Asus 1215B vs Asus 1215N – which one should you pick?
Asus is traditionally delivering computers to fit all budgets and users, and the two models we’re going to talk about today are from the more entertainment driven, high performance sector.
Both the 1215B and the 1215N have strong hardware and good screens, being clearly way ahead of entry level netbooks for students or (very casual) users. These two are of course more expensive than mainstream netbooks, but have the horse power to replace a larger computer and deliver laptop grade performance.
And in comparison with 15-17 inch laptops, both the 1215B and 1215N are much lighter and cheaper, so they’re definitely a good buy. Let’s take a look at what sets these two 12.1 inch mini laptops apart and what makes them similar and hopefully we’ll get an idea about what niche can each of them cover.
The two mini laptops look kind of similar and are in tone with the simple, no nonsense approach to design that Asus has with most of their portable computers. There are no distinctive features, as the 1215B and 1215N come with monochrome plastic lids. Needless to say both machines feel very solid and tough, even if a little bulky, especially the 1215N. The same model comes with a matte finish that also assures a very good grip, while the 1215B lets you choose between matte, glossy and a mixture of the two.
Screen and hardware
Both netbooks have 12 inch, 1366 x 768 resolution displays. The 1215N has a glossy display, with viewing angles being a little problematic, if we’re to believe all the reviews and opinions flying around the web. On the good side, the screen is bright and the colors are vivid, being a good display for enjoying video and gaming. The 1215B, on the other hand, has a matte screen, being maybe a little less vibrant, but surely more usable in more than one environment.
The 1215N is powered by a Intel Atom dual core processor, namely the overclocked D525, that has a core speed of 1.8 GHZ. It’s some sort of luxury edition of the Atom series (of course, pre Cedar Trail). The video card is Nvidia ION 2 with 512 MB of dedicated VRAM, and you can switch between the integrated video card and the ION 2 thanks to the Nvidia Optimus technology. On the other hand, the 1215B comes with the acclaimed AMD Fusion Zacate E-350 APU, that bundles a dual core, 1.5 GHZ processor with HD integrated graphics, that are DirectX 11 compatible. The Zacate setup is better for watching movies and maybe playing some games, considering it’s compatible with DirectX 11, although the 1215N comes with dedicated graphics.
The 1215N, however, might deal with multitasking better and the dedicated video card will offer you enough performance when it comes ti HD playback and some light gaming. In terms of system memory, the two netbooks are kind of similar, both coming with 2 GB of memory out of the box and supporting up to 4 GB (although some people are claiming that it can take up to 8 GB on the 64 bit version of Windows). The 1215N comes with a standard 250 GB hard disk drive spinning at 5400 rpm, which is what you get even on a 10 inch netbook, but additionally you get also 500 GB of Asus Web Storage (probably free in the first year and for a fee after that).
The 1215B, on the other hand, comes with as much as 500 GB of storage and probably has the same offer when it comes to Web Storage, so you can have as much as 1 TB available for the 12 incher. Both mini laptops come with HDMI ports, as well as USB, SD card reader and audio jacks. There’s also a USB 3.0 port on each machine, but only in certain territories. When it comes to battery life, the 1215B has the upper hand, considering the six cell battery it packs is said to run for as long as 8 hours on a single charge. The 1215N has to settle for 6, which might be even lower in real life circumstances. The lower score is caused by the dedicated Nvidia ION 2 dedicated video card, which requires more power than the integrated HD graphics on the 1215B’s Fusion chip. Both netbooks also come with WiFi, blue tooth 3.0 and a web cam.
Software and pricing
Both machines come with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium and a preloaded selection of Office tools. If you want the full Office experience, you’ll have to purchase a key and activate the software and all the features will be unlocked. The 1215B goes for around 435 bucks on Amazon, while the 1215 N is a little more expensive, homing in at around $465.
The 1215N and 1215B are both very solid entries in the 12 inch category of not really laptops and not really netbooks. Both come with dual core processors, the 1215N with an Intel Atom chip, while the 1215B for a Fusion APU. The 1215N is a well balanced machine, with a pretty fast processor and a dedicated video card, being a good system for multitasking and HD playback, while the 1215B is better when it comes to graphic applications, but lags when it comes to multitasking, as the processor has a speed of only 1.5 GHZ. In terms of memory and storage, the two are kind of similar, both coming with an initial 2 GB of system memory and a 250 GB hard disk drive.
The same can be said about the OS, which is Windows 7 Home Premium in both cases, as well as packing pre loaded versions of Microsoft Office. Battery life is on 1215B’s side, considering it can go for as long as 8 hours on a single charge, while the 1215N comes with only a maximum of 6 hours of autonomy. In conclusion, the two computers are pretty similar, both being able to deal with productivity and entertainment applications (but not demanding gaming). In terms of pricing, the two are also quite similar, with only 30 bucks separating them.
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- Asus 1225C 12-incher unveiled at CES, set to hit the market soon with a solid body and a high-res screen