After much anticipation Intel has finally started shipping it’s new “Cedar Trail” series of Atom CPU’s which for the first time include discrete on-chip graphics solutions.
The first of these machines to hit UK stores is the Asus Eee PC1025CE, we’ve taken a look at the specification and found the best deal available at the time of writing this post.
What we like – 1.86GHZ N2800 CPU, HDMI socket, GMA 3650 Graphics, Great looks, amazing battery life
Best deal – View deal at Argos.co.uk
Update 28/03/12 – Amazon are now listing the 1025CE but had no stock, you can visit Amazon.co.uk and check yourself.
Details – The inclusion of the GMA3650 in the Asus 1025CE is a significant feature and greatly improves the media and graphics performance of this system. The GMA3650 is actually a re-badged PowerVR SGX 545 which can also be found in other popular devices including the iPhone 4.
What this means is that for the first time the Netbook platform has the ability to handle HD video playback and is considerably better at gaming. However, it’s not intended to be a gaming machine so don’t expect it to run Call Of Duty but it will be able to handle the types of games you’d typically expect on mobile phones and tablets so you can get your Angry Birds fix wherever you are.
For this reason the Asus Eee PC isn’t the cheapest Netbook on the market but the extra £50 does buy you a far more capable machine. The inclusion of a HDMI socket is also a big plus and simplifies connection to external monitors and TVs.
In fact, if you’re looking for a Netbook we’d advise against buying any Netbook using the older N4xx or N5xx CPU’s unless they are really cheap. Based on what we’re seeing at the moment there are still a lot of Netbooks on sale at the time of writing this post that feature the older CPU’s but still have a higher asking price than the best price we could find for the Asus 1025CE.
The only negative of the Asus 1025CE is that it only ships with 1GB of ram which seems to be the norm for Netbooks but his can be upgraded at a later date if a speed boost is needed. An extra 1GB can be purchased for less than a tenner nowadays.
All things considered the Asus 1025CE represents a viable alternative to the Tablets currently sweeping the market and is in many way a far more convenient system to use. It’s a fully featured, Windows based system that is perfect for business users on the move who are looking for an ultra portable solution or home users that need to perform standard PC based tasks such as browsing, watching videos, social networking and light gaming.