12-inch, Ion-based Eee PC may arrive in October

Asus may soon follow in the footsteps of Lenovo and Samsung with a king-sized netbook featuring Nvidia Ion graphics. Netbooknews.de has posted a purported Asus roadmap that says such a system will launch some time around mid-October.

The roadmap contains a surprising number of details, too. Apparently, this Eee PC 1201N will have a 12-inch display, an Atom N270 processor, an Ion integrated graphics chipset, 2GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a six-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium. We'd expect the 12" display to have a 1280x800 resolution, although the roadmap omits that little nugget of information.

Asus will supposedly charge $499 for the Eee PC 1201N, putting it at the very high end of the netbook ladder. In fact, 500 bucks is already quite a bit more expensive than Dell's new Inspiron 11z, which has a low-power Celeron processor, GMA 4500 graphics, and a $399 price tag. The Celeron processor is presumably faster than the Atom N270 overall. The Intel IGP less powerful than the Ion on paper, but we've seen the Atom can be quite a bottleneck in games. Most likely, you wouldn't do any serious gaming on either machine.

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