If you're desperate for a non-Atom netbook, but don't want to have to wait for ARM to make its move
outside of the mobile and embedded market, the latest Eee PC from Asus might catch your eye - but be prepared for an interesting experience.
Having just gone live on Italian electronics retailer ePrice, and spotted by Hexus
, the Asus Eee PC 1201K appears at first glance to be a pretty standard netbook: a 12in 1366x768 display makes it bigger than most, but 1GB of memory alongside a copy of Windows XP demonstrate that this isn't a performance powerhouse.
However, it's the processor that's likely to gain the most attention. Rather than the usual single- or dual-core Atom chip, Asus has chosen to fit this latest device with a single-core AMD Geode processor running at 1.4GHz, originally designed as a system-on-chip embedded computing device.
The Geode NX 1750 used in the latest Eee PC isn't exactly cutting edge; based around the Socket A design and built on a 130nm process, it features a TDP of 25W on an average power draw of 14W - significantly higher than the 2.5W TDP of the faster Intel Atom N270.
It's hard to see why Asus has chosen the Geode NX 1750 for this latest entry into the netbook market. It's older, slower, and the high-by-modern-standards power draw drops the battery life of the 1201K to a mere two hours. Beyond the possibility that the company has come into possession of a large quantity of Geode chips for which it needs to find a use, there appears to be nothing to recommend it over the more common Atom processors in the rest of the company's range.
Asus hasn't yet confirmed whether the Eee PC 1201K is an Italian exclusive, or if we'll see a UK launch.
Are you just pleased that someone
is making a netbook that doesn't use an Atom chip, or confused why Asus isn't letting the ancient Geode line die a dignified death? Share your thoughts over in the forums