Atom-powered 'netbook' runs Vista, Call of Duty 4


— 6:00 AM on September 29, 2008

With a few exceptions, most folks probably don't want to spend over $700 for a tiny laptop with an Atom processor. But what if that laptop has hardware powerful enough to play Call of Duty 4? That seems to be the case of Asus' N10 netbook, which British site Mobile Computer has tested with Infinity Ward's first-person shooter.

Judging by the video embedded in the article, Asus' N10 hits playable frame rates in CoD 4 at the native 1024x600 resolution with 2X antialiasing enabled—and that's running on top of Windows Vista. Of course, no netbook with Intel's paltry GMA 950 integrated graphics could do the same. The Asus N10 does its magic through an Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS graphics chip, which Mobile Computer says you can enable or disable with a reboot. Turning off the GPU switches back to the less-power-hungry integrated graphics.

Even ignoring the Nvidia hardware, Asus outfits the N10 quite generously for a netbook: you get 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI, an ExpressCard/34 slot, and an external USB DVD writer. Mobile Computer comments that the system "feels much more like a traditional ultra-portable than a netbook with the odd cut corner." One would certainly hope so, considering the N10 costs between $750 and $850.

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