Netbooks are made to address the basic needs of netizens out there. The hardware specs are made just right for browsing the net, checking emails, editing documents, listening to music, and other light stuff that you can do with a netbook. But then we also have the tablets which do pretty much the same job as a netbook. Tablets are much more portable and they are also of the same price bracket as a netbook. So why settle for a netbook then?
If I was to be offered with a netbook, I would like mine to be fast and pretty much capable of handling my demanding tasks. But that sounds like a laptop does it? How about a netbook that has the performance of a laptop? This is where thee AMD-powered ASUS Eee PC 1215B comes in. Let’s find out if the 1215B is cut out to fit my needs.
The 1215B netbook’s overall aesthetics comes from the Eee PC Seashell Series that features a smooth and glossy surface which I find to be quite a fingerprint lover. The one we have for review has a matte metallic color on the outer lid and the palm rest which has a nice feel to it. Other colors of the 1215B would be black and red wherein you can choose either a matte or glossy surface.
The netbook itself has a 12.1″ WXGA screen which is larger than the usual 10″ of netbooks and it’s thicker too at 1.5 inches. Albeit the size, it’s still light with a manageable weight of about 3lbs.
The 1215B’s rear is raised significantly for better typing comfort. At the left side is where you’ll find the ports for the adapter, TV, HDMI and USB port along with the netbook’s exhaust and SD card slot. At the right side is where you’ll find the lock, LAN and 2 USB (one is 3.0) ports as well as the mic and headphone jacks.
The keyboard feels nice with the keys having just the right amount of distance from each other. Kind of looked like a Macbook’s keyboard minus the backlit keys. The touchpad has a nice feel to it although I find the click button to be pretty stiff which is a bit of a downer for me. Plug in an external mouse though and that will solve the problem.
The music controls are neatly assigned on the directional buttons which is convenient for me when listening to music or watching movies. You will also have dedicated keys for the Page Up, Page Dn, Home and End buttons. Nothing much on the left portion of the palm rest except for the standard LED indicators.
At the top of the LCD we have the 0.3 MP camera with a sliding cover for turning it on or off. Pretty handy if you wish to turn off the cam quickly instead of covering with your hands.
Now, the performance is what matters here since the 1215B netbook comes with an AMD dual core 1GHz APU, ATI Radeon HD graphics and 2GB DDR3 RAM. APU stands for Accelerated Processing Unit which combines the power of a processor and graphics processing unit in one nifty chip. The fusion of the CPU and GPU in one chip will improve data transfer rates between the two components all the while reducing the strain on battery consumption.
Most netbooks come with a Windows 7 Starter OS that I find to be not fully optimized even with a dual core Intel Atom processor. But then the 1215B netbook comes with a Windows 7 Home Premium OS and surprisingly, I’m very pleased with the smooth performance even with multiple programs and windows open. We just got word from Asus that retail units will only be having the Windows 7 Starter OS. Sorry guys.
Here’s the Windows Experience Index of the ASUS Eee PC 1215B:
The AMD C50 processor score was a downer but check out the impressive score on the gaming graphics and memory. For comparison, you might also want to take a look at the Sony VAIO Y which was the first AMD E-350 netbook we reviewed.
I was tempted to install my favorite 3D games like Gears of War, Crysis, Call of Duty and the likes but it seems I forgot this was a netbook. Not because the hardware can’t take it but in the first place, there’s no DVD reader on a netbook! BitTorrent anyone? I have seen some videos on Youtube where games like Crysis 2 were being played on the 1215B and they run smoothly with graphics settings set to minimum so this might be compelling for some gamers. (Ed. I think those are E-350 models)
For those looking for a full HD experience, the 1215B can play full HD 1080p movies for your entertainment needs. The speakers were loud enough with just the right amount of good sound quality.
I only had a little bit of a time testing out the 1215B so I can’t give an exact figure for the battery life. What I did during the test was play some flash games, browse the net, streamed some music, watched some clips and I could say that it ran for around 4 hours. Other reviews are pegging the battery life to be around the 5 and a half hour. It’s not as good as most netbooks ASUS is known for but it’s decent for an AMD APU-powered netbook due to the powerful hardware running inside.
I was pretty much impressed with the performance of this netbook. With a powerful hardware, the 1215B can take out relatively any heavy apps you can throw at it. Not to mention it’s portable so you don’t have to be burdened by the weight nor the size of it.
The only drawback is the glossy finish that just absorbs any smudges and fingerprints which can be a daunting task to clean up. I had a hard time wiping out the glossy bezel on the LCD prior to taking the pics so it can be a nuisance whenever you’re using the 1215B. The stiff clicker on the touchpad may be tolerable since it may take some time getting used to and I prefer using an external mouse rather than a touchpad anyway.
All in all, the Asus Eee PC 1215B is a feat to use and can pretty much handle heavy tasks without breaking a sweat. If you’re looking for some good entertainment on a powerful and portable body albeit the smudgy aesthetics then I would definitely recommend the 1215B to you. Currently, it costs Php19,995 but if you want more bang for your buck, Asus will be releasing the better AMD E-350 version of this notebook at the same price later this year.
|Asus Eee PC 1215B Specs:|
|Dual-core 1.0GHz AMD Fusion C50 (1.66GHz E-350 coming soon)|
|Windows 7 Starter|
|12.1-inch glossy LCD display (1366 x 768)|
|Integrated AMD Radeon HD 6250|
|2GB DDRAM (upgradeable to 4GB)|
|500GB 5400rpm SATA HDD|
|WiFi 802.11 a/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0|
|0.3 mp webcam|
|Ethernet; HDMI; Headphone; Kensington Lock; Microphone; 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0; VGA|
|2-in-1 card reader|