Nvidia graphics put it far out in front of the rest, though its integrated graphics are, conversely, the lowest score I've measured.

Asus Eee PC 1215N

The usual Asus flexing keyboard

The 1215N's PCMark Vantage performance isn't so hot, with a poor TV and Movies sub-rating dragging the overall score down. I set Optimus to run Vantage on the Nvidia graphics chip, but the low TV and Movies score suggests it may have been running on Intel for that part of the test.

The other scores, however, suggest that while the 1215N's CPU is somewhat speedier than other Atoms, it's not quite up there with dual-core notebook-class processors from AMD and Intel.

It's not the best for battery life, either. But it did manage more than three hours' runtime in Reg Hardware's tough PCMark Vantage loop test, and that translates to more than six hours out in the real world. Apply Asus' battery saving options and you can probably add an hour on to that.

Verdict

The Eee PC 1215N is an impressive netbook, especially if you want something larger than the 10in, 1024 x 600 norm. You pay for the privilege, but the premium gets you a machine that can just hold its own against similar sized sub-notebooks with higher-class CPUs - and put their various GPUs all to shame. ®

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Asus Eee PC 1215N

Asus Eee PC 1215N 12in netbook

Netbook equipped with a 12in, 1366 x 768 display, a class-leading graphics chip and a dual-core processor.
Price: £449 RRP