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This review is from: ASUS Eee PC 1215B-PU17-BK 12.1-Inch Netbook (Black) (Personal Computers)-- Upgrade Update (7/27/11) --:
As promised I got the crucial m4 SSD and 8gb of ram installed. The perfect word to describe performance is snappy. The upgrades don't make the 1215b a performance laptop by any means, but all the usual tasks that one would use a netbook for are quick to load, quick to respond, and a pleasure to use. Installation was easier than expected, especially considering you basically have to dismantle the 1215b to access the hard drive. The biggest speed difference is in start up and shut down time. Cold startups take 30 seconds for Windows to load and I haven't even make any modifications to see if that can be faster. Remember this is 30 seconds on a netbook processor! Shut down is 6.7 seconds!
The upgrades make this system the most expensive netbook I have ever heard of, and there is quite a bit of completion our there in the $600 range, but I honestly can say because I do the basics a lot and never really need a powerful processor expect for HD video I prefer to have this expensive but portable netbook with great battery life as opposed to any other more powerful laptop out there.
-- Update (7/20/11) --:
I have had the 1215b for a few months now and I want to address an issue that has arisen for me.
I said in my original review that I did not have the track pad issues many people have mentioned. Well, about a week ago I started experiencing problems. I did a little digging and the problem stems from the poor placement of a pad under the track pad which is interfering with an electrical relay and frankly doesn't even need to be there. Removing the pad is a 5 minute fix and seems to fix the problem for most everyone. You do not need to void your warranty to do this and you do not need to be super tech savy to do the fix yourself. Please leave me a comment if you need additional explanation. I will post a link below, but I believe Amazon will remove the link in this review so go to the comments section where I will repost the link.
When I originally bought this netbook I wanted just that: a netbook. However, the 1215b is so close to having true laptop performance that I was inspired to spend some money to really get it there. In the coming days I will be installing 8gb of ram (up from the 4gb I already upgraded to), and a 64gb Crucial m4 SSD. The biggest bottleneck in this thing (granting the processor) seems to be the hard drive so I am really looking forward to seeing what happens with the upgrade. The ram upgrade is really just for peace of mind. To upgrade with the 8gb of ram and 64gb SSD will cost an additional $174. We will see if the performance of this thing basically costing $600 is worth it.
The fact that I am willing to invest even more money in this thing is the best indicator of my time with it. I really do love this machine and, given the fix for the track pad, now have no hesitations in recommending it to anyone that wants a netbook, or even to someone who wants a laptop but is on a tight budget. Most consumers waste their money on ultra powerful processors and 16gb of ram. If a computer can surf the web, send email, run the Microsoft Office suite, do some light gaming, and play video (including Youtube, Netflix, and digital copy) both in SD and HD quality, while getting 5-7 hours of battery life, I really believe 70% of consumers would be completely happy. The 1215b does all this easily and can also be used for light photoshop use and slingbox access, as well as music editing, and light video editing. I know the 1215b can handle all this because I have done every one of these activities on this machine.
If I were you I would wait till the back to school sales start to see if you can little price drop on the 1215b, but I really do think it is worth the $430 asking price.
-- Original Review --
The following are the answers to everything I wanted to know before purchase:
Comes with 1 usb 3.0 port, 2 usb 2.0 ports
Comes with Windows Home Premium 64 bit
300gb of usable hard drive space. Asus has this partitioned into one 100gb partition and another 188gb partition. I have no idea why. You can easily combine the partitions in Windows 7 to give you a 300gb hard drive.
This is the matte black version. No gloss on the outside, but there is gloss on the keyboard area (not on the keys themselves). The bezel and screen are also gloss.
True to what amazon says the 1215b comes with 2 ram slots. One slot is occupied by a 2gb stick. If you want to upgrade you will need a 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module. I have installed the extra 2gb (4gb total) and while there isn't a massive performance difference, I would still recommend this relatively cheap upgrade. Here is a link to the correct ram on amazon: 2GB 204-PIN Sodimm DDR3
I haven't conducted any scientific battery tests, but without trying to save battery life (max brightness and video playing while web surfing using wifi) you can expect about 3.5-5 hours of life in max performance mode. I clean installed my 1215b and have put Windows 7 Ultimate on it. When I try to get the max battery life, by switching to power save mode and turning brightness down to 25%, I'm getting about 7 hours (no video playing, but I am surfing the net)
I have no problems with any video. 720p and 1080p play from the hard drive just fine (K lite codec pack installed). No problems with any of the resolutions available from Youtube, Hulu or Netflix either. I've used both Firefox and Chrome with the same results. Just a side note here. I have been a loyal Firefox user for years, but I do use chrome on the 1215b. Firefox is the only program which just has unacceptable load times on the 1215b. It is only the first load that take a while, but I do recommend Chrome with this netbook.
I'm upgrading from an original atom processor, and the 1215b feels snappy and smooth in comparison. I always saw my atom netbook as a netbook, but the 1215b feels like a laptop as far as speed is concerned. The size is just perfect. The 10 and 11 inch screens always seem a bit too small, while the 13 inch laptops don't feel portable enough. This is a nice compromise. The build quality is excellent for any laptop, and outstanding for a netbook. It feels very solid, and I would not hesitate to throw this is my bag and run to catch the bus.
I have had absolutely no heat problems. The fan is inaudible as far as I am concerned. The hard drive was actually quite noisy when I turn the unit on the first time. After I went through the initial setup process (which took forever) the unit restarted itself and the hard drive has been very silent ever since. I don't know why it was loud to begin with, but it is not an issue after the initial setup.
Screen is perfectly acceptable. I am used to a 27inch iMac at home so this obviously does not compare, but compared to other laptops I have seen the 1215b is upper middle class.
Overall I have no buyers remorse. I held off getting an ion netbook because no one seemed to be able to get the exact configuration I needed. The 1215b seems to get everything right. Please post questions in the comments area if you have any. I will be checking frequently so your questions will most likely get answered. I don't do any gaming so for gaming questions you are on your own.
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 53 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2011 5:44:14 AM PDT
Con Sumer says:
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 6:27:17 PM PDT
Kevin G says:
mine also has usb 3.0 but only had 32bit w7hp installed. wacky stuff with this model.
Posted on Apr 16, 2011 12:17:41 AM PDT
Y. LIU says:
Hello Adam, have u upgrade the ram to 4G? what is the brand of the ram installed on this 1215B? where can i buy another 2G ram ? Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2011 10:07:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2011 10:14:31 AM PDT
Y. LIU: True to what amazon says the 1215b comes with 2 ram slots. One slot is occupied by a 2gb stick and I have a second 2gb stick in the mail right now. I took a look at the ram specs on Newegg and bought from Crucial's website. You want a 2GB, 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module. I cannot guarantee compatibility until I install it on Tuesday and test it, but I believe this is correct. I will post a link below to the ram I bought:
And here is the same ram on amazon 2GB 204-PIN Sodimm DDR3
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2011 1:21:17 PM PDT
Thanks for the review. Mine came with one USB 3.0 port and a 64 bit version of 7 home premium. I upgraded mine with a 2GB stick I bought from New Egg. As long as you get DDR3-PC3-10600 memory it should work. One thing I have noticed is how quiet the fan is especially compared to the K 325 chip by AMD. The new chip seems to run much cooler has slightly better graphics and uses less energy as well. If you are a fan of ASUS products, you will love it. Also the 12.1" screen size is perfect, I am a fan of the 11.6" screens by Lenovo and Toshiba and I find the 12.1" size to be a better overall compromise between viewable area and portability.
Posted on Apr 17, 2011 12:00:34 PM PDT
C F says:
This netbook sounded perfect and I was ready to order one until I read the 1 star reviews on the similiar model 1215N. It seems there is a problem with the central pin on the power plug being very fragile and breaking off. If this happens, the machine cannot be charged. Does the 1215B look like it might have the same fragile, easily broken pin? Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 1:12:24 PM PDT
Cheryl: I haven't seen the 1215n in person, but from the descriptions I have read of the problem online, I would say the 1215n and 1215b have the same power plug design. I get the impression that people are over exaggerating the fragility of the pin. It certainly isn't the most robust design, and Asus probably should resign it in the future, but with a reasonable level of precaution I believe the pin will last just fine. I do get the impression that if someone tripped over the power cord while it was plugged in, and it strongly tugged on the pin it may indeed break. Other than this circumstance (which I'll admit probably happens a lot to some people) I wouldn't be concerned about a breakage.
If the 1215b has everything you want, and the only reason you wouldn't get one is because of concern for the power pin, I'd say go ahead and make the purchase. Just be wary of this design flaw and be gentle with the pin. I've read the forums regarding this issue and I really think people are blaming the hardware for breaking because they don't want to blame themselves for being negligent. That's just my 2 cents.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 4:46:39 PM PDT
Cisco Kid says:
Excellent review Adam! I'm going to buy one including the extra RAM. Anything I need to be mindful of when installing the RAM? Regards
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 5:07:06 PM PDT
Cisco Kid: 2 things. 1. There is a rubber pad over the screw that opens the door to the ram slots. The rubber pad just pulls off. Only reason I mention it is because people may think its glued on or something. 2. The door is difficult to open if you are trying to use just your hands. Get a credit card and use that to pop the door off. The gap isn't very big so you'll have to use some force to get the card in there, but once you get it in the door should pop right off. Hope all goes well. Let me know how you like when it comes.
One piece of advise is to let the battery drain to empty then charge full then drain to empty again. Do this 3-4 times. It conditions the battery and give you the maximum battery life the battery can offer.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 5:59:01 PM PDT
Cisco Kid says:
Thanks again Adam, I can hardly wait! Regards