Asus N10 Notebook First Thoughts

by Reads (37,928)

Asus today took the cover off the new N10 10.2″ screen Intel Atom powered notebook.  Despite its small size and Atom processor, Asus really wants you to know this is not a netbook, but indeed a notebook.  Which explains the lack of Eee PC in the naming.  The N10 has a full sized keyboard and even switchable Nvidia dedicated graphics to separate it from the netbooks flooding the market of late.

We got some hands on time with the N10J today, which is the Nvidia equipped member of the N10 family.  The N10E version has just integrated graphics and starts at $599, while the N10J has an Nvidia 9300 GS 256MB graphics card on board.  You can toggle to using integrated graphics on the N10J to save battery life by flipping a switch on the left side (you have to reboot to make this switch between dedicated and integrated).

The N10J has the same Intel Atom 270 1.60GHz processor that many netbooks have, but the available 320GB hard drive, Nvidia graphics and 2GB of RAM help to separate it storage and power wise from the smaller Eee PC.  Asus had enough confidence in this notebooks performance abilities that it went ahead and put Vista Premium or Vista Business on there as the OS.  There will be a downgrade option to XP for those business users whose organizations haven’t made the leap to Vista yet.

The quoted battery life for the N10 in integrated graphics mode is said to be up to 10 hours.  That seems rather optimistic, and your mileage may vary depending on how you use the N10 of course. 

The LED backlit screen appeared blazingly bright in the rather dimly lit room we used the N10 in.  The 10.2″ screen has a 1024 x 600 resolution, so real estate viewing is somewhat limited, but at least the colors are brilliant and picture is crisp.

The keyboard is full sized and oh so much more easy and comfortable to type on than any netbook out there.  For those who insist on having a notebook that provides a halfway decent typing experience and have shunned netbooks simply because they don’t, you might have a friend in the N10 here.  It’s certainly not as light as the Eee PC, but it does become more usable with the extra size.

The port selection on the N10J is also very good.  It has the following ports:

  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • HDMI out port
  • Media card reader
  • Microphone-in
  • Headphone-out
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Monitor out

Left side view

Right side view

You of course get 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless, no WWAN built-in though (remember, it’s $599).

The overall design is attractive, head-on it looks a lot like a shrunken down HP Pavilion dv2700t notebook, sans the imprint design, it even has the Altec Lansing speaker branding along the top like Pavilion notebooks do.  The lid is a pearl white color, with no multi-color options such as you get with the Eee PC, at least for the moment.

If you’ve read enough and are ready to order, J&R has you covered with their pre-order page for the N10, links to those are below:

Or if you prefer to wait for an official review, we’ll have one in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

 


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