Bad news: second-gen Ion graphics haven't made Nvidia-powered netbooks miraculously cheaper. Asus' Eee PC 1201PN has appeared on Amazon in black, silver, and red variants, which all cost $484 with free shipping. Amazon claims that's down from a $499.99 list price.
$484 is actually slightly more expensive than the old Eee PC 1201N, which includes the original Ion chipset and can be had for $479. So much for what Nvidia told us in March—that next-gen Ion netbooks would be priced "at or below" their predecessors.
The 1201PN doesn't look half-bad for a netbook, of course. It has a 12" high-definition display, Windows 7 Home Premium, and a battery life rating of four hours. But that Atom N450 processor won't break any speed records, especially when compared to the dual-core Intel processors inside similarly priced consumer ultraportables.
If I had to pick between the Eee PC 1201N and something like Acer's Aspire Timeline 1810TZ for $529.99 shipped, I'd probably go with the Timeline. The netbook would probably have superior graphics performance, but I suspect it would still feel more sluggish in everyday use and web browsing.
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