Customer Reviews: ASUS N10J-A2 10.2-Inch Laptop (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 2 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, NVidia 9300M 256MB, Vista Business+XP Downgrade CD)
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on November 23, 2008
First off, let me say that I love this little notebook. And I DID say NOTEBOOK. It is about time someone gives this baby its due. It has a lot of the same specs as Asus' awesome Netbook (The eee PC 1000H 160GB) but offers a LOT more quality. A lot of people are saying that they are too close to justify 300 dollars more in price but I say BAH! First off, the NETBOOK (1000H) ONLY comes with a 1-year warranty. Period. This baby comes with Asus Notebook's standard Global 2-year 360 coverage warranty WITH the option to purchase an additional 3rd year warranty. 360 coverage means that if there IS a problem, they will have it sent to them, repaired and sent back to you (usually with in a few days) at THEIR expense. PLUS, they offer a year's worth Accidental Damage Replacement after you register it within 60 days of purchasing it. You drop it, it breaks, they replace it!!! And have we all not had a graphics card or motherboard that flakes out after a year or so. When that happens to the 1000H, your only option will be to replace it. And then you will have paid MORE for that than for this baby. But, you get a LOT more with this from the start. 1) A dedicated Graphics card Nvidia 9300 GS). NO, I do NOT care about playing games, but I DO care about the quality of video I will be watching on it when I am sitting in an airport or my car or whatever. And since it comes with Vista it needs to have the extra punch. But if you want to conserve battery, you can switch to the Intel Integrated Graphics card (which is STILL beautiful by the way). The Display is awesome. I love just looking at it. And the GLOSS is a LOT better than the Matte imho. And it does NOT present a problem outside because you have plenty of brightness control at your disposal. Matte screens have ALWAYS looked washed out to me in light. And IF you are one of those Vista haters (and I KNOW there are plenty) no problem. This comes with disks that will enable you to downgrade to XP Professional in an hour and half. How the heck can you beat that. Plus it has an HDMI port to easily export your video AND audio to a larger monitor (unlike the VGA only port on the 100H). The speakers (while nothing great -- c'mon it's a notebook) are WAY better sounding than the 1000H and the overall build quality is much better. It's fun to just look at this baby. Also it has Express Gate which allows you to quickly boot to a Linux system built into the motherboard which allows you to be surfing the net in less that 15 seconds all together (providing you have a pre-existing network connection). Since Vista does take about a a minute and half to boot up, this is great to have when you just want to check e-mail, surf or Skype someone (it too has a built in camera and microphone). I just think that people don't give enough credit to the MUCH better warranty when considering the cost of this item. Then add in the much better look, build quality and other extras (like a 320 GB Hard Drive instead of the 1000H's 160GB) and it becomes NO CONTEST to me. The only thing that keeps this from being an absolute STEAL (when compared to the best in the Ultra-Portable class) is the Atom Processor. But, I have to say it is a LOT better than I anticipated. Heck, it runs Vista pretty well, and probably XP Pro even better. The 10 inch display with no 16x9 resolution is NO problem for me either. I was wondering if it would be too small, but it is NOT. I really love this baby. The ONLY REASON THAT I HAVE NOT GIVEN IT THE 5 STARS IT DESERVES is because the one that shipped to me had a graphics card problem. There was a line of colored lights running down the first third of the screen on all the pages in Windows that have blue borders (and trust me, there are a LOT of them). After a few extra calls to than I thought I would need, they ARE finally sending me a replacement as we speak. If it had only taken the one call then I would have given this unit 5 Stars easily (despite the problem). I really believe this was an anomaly and should NOT be judged against the overwhelming quality to price value of this NOTEBOOK.

IF you wondering if you could/should spend the extra bucks to get this instead of the 1000H wonder no more. JUST DO IT and you will NOT be unhappy!!!

Update -- I DID get my replacement from and they overnighted it to me so I am ammending my rating to 5 Stars. Also, I negelected to mention battery length. On VISTA (I would expect longer run times on XP Pro) in High Performance Mode and Wireless and Bluetooth on (while Surfing, watching You Tube, and with 3 Microsoft Office 2007 Documents open, I got 3:50 minutes with the Nvidia Dedicated raphics Card and 4:25 with the Intel Integrated Graphics Card.
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on November 28, 2008
Who cares if it's a netbook or notebook. It's freaking awesome!

The Intel Atom CPU is almost identical in performance to the Pentium M. My 2.0GHz Pentium M is just slightly faster than the Atom 1.6GHz.

The little Atom CPU works well for gaming if you switch Power4Gears (overclocking software from ASUS) to Turbo Mode, the CPU jumps to 1.75GHz. I tried overclocking it with a third party program but it kept turning off my network cards. (i know, right?)

With Turbo Mode, my Vista Performance index is 3.3. CPU: 3.3, RAM: 4.9, HDD: 5.4, AERO: 5.9, GAMES: 5.4

I have installed and played the following games on the N10J-A2:
Fallout 3, Gears of War (DX10), F.E.A.R., Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Unreal Tournament 2003, World of Goo, FakeNES, ZSNES, DooM 95. I simply let the game decide what settings are best and the frame-rate stays high.

My favorite feature is the HDMI port. One plug switches the computer to display 1080P 60Hz on my TV. Switching takes about 5 seconds after plugging it in. My last notebook required a VGA and minijack cable, yuck!

I play a lot of highly compressed DivX files with no stuttering. DVDShrink takes about 30 minutes to deep analyze and 30 minutes to encode a full DVD.

Netflix Movie Player plays flawlessly even with the highest quality setting.

The keyboard and mousepad are both large and feel expensive, although the mouse buttons produce somewhat loud clicking compared to others.

The screen is gorgeous by the way. Very good quality. The 1024x600 resolution isn't a hassle with ASUS MultiFrame program. It helps arrange the windows to maximize your square-pixelage.

I recommend fresh installing Vista (not the restore CD, but just a Vista disc) and turning off the page file.

BIG HINT: Also purchase a 4GB 150X SD Memory Card for ReadyBoost! They're about $40 and will make a HUGE difference for the better. Just pop it in, click "enable readyboost", and forget about it. Everyone should have a readyboost drive on a vista machine.

The bottom line concerning this computer: This is a highly portable media machine. It will play modern games, watch compressed videos, and encode DVDs far better than I predicted. I thought the Atom CPU was a joke until I put it through the tests. Some would consider it underpowered, but can your Eee PC play Gears of War in DirectX 10 at 20-30fps on a 57" LCD @ 1080P?

Hope this helps!
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on December 7, 2008
If you are thinking about buying eee PC 1000H, but don't like the facts that 1000H gets only 1G RAM (vs. 2G), 160G HDD (vs. 320G) and Xp Home (vs. Xp Pro. or Vista,) AND you can afford to upgrade it into your ideal configuration, then you can save the time and effort by buying n10 instead.

It costs a little more with all fully upgraded 1000H's features plus a video card AND a finger print reader AND a more sturdy shell AND a more comfortable keyboard.

The only quirks with this machine are:

1) Champaign color only, a bit tacky, I wish Asus would have provided options like black, silver, blue... more serious colours.

2) Even though the accompanied 6 cell battery is a nice upgrade from the original lab version of 3 cell, but 4.5 hours of battery life is still too short. Hopefull, a 9 cell battery will be out soon for purchase.

3) It will be nice if the machine could have come with vista better tuned out of factory. Given the relatively weak CPU, n10 is not ready to use out of the box with the original factory setting. You basically have to wait 20 minutes before the newly installed vista to finish all the process of checking updates and finishing up some startup. (However, after some simple tweaks, the OS is not as bad as how people on the net described - I think it is acceptable.) Asus should really offer xp pro version right out of box so that those folks don't want to dirty their hands with non-user-friendly vista could start right off bet using the machine.

Followup, there are more quirks I found with n10 (7/1/2009):

4) I found the video was not playing as smooth as I like it to be, especially with HD flash videos. After some digging, it turned out the problem is with one of the start up program named "Screen saver protector" that keep installing flash player 9 at start up. It caused the flash player 9 and 10 (which I installed afterward) competing for resources and the videos flickered. Since the FP9 was installed by the start up program, the common fix of the Util clean up won't work - you have to first disable the Screen saver protect before you clean up the FP9.

5) The other problem is the Norton Anti virus program that come with the computer that will slow down the computer dramatically. I uninstall the program and use AVG instead.

Now everything works perfectly. Over time, I kind of like vista except the slow boot up.
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on May 7, 2009
Well, I have to give Amazon 5 stars for their service! I ordered it overnight shipping at 8:30 in the morning on Tuesday, and had it in my hot little hands by 9:30 am on Wednesday! Not too shabby - thanks Amazon!

As for the little notebook, I love it actually! It is everything you could want in an ultra portable. It really is attractive, (much nicer then in the pictures) and the keyboard feels great, I didn't really even need to adjust. This is a nice, solid feeling notebook with an almost standard sized keyboard. Compared to the Acer 10.1" there is no comparison! =)

Pros: Solid, nice looking, comfortable to work on, yet extremely portable. I love it! And with the geforce 9300 graphics, it runs Second Life very well (which is really the only game I play)

Cons: I wish it had come with XP loaded instead of Vista. I am not a Vista hater, and love it on my full sized (main computer) laptop but honestly, the atom doesn't handle the vista very well. It is sloooooooow! I am definately going to use the disks that came with it to UPGRADE to XP! But it would have been nice if it had come with XP loaded with disks for Vista for those that really wanted it. That is really my only gripe for this sweet little baby! And the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

I plan on loading the XP tonight, and I am hoping that that will change my rating to a 5!

UPDATE: Just loaded XP last night and this machine really hums now! I love it - and would give it 5 stars if I could change it! The install went well, just follow the instructions on the little pamphlet that comes with the machine. I had to go into device manager and manually update a few of the drivers but other then that, piece of cake! LOVE THIS LITTLE MACHINE!!!!!
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on May 4, 2009
This "netbook" basically has all the features any real notebook would have except a dual core processor. You get a decent sized hard drive, plenty of RAM (more than the Atom processor can use), discrete graphics, Vista, great battery life, Bluetooth, and lots of ports. The specs are such that you actually can use this netbook as your primary computer. There is no optical drive, which allows the netbook to stay small and light.

The N10J is kind of a niche product. If you were a typical netbook user (internet, word processing, etc.), you would probably want a lighter, cheaper netbook. If you were interested in discrete graphics, you would probably want a dual core processor and more screen resolution. So, what's the point of a souped-up netbook?

As I see it, the N10J is a highly portable netbook/notebook uniquely suited for two purposes:
1. Playing moderately demanding games
2. Using an external monitor

In my case, I was looking for something that could do both. The N10J is one of the few netbooks with HDMI. While the Dell Mini 10 and the Samsung NC10 have this feature also, the specs and features are way better on the N10J, making it much more functional as a primary computer. The N10J doesn't have the most amazing graphics card, but it actually compares well to pretty much all the other sub-15" notebooks out there, especially for the price. I doubt it will run the latest games, but I find that it runs older games very well, even on high settings. I don't have any recent games, but apparently it can run newer, moderately demanding games just fine.

Since I chose the N10J to be my primary computer, my biggest concern was trying to get by with an Atom processor. Overall, I find that while the Atom processor can be pretty slow, it is worth giving up the processing power for the size and price. The limitations can be annoying - Vista startup is horrible (~2 mins, down from 4+ mins), installing programs takes forever, and ripping mp3s in CDex using the processor intensive VBR algorithms is unbelievably slow. However, even though Atom is pretty weak, most "real" programs don't ever use a huge portion of the processing capacity unless you really try. I actually have no problems with the processor as long as I avoid running more than about three large programs simultaneously. I wouldn't recommend lots of video editing or extensive batch processing in Photoshop, but typical use of large programs really shouldn't be a problem. Since coming out of sleep or hibernation is actually pretty fast, I generally avoid the slow startup altogether. So far, the limitations of the Atom processor haven't been severe enough for me to bother downgrading to Windows XP or overclocking the processor as many N10J owners do.

If you are planning on using the N10J as your primary computer, I suggest you know a bit about controlling background processes. Since the Atom processor is not dual core, the background processes really can kill performance, so you need to know how to keep them under control. (You don't have a backup core when a background process starts hogging resources.) I definitely recommend disabling the pre-installed Google Desktop and Norton Internet Security. Also, I added an $8 4GB SD card for ReadyBoost which helps a bit.

With an external monitor this is an excellent setup. You get the best of both worlds - a tiny computer and a huge screen. The performance of the Atom processor is good enough, unless you regularly do a lot of fairly processor intensive tasks. It's probably even better if you downgrade to Windows XP and overclock the processor.
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on January 25, 2009
The first thing I noticed when I received it was that it was well packaged.I took it out of the box put the battery in and it fired right up. It looks great. It took about 10 minutes to configure Vista Biz but after the configuration I think the boot up time is not bad considering the tiny size of this unit.

I setup my Sprint air card and installed my compiler and favorite program editor and I can literally take this thing anywhere. This is absolutely a great little machine.

Update: I liked this unit so well I bought 4 more of them for the inspectors at my company. These units are small and light and perfect for our inspectors that have to roam the plant floor.
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on April 16, 2009
This is a great little computer. Only thing making it bad is the problem getting VISTA off of it. It should only come with XP-Pro loaded, if they user wants to slow it down let them mess with puting the "option" of vista-business on.
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on March 22, 2009
Well, I've had this thing for over a month now. It's sturdy, sleek looking, and I am overall pretty pleased with my purchase. Some of the features that I really appreciate about this (when comparing it to other netbooks) are the following:
HDMI output
nVidia GeForce 9300m graphics card
and the 6-cell battery that gives it some really great battery life.
2 gigs of ram as opposed to the 1 that many other netbooks have.

The downsides to this include:
The screen could have been bigger to fill the space.. I mean, as long as the space is there, we may as well have a larger screen.
I wouldn't have minded a little more ram, even if 2 gigs is better than 1, I think 3 or 4 would have been even better. I mean, why not, RAM is cheap right?
The worst thing is the limitations that the Atom 1.6 ghz processor imposes on this system. Right now I give this thing 3 out of 5 stars, but if this thing had a fast enough processor to match the rest of it's great features, I might have given it 5 out of 5.

But, again... it is a netbook. At the moment, I don't know of any more powerful netbooks, tho I'm sure they will eventually come. So, I don't have any regret for having bought it.

I have heard of people overclocking the cpu on this thing and as a result being able to run some newer games that you wouldn't expect any netbook to be able to handle. So, if you want to risk it, that is an option.
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on April 14, 2010
Paid a premium to get this special version of the ASUS N10J. This is the only net book I know of that came with 2 gig of RAM because Microsoft mandated that net books running their OS (comes with Vista Business and downgrade to XP) were to be limited to a max of 1 gig. As most other net books, it is powered by the feeble Atom processor, but with that extra gig of RAM it runs pretty well and performs like a larger, low-end laptop but if you need a combination of power and portability, this is the one you should get. This net book also has pretty good switchable graphics so you can select low res for battery saving or the NVidia card for better look and performance.
As always, the tech marches onward and forward as newer net books come on to the market, but this ASUS Net book worked well enough so that when circumstances forced me to telecommute because it was powerful enough to handle all of my tasks remotely and my soft phone. Well worth the money, but if you missed it, too bad. Sweet looking machine when you have it on your lap.

It can also handle World of Warcraft using the NVidia card and medium settings.
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on March 2, 2009
I bought this laptop as a replacement for a 3 year old Fujitsu Lifebook that died recently. I prefer small/light laptops for travel purposes, but plug it in to a monitor, mouse and keyboard when in the office. First of all the keyboard is fantastic for the size computer this is, much better than my small Fujitsu. Secondly, the fact that a downgrade (or is that upgrade) to XP was very nice and was the first thing I did. Worked without a hitch. I wasn't sure how well I would like the fingerprint reader, but in the end it works well and seems secure. The video camera works great too with Skype. You can boot the computer into a Linux shell quickly and use a browser, Skype, and a few other apps without having to get into Windows. It is quick and works pretty well but has locked up a couple of times. I paid over $2K for the Fujitsu. This computer has more memory, larger hard drive, better CPU and graphics for less than 1/2 the price.
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