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Asus EeePC 1201T Review

The Asus Seashell design was continued with the introduction of the Eee PC 1201T, a 12-inch AMD Athlon-powered netbook. We took the unit for a spin and shared my verdict in the review below.

The Intel version, which is the 1201N with Atom N330 dual core and nVidia Ion, will not be released by Asus in the Philippines. But that shouldn’t prevent you from seeing some units sold in the grey market.

If you’re familiar with the Seashell 1008HA and 1005HA, the 1201T is the 12.1″ version with respect to design and construction — slim and tapered at the edges.

The unit is glossy all over — from the lid, to the keyboard panel and the palm rest — so expect a lot of smudges and fingerprints when using this. Some people like it, others hate this type of piano-black finish.

The chiclet-type keyboard is well-spaced although the individual keys are a bit small and prone to slipping when touch-typing. I kinda liked that style though.

The display screen is 12.1″ in diagonal and has a resolution of 1366×768 pixels. The glossy screen is bright and crisp — a big disadvantages when used outdoor because of the glare.

When I ran Windows Experience Index, the processor got a rating of 3.2. This is 0.1 higher than the same Athlon MV-40 on the ThinkPad X100e (WEI: 3.1) because I installed 64-bit version of Windows 7. More benchmark information here using PassMark. Here’s a comparison against the ThinkPad X100e with the same CPU and GPU.


Now at least we know that 64-bit OS does some improvements on performance. There’s also a difference in the GPU performance but that’s for another entry. I guess the most revealing about this CPU is that it can’t play YouTube HD (720p) smoothly — playback is choppy at best. It can play Full HD 1080p video files but that’s because of the help of the GPU.

One unique design feature of the Asus 1201T is that the trackpad area is continuous with the palm rest and that it’s pimpled (dotted like that of a Braille). This gives you some tactile feedback and I think works very well. The other drawback though is that the left and right click buttons are not separated.

The system is pre-installed with the Asus Express Gate, a quick-boot OS that allows for basic functions like instant messaging, browsing, games, video and photos. It’s a nice feature that’s built into the system and saves a lot of time when you’re in a hurry to get connected and just wanted to do a quick check.

As for battery life, the 6-cell battery only provides up to 2.5 hours but that’s because of the low rating of 4400mAh. I reckon if it had been 5600mAh, it could do about 3.25 hours. The Athlon CPU and Radeon HD3200 graphics are really juice-guzzlers.

The unit sells for Php21,900 without an OS — pretty affordable price if you asked me. However, the poor battery life and slightly above average performance of the CPU isn’t something to be too excited about.

In some respects, it’s actually better than a regular Atom-powered netbook with a 3-cell battery selling at the same price point. At the same time, if you compare this to the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e which has the same specs, the Eee PC 1201T looks attractive with the Php21,900 but don’t forget you still need to shell out some more money for the operating system.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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87 Responses

  1. michelle says:

    how the keyboard spacing? that’s been my problem with eeePc brands, its too small (even for a normal sized hands/fingers)..

  2. techiebohol says:

    nice one… mine is 1000HE, this one has better features ;)

  3. Jerome says:

    I wonder when the 1201n will come out. Nice sexy and slim exterior for this unit.

  4. Jay says:

    “The Intel version, which is the 1201N with Atom N330 dual core and nVidia Ion, will not be released by Asus in the Philippines”

    ~will not be released YET or NEVER?
    another marketing strategy of Asus to delay the cream of the EEE just to have their products get sold, pretty lame considering Pinoys can afford to buy a netbook.

    nobody will stop our ever dependable tsinoy communities in getting this baby (asus1201n) into retail soon.

  5. JKisaragi says:

    “The Intel version, which is the 1201N with Atom N330 dual core and nVidia Ion, will not be released by Asus in the Philippines.”

    Holy! At least I won’t have to wait to buy myself a notebook/netbook. *starts looking for something else*

    Sir Yuga, do you have any recommendations for a lappy below 30k?

    I still haven’t got me one because it’s very hard to decide (a whole lot out of laptops out there).

    Was thinking of buying this one, however with the performance and battery life, I think I’d rather get me a notebook instead.

    Uses would be generally for typing and multimedia (just sick of sitting in front of my desktop).

    Is Acer a good brand for laptops? @[email protected]

  6. Rich558 says:

    Battery life on my 1201T usually averages 4.5 hours while surfing with wifi on in Market Market. This laptop is amazing! It blows any Atom N270/N280 netbook clear out of the water! It even bested my Toshiba L505 with dual core pentium processor since the 1201T can play the latest First Person Shooter 3d games with no hiccups. Anyone looking at the expensive Intel CULVs should take a serious look at the 1201T since it offers just a little CPU performance difference (3.2 WEI versus around 3.9 WEI for CULVs) AND it has a great GPU which can play games – for HALF the price of an Intel CULV laptop!

  7. jojo says:

    how does this athlon cpu compare with atom n330? have you done any comparison between the two?

  8. Rich558 says:

    Asus 1201N with Atom N330, Processor WEI is 3.3. Almost just the same as the MV40. But the N330 was originally meant to be used for nettops and was not optimized to be used for netbooks. Asus can’t place a regular N270/N280 (or Pinetrail, I assume) on a laptop with a 12 inch screen because of strict hardware specification restrictions by Intel.


  9. Jhay says:

    I had a try of the new pimpled trackpad on my Professor’s Asus netbook, forgot the exact model, and it didn’t feel right. It was not that responsive and the click buttons were too stiff by my reckoning.

  10. Jon says:

    It’s surprising to find netbooks getting even more cheaper, and getting faster. Battery life sucks though. This would be horrible for someone who is frequently away from an AC outlet.

  11. Rich558 says:

    Regarding the battery life – the only way you’re only just going to get 2.5 hours out of the 6 cell battery is if you watch a video continuously or if you play a game which uses the GPU continuously. For all other uses, it would definitely average more than 4 hours.

  12. Ramkumar says:

    The Performance is 1201T is really good. Talking about the battery life, isnt 4 hours very less?

  13. it would have been better if they slap Intel into it, which comes into my question, why are most 11.6 to 12 inchers mostly sport AMD + ATI combo. cost-implication?

  14. Jazon says:

    “don’t forget you still need to shell out some more money for the operating system.”

    you forget that Linux is free, sir.

  15. Fonz says:

    2.5 hours? You serious? I just got mine last week and it lasts over 3 1/2 hours minimum (wifi on, brightness 50%, web browsing) on Win 7 power saver settings, untweaked. Perhaps you didn’t switch it to power saver settings. Besides, a little tweaking with RMClock and Catalyst easily ups the battery life to 6 hours. And seriously, the reviewer should learn a few more things before writing this so-called “review”. Heck, there aren’t even benchmarks! 3DMark and PCMark benchmarks at least. Also, nothing on CPU and GPU temps, build quality, etc, etc. This post should be considered an unboxing or hands-on. The only reason I was searching for reviews is if my personal unit stacks up to everyone else’s to see if I’m doing anything wrong. Too bad this is the only “review” I found.

    @ everyone else asking about the Atom vs Athlon Neo MV-40

    The Athlon Neo MV-40 rapes the Atom ezpz performance-wise. Nuff’ said.

    MSI also has this new laptop, the MSI U230. It’s similar to the ASUS 1201T, but has the dual core Athlon Neo X2 L335 instead. Wish I got that one, but the 1201T looks much better IMO.

  16. yuga says:

    @jamez – yeah, but when I asked the store why they didn’t put Linux and just DOS, they said people prefer to spend for Windows 7.

    @fonz & rick558 – can you check the battery and see what’s the mAh rating on your unit? Mine’s 4400 mAh. Maybe yours is the 5600mAh model. Can you also download BatteryBar and see if you get the same results as the one I got from it?

    @fonz – where you referring to the benchmarks for CPUs like this one — WEI of Netbook CPUs. I do the PCMarks on a different entry on the PCLabs blog and just link to it. I also don’t do Power Saving settings as it will skew comparisons with other netbooks/notebooks I’ve tested before.

    @james – AMD actually refers to it as Athlon Neo. And yes, the price point should drive other brands to re-think theirs.

  17. Yes. Sorry for that, its Athlon.

    By the way, I am getting problem with this unit on Ubuntu. Wireless adapter is not working out of the box. I am using Ubuntu 9.10. I tried ndiswrapper fix, but nothing happened. :) This quite disappointing. The wifi card doesn’t also have a driver for linux. :(

  18. Rand Al Thor! says:


    My friend from Fizzer.ph recommended your post when I was looking for review of this netbook. Thanks for posting it!

  19. Jazon says:

    Yes, sir, most people would prefer what they are comfortable with or that which they only know. I think one of the advantages of selling a netbook (or PC/notebook for that matter) without an OS is for the customer to have a choice. If I choose Linux as my OS (and likely I would), not only will I save a few thousand pesos, I got myself a secure, stable OS.

    Anyway I think a netbook performance comparison between the two OSes could be a great article. In my friend’s netbook (MSI Wind U230) Linux Mint played HD videos better than Win 7 (no stuttering). Maybe you could do more formal tests.

    Thanks and please keep testing and writing!!!

  20. momet says:

    I bought the asus 1201n last christmas outside phil. it rocks!

    sad about 1201t is that no HDMI?

    rumors now is that 1201n is available at makati parksquare

  21. I got wifi working on Ubuntu: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=8754255&postcount=5

    This instruction is straight forward. Just make sure you have installed linux headers and the build essentials to enable compilation of sources from your Ubuntu.

  22. borgy says:

    considering the MSI Wind U230 has a dual core AMD CPU, better battery life and only ~2-2.5k difference (i saw one sold bnew online for 24k, no OS), the 1201T doesn’t look very enticing.:(

  23. Malato Dimayuga says:

    Hi Yuga,

    Can this play hd videos? also how many ram slot does it have?


  24. Rich558 says:

    Asus (together with Toshiba) is #1 in reliability according to a recent 3-year survey (even beating Apple, which, by the way, Asus also manufactures Macbooks for). MSI? Never had one and I don’t know anyone who’s ever owned one so I can’t say anything about its reliability.

  25. Rich558 says:

    @ Yuga – We have the same 4400 mAh battery. Try doing an actual battery rundown test instead of relying on BatteryBar. I recommend that you do a “heavy” test and a “light” test to see the upper and lower limits. My 1201T is consistently getting 4.5 hours with wifi on and surfing. I’ll try playing an FPS game continuously this weekend if I have time to check how short the battery will last on high GPU load.

    • yuga says:

      @Rich558 – yes, I’ve done 4 or 5 actual battery tests since last month and have not reached your average 4.5 hours. The longest I’ve gone with this unit is just 3.5 hour but that’s with the lowest LCD brightness and Power Saver mode.

      I used BatteryBar as the “average” indicator so there will be an objective comparison against all the other netbooks I’ve tested.

      You are right though that the battery life can be stretched but that means I have to also do the same “settings” with all other netbooks/notebooks/laptops.

      By using some formula using mAh and wH, I can do a chart for all of them with an objective result. That’s just the baseline and all other optimizations to extend battery life can be applied on all of them.

      Thanks for your input.

  26. yuga says:

    @momet – will check it out. thanks for the tip!

    @rich558 – I’ve tried several MSI Wind series – U100, U123 and U210 — and the construction is a bit flimsy.

    @james – it’s an uphill battle though.

    @malato – yes, it can play HD. Just 1 RAM slot though.

    @jazon – will see what I can do. Thanks for the tip!

  27. Rich558 says:

    @ Yuga – Thanks for the clarification Yuga. Though it might be a little better if the battery life phraseology was changed from “the battery only provides up to x hours” to something like “the battery provides an average of x hours”; or “the battery lasts from x hours with light usage to x hours with heavy usage”. If we say that “the battery only provides up to x hours” it implies that the figure is the upper limit and normal use would get a lower figure.

    Great blog by the way! Best Pinoy tech blog by far.

  28. ethanhunt says:


    Could you make some comparison between this netbook and MSI U210/230. (include their other variants/options)


  29. Rich558 says:

    @Yuga – I downloaded Batterybar and I got the following battery information for my 1201T:

    Percent: 93.4%
    Capacity: 43,718 mWh of 46,850 mWh
    Discharge Rate: -8,888 mW
    Battery: 4:24 (Discharging)
    Full Lifetime: 4:45
    A/C: Disconnected
    Battery Wear: 0.0% of 46,440 mWh

    This is with 50% brightness settings and with Wifi on.

    Together with Fonz in the comments above plus another reviewer in Netbooks Philippines, I believe that we all get significantly more than the 2.5 hours out of the battery. I consistently get 4.5 hours, Fonz gets more than 3.5 (up to 6 according to his comment) and the guy at Netbooks Philippines gets 4 hours.

    Did you install all the drivers properly? How about the Super Hybrid Engine driver?

  30. yuga says:

    @rich558 – thanks for sharing that info! The discrepancy is in the discharge rate. Mine is about -22k mW and yours is just under -9k mW which is more than twice.

    I will try and go for the lowest settings and double-check on the Hybrid Engine drivers.

  31. cyberteach says:

    Hello everyone!
    I’ve been using this baby for almost a month and I’m loving the glossy design, full scale chicklet keyboard, multi touch features, its light weight which easy to carry with wherever you goes and it doesn’t overheat compared to my eee pc 701 and Lenovo S10.

    I would like to clarify bout your post that your batt took only 2.5 hours, how? Mine last for 4 hours in balance mode. And in power saver mode its more than 4 hours (wifi on, brightness 45%). BTW. I’m using Win7 Home Premium.

  32. yuga says:

    Hello Guys,

    Was able to bring down the mW discharge of my unit to around -9 to -12mW but running the Super Hybrid Engine (underclocking to 1.4GHz) and reducing the screen brightness to 40%. That gives me about 4 hours to 4.5 hours on WiFi.

    Thanks for the tips.

  33. Rich558 says:

    @Yuga – Glad that you’re getting better battery life now Yuga.

    On a seperate note, does your 1201T come with bluetooth? I’m not sure if my unit has it, I haven’t been able to activate it through the drivers dvd.

  34. After almost 10 days of using this, I am quite satisfied with the performance of this notebook on Ubuntu. It gives me 3-3.5 hours battery life. That’s cool enough.

    The only disappointment I encountered with this unit was the earphone jack. They are located on the right side – which is my right hand is in place while using my mouse. And also, the earphone jack are slightly closed to the upper part of the laptop, near the side of the keyboard, which makes the earphone plug not fully plugged.

    Two USB ports are also located on the right side.

    Overall, this laptop does the work to me. Does not heat up very much unlike my old Packard Bell laptop. And with 1366 x 768 resolution with super bright screen, this laptop does very well.

  35. Momet says:

    1201n available next week

  36. tin says:

    “The Intel version, which is the 1201N with Atom N330 dual core and nVidia Ion, will not be released by Asus in the Philippines.” Why is this not yet been corrected? The 1201n is coming this week in the Philippines, as confirmed by ASUS.

  37. tin says:

    “The Intel version, which is the 1201N with Atom N330 dual core and nVidia Ion, will not be released by Asus in the Philippines.” Why is this not yet corrected? The 1201n is coming this week in the Philippines, as confirmed by ASUS.

  38. Momet says:

    1201n start delivery tomorrow, give details later :)

  39. xtian says:

    @ momet any update??

  40. Momet says:

    check out, sm north, parksquare and trinoma, availalbe today hot item (1201n)

  41. kyla says:

    @momet: hi! is there a specific store that carries the asus 1201N? thanks!

  42. tin says:

    @ all
    available in electroworld and pc corner

    please be responsible when blogging, as there are some who jumped the gun thinking 1201n will not be released here.

    • yuga says:

      @tin – I got my information from two sources — the store where I bought the 1201T and an editor of a tech magazine.

      I will verify this with Asus PR and/or Asus Marketing to get the official statement.

      As of today, there has been no announcement from Asus about 1201N being officially released in the Philippines. The only announcement slated in the coming weeks is the Karim Rashid edition (Eee PC 1005P).

      It is also possible that these units arrived thru back-channels or gray market.

      Did you just bought one?

  43. Jonathan says:

    It’s true guys! 1201N would be here! (it’s here already)

    Look at this link:

    I’m planning to buy either 1201N or MSI U230 which do you think would be better?

  44. kyla says:

    Asus 1201N already available in Complink, Megamall. SRP is PhP26,900 and may be applied for SIP or 0% interest payments.

  45. FOX says:

    truly is .. super available na ang 1201N last week of Feb pa and I bought myself one the other day,… sweeeeeet! .. a sexy black 1201N with its dashing specs .. hehe..this baby could do more, a powerful netbook indeed! .. u guys post a topic regarding this unit so we could all share our thoughts bout it! lookin’ forward ayt! ;)

  46. Momet says:

    1201np coooming haaayy

  47. Apple says:

    Bought my ASUS 1201T @ PC CORNER GREENHILLS VIRRA MALL last Feb 28. I noticed that there was something wrong with the keyboard especially on the left side,a bit soft whenever you press the keys TAB, Q, W, CAPS LOCK A, S the keys around seems to go down as well. So I called the store to inform them that I will bring the unit so they can check it and also to remind them that they should have a unit ready in case they have to replace it. I went to the store today they check the unit and compared it with the stock they have and guess what? It has flex too. So my unit was not replaced it seems that all asus 1201t has keyboard flex issue. Is it true? please help what should I do?

  48. FOX says:

    Apple, we have the same prob. I have 1201N but I guess the exterior and design are same as yours (1201T) .. I have problem with ALT key, in which when I press it, the upper side will come loose and will incline upwards (they said defect in lock). I jut got to the store today where I bought the unit and they said they will forward it to the supplier and in case they could not fix it, they will replace the whole keyboard (not the unit) .. so i guess u suggest to the store to instead replacing the unit, they should replace the whole keyboard because it’s definitely a bothersome to you.

  49. Apple says:

    Tnx Fox..pagbalik ko ulit greenhills ipapa RMA ko na. Before under pa kc ng 7 days outright warranty kaya dapat nila palitan ng bago kung defective nga. Sabi nung staff ganun daw tlaga ung ASUS EEE PC 1201 kc ung nasa ilalim daw nung left side ng keyboard FAN kaya wala daw support prang malambot pag ngtype, then nung i compare pa nila sa stock nila gnun din nga yung keyboard may flex din. Inisip ko cguro gnun nga tlga ung keyboard ng 1201 di na ko nakipag argue. Wala rin kc ko masyadong mkitang store na may ASUS 1201 di ko na i compare sa iba pa.

  50. Rich558 says:


    There’s a little flex in my 1201t but it really doesn’t bother me. You won’t notice it unless you look down on your keyboard while typing. Anyway, no modern ultraslim laptop keyboard can every measure to the superb keyboards of the IBM X series from the early part of this decade.

  51. jen says:

    how much?

  52. jenny dela cruz says:

    @sir yuga!(2 everyone)
    sir can u help me find a lappy which below 30k,mini laptops where i could play Online games! there is nice graphics,speed,ram! i’m really confused which one could buy!too many laptop in the market and im not so good in criticizing the unit! Then one thing also, i want to buy the item here in davao any store you know?
    suggestion plz….^_^

  53. jenny dela cruz says:

    i saw asus n10 is it better than asus

  54. neil says:

    I plan on buying HP 311..Happy to have thought twice.ASUS offers this, cheaper, with better specs…

    Hoping to see 1201N soon..

  55. FOX says:


    Asus 1201N is a good choice for you. This netbook has a superb performance for gaming ;)

  56. ARON PAUL says:

    i bought 1201t last april 19 its cool, and seems very good for me. but i have some difficulties using my touch pad .

  57. tl says:

    stay away; this site infects computer with trojans. This has happened over several months. That tells me they have not caught it and liekly intend to infect others.

  58. ronald26 says:

    i just bought this and im having quite a problem playing videos.my vids are all pixelized.do you have any idea how to solve it?thanx!

  59. Mario says:

    I don’t know if my 1201t has set-up problem. I thought the upper left switch is used to disable the scratchpad but I get no response once I press it or even using the Fn+F4 does not disable the scratchpad as well. Please help…thanks

  60. rajeev says:

    From where i can buy in india… I saw one option and it costs around 500USD
    anybody suggest any other source of purchase?

  61. Rains Bautista says:

    Pwede kayang mag-Photoshop dito? Can games like Plants vs Zombies and Mystery Case Files be played in this netbook?

  62. John Cruze says:

    The Assus EEE PC 1201T is also very nice but its 2GB Ram maximim capacity is holding me back from buying it…I would still prefer the Lenovo Thinkpad X100e

  63. Mickey says:

    msi wind u135 vs asus eeepc 1201T san mas ok???

  64. tipsntricks says:

    The only con of this netbook is the battery.

  65. Thank you, I’ve been looking for facts about this subject matter for ages and yours is the best I’ve found so far.

  66. jego207 says:

    We’ve been using the Asus 1201T for almost a year now. It’s light, durable, and versatile. Sometime’s you forget that it’s a netbook. I think prices are from P21k to P14k and upgraded with higher specs. I recommend this for portable computing.

  67. a says:

    asus 1201T vs 1201B vs 1201N? which one is the best?

  68. Ces says:

    I’ve been using this laptop for nearly a year, and so far, I’m satisfied with its performance. However, one of the keys is no longer functioning. I called the service center and was informed that it will cost me Php 2,300 for the whole keyboard replacement and 2 to 7 days of servicing. Does anyone know how I can replace just that one dysfunctional key? Service center recommendations would be helpful. Thanks!

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