When speaking about netbooks, Asus’s EEE PCs automatically come to ones mind. This mini laptop series has come a long way in its short life (as it was launched only a couple of years ago), and this year, Asus decided to redesign their EEE PC family altogether. In this post we’re going to talk about their 10 inch line as we know it right now, ready to hit the stores soon, with the premium Asus 1025CE, the mainstream 1025C and the entry level Asus X101CH ultraportables, all members of the new EEE PC Flare Family.
However, we’ll focus mainly on the 1025CE vs 1025C battle, as the gap between these two and the cheaper X101CH is quite massive.
So, the latter is going to be cheap, with starting prices going as low as $199 down the road (although at launch it will probably start at around $249). Like the other 10 inch EEE PCs announced so far for 2012, it is built on an Intel CedarTrail architecture, boosting the fanless Atom N2600 processor, 1 GB of RAM, HDD storage, a 3 Cell battery and Windows 7 Starter.
Yes, the CPU is slow, but it’s a dual-core processor capable of decent basic multitasking, and the graphics can deal with HD and even Full HD content, so it’s considerably faster than Intel’s PineTrail entry-level CPU, the single core Atom N455, the one we saw on entry level netbookslast year.
On the outside, there’s a textured plastic casing, nothing fancy, but not bad looking either, plus a decent keyboard and a matte display. As you can also see in this other post on the X101CH, this little machine is versatile, perfect if you want something inexpensive for school or traveling. But it was designed to be a budget option, not more.
Asus 1025C vs 1025CE EEE PCs – the similarities
On the other hand, the 1025C and 1025CE are a bit more stylish, while offering extra features and more powerful hardware. Of course, both will be available in a bunch of configurations, but based on the versions we tested, here are some of the similarities between the two:
- both are built on Intel CedarTrail platforms and offer the fastest (available right now) Atom N2800 processor as an option;
- both are offered with 6 Cell batteries, allowing up to 8-9 hours of life in everyday use (despite Asus claiming up to 12 hours);
- both come with quite good matte displays, with decent viewing angles and matte bezels (although there might be versions with glossy displays as well in the future);
- both are capable of multitasking and dealing with nearly all kinds of Full HD content, streamed or self-stored;
- both will be delivered with 1 GB of RAM, 320 GB HDDs, Windows 7 Starter;
- both offer a good keyboard and an accurate, although kind of short trackpad;
- both will be available in a bunch of colors;
- both offer HDMI video output (in fact all three new EEE PCs offer it).
Asus 1025CE vs 1025C EEE PCs- the differences
As for the differences, on a first look basis, there might not be so easy to spot, so check out that list bellow:
- while the 1025C will be offered with either an Atom N2600 or an N2800 processor, the 1025CE only comes with the faster option. Of course, more CPU options will be introduced over the year;
- the 1025C has a black-textured plastic bottom, while for the 1025CE, the bottom matches the smooth finish and the color of the lid cover;
- the plastic on the 1025CE’s casing feels a bit better than the one used on the 1025C, but that might be just my impression;
- the 1025CE has a sealed bottom, with no memory quick-access bay, while the 1025C does offer one (at least over here in Europe, as that might differ from region to region);
- the 1025C has upgradeable RAM, while the 1025CE might have the memory soldered on its motherboard (yet to be confirmed);
- the 1025CE will only be offered with a 6 Cell battery, while the cheaper 1025C will also have a 3 Cell battery option (once again, this might differ from region to region);
- you get Bluetooth 3.0 and an USB 3.0 slot on the Asus 1025CE, while the 1025C lacks these features;
- the 1025CE has a webcam with Privacy-cover and Zoom adjustment latch, while the 1025C has the previous generation basic webcam model;
- the 1025C is expected to start at around $299, while the 1025CE will be 20-30 bucks more expensive for an on-par configuration and should top at around $350 for the high-end version.
You can also find a video comparison between the two bellow, for extra details:
For the time being, there are still plenty of uncertainties regarding these mini laptops, as right now, in Mid February 2012, neither is yet available on the market. Thus, the post contains a bunch of speculations, based on the review units I got on my test-bench right now, that’s why you should expect plenty of updates coming in these next weeks, as questions will get answered.
Of course, I should mention that, because all these run on Intel’s CedarTrail platform, you can expect prices to drop in time. Plus, they might have some hidden issues due to immature drivers, which might take longer than potential customers would want. But of course, these are just speculations right now.
One thing is for sure though, we have to expect an AMD powered 10 incher in the new EEE PC Flare line, probably an Asus 1025B, that should give all these Intel machines a run for their money. No details on it yet, but soon…
Bottom point, with their three new lines of 10 inch netbooks, Asus tries to greet most, if not all, of their potential customers. There’s a cheap sturdy unit, the X101CH, a good all-rouder, the 1025C, and a premium offer with fancy looks and some extra features for those willing to spend a bit more, in order to get the best product, the 1025CE. And I for one am quite satisfied by this approach.
What do you guys think?