Asus' Ion-powered Eee PC 1201N netbook has popped up in Newegg's listings, and it's
now in stock for $499.99. We first read about this machine in a leaked roadmap in late August, but the final specifications look even better than rumored.
In fact, the Eee PC 1201N's hardware almost straddles the line between netbook and consumer ultraportable: 12.1" 1366x768 display, dual-core Atom N330 processor, Nvidia Ion graphics chipset, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 250GB mechanical hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Newegg doesn't say much about the battery, but according to the spec sheet on Asus' website, all 1201N variants come with a six-cell unit rated for five hours of run time.
This super-netbook seems relatively light at 3.2 lbs, too, even if the 1.07-1.31" thickness doesn't compare all that favorably to some of the thinner consumer ultraportables out there. Acer's CULV-based Aspire 1410, for example, weighs 3.1 lbs and measures only 1.2" at its thickest point.
Speaking of the Aspire 1410, that system creates an interesting dilemma for potential Eee PC 1201N buyers. The Aspire 1410 has a much more powerful dual-core Celeron processor, a slightly smaller and lighter enclosure, a lower price tag, and otherwise roughly similar specs—except it comes with Intel GMA 4500 integrated graphics, which are pretty sub-par compared to the Ion. The recent release of Adobe's GPU-accelerated Flash 10.1 beta only complicates things further.
Update: Well, that was quick. The Eee PC 1201N is already sold out at Newegg.