The Bottom Line
Aug 26 2011 - ASUS is one of the few companies to have offered a netbook that has a 12-inch display. The extra resolution of the display has the advantage of provide a much nicer experience that is less cramped. It also provides extra space for a larger, more spacious keyboard. The AMD C-50 doesn't offer much of a performance advantage over an Intel Atom based model except that it can fully support HD video. This makes it a nice HD media platform. The big downside of the Eee PC 1215B-MU17 though is the pricing that puts it above competing models without a comparable number of improved features.
- Larger, Higher Resolution Display
- Improved Graphics Engine
- Excellent Keyboard
- Priced A Bit Higher Than Competition
- Only 1GB of RAM With Windows 7 Home Premium
- Some Issues With The Trackpad
- AMD Fusion C-50 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 12.1" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 6250 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.7" x 8" x 1.5" @ 3.2 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - ASUS Eee PC 1215B-MU17-BK
Aug 26 2011 - ASUS has embraced the new AMD Fusion processor lineup for their Eee PC 1215B product lineup. While the new E series essentially provides a budget laptop experience, the C series is more fitting of the Eee PC netbook lineage. The least expensive of these models is the Eee PC 1215B-MU17-BK uses the AMD C-50 dual core processor. This provides it with performance that is nearly on par with what can be found in the Intel Atom processors found in the majority of netbooks. What is surprising for the configuration is the inclusion of the Windows 7 Home Premium yet only 1GB of DDR3 memory which is typical of netbooks. This will really hamper the performance unless users take the time and money to upgrade the RAM.
One of the big advantages of the AMD C-50 processor over the Intel counterparts is the graphics system. The Fusion APU as AMD calls it has an AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics engine built onto the processor. This is a fully Direct X 11 part that provides some solid 3D performance that typically isn't found in the netbook realm. It has some decent performance such that it could be used for casual PC gaming at lower resolutions and detail levels in older PC games. The more important aspect is the support for full HD video streams. This has been a problem even for the latest Intel Atom processor with its GMA 3150 graphics engine. This makes the Eee PC 1215B much better suited for a portable HD media player.
The primary difference of the ASUS Eee PC 1215B is its screen. Rather than a small 10.1-inch screen with limited resolution, ASUS uses a 12.1-inch panel that offers a 1366x768 resolution more typical to a laptop realm. This provides a solid user experience as applications don't feel as constrained from the limited resolution of the average netbook. It still uses a glossy coating that is common to most consumer netbooks and laptops. This results in a fair amount of glare when used outdoors or in certain lighting conditions.
The larger display has the downside of increasing the overall size of the Eee PC 1215B. This is much more the size of an ultraportable laptop than a compact netbook. Still, the larger size does have its advantages. In particular, there is more space for the keyboard. This allows for more dedicated full sized keys and slightly better spacing. This is one of the nicer keyboards to use in the netbook category particularly if you have large hands. The trackpad is also larger than average in size and centered along the space bar of the keyboard. The one downside is that the trackpad is so close to the keyboard that brushing of the trackpad by accident is not uncommon. It also uses the single rocker bar style of trackpad buttons rather than dedicate right and left buttons.
ASUS includes a larger than average battery for the Eee PC 1215B. It is still a six-cell model but has a 56WHr capacity rating. The company claims that this can run for up to eight hours which is well beyond what previous AMD based netbooks could achieve. In video streaming tests, it was able to run for just over six hours. Now, with the right settings and very little usage, it could be possible to reach eight hours but that is not going to common for many buyer's. So, if you need longer running times, then the Intel Atom based netbooks may provide a better running time but at the expense of less capable graphics.