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Thinner Lighter Better

Asus 1015PEM reviewed – a winner with Atom N550 CPU and good price

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on November 8, 2013

I’ve been waiting to see the expected Asus EEE PC 1015PEM reviewed for a while and now it finally was. This is the first 10 incher from Asus to bring the dual-core N550 processor, so I had high expectations, as it was the first revolution to happen for 10 inch netbooks in a long time. But let’s see if this EEE PC is as good as expected or not.

First, do not get yourself over carried by the wave, this is still an Atom powered machine with integrated GMA 3150 graphics. So, with the dual-core CPU, we should see improvements in everyday performance, especially in multitasking, but not more. And these without sacrificing battery life.

The guys at Laptopmag.com managed to get their hands on one of these new Asus 1015PEM and give it a spin. Let’s take a look at the specs for the tested unit:

  • 10 inch 1024 x 600 px non-glare display
  • N550 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU + GMA 3150 graphics
  • 1 GB of DDR3 memory
  • 250 GB HDD
  • Wi-Fi N + Bluetooth 3.0 + USB 2.0 slots
  • 6 Cell 66 Wh battery
  • Windows 7 Starter

So, the 1015PEM is nearly identical with the mainstream Asus 1015PED. It comes with the same body, same matte finishing and color options, same chiclet keyboard/trackpad and almost the same specs, except for the CPU of course. Thus, it would be great to see how the two perform in comparison. Unfortunately, it seems that almost nobody tested the N475 equipped Asus 1015PED so far, so we hardly have any benchmark results.

However, we found some, and what’s important is that the 1015PED managed to score 1559 points in PCMark05 (source), while the 1015PEM scored 1729 (according to laptopmag). In comparison, the older generation 1015PEM with N450 processor only managed around 1400 points. This means that the 1015PEM is slightly better in this CPU synthetic tests, but how is this translated in everyday performance? Well, there is certainly an improvement.

Everyday use will be snappier, especially when running multiple applications at once. If 10 inch netbooks with single core CPUs choked when running a browser with a couple of TABs, text editor, chatting software and music player simultaneously, the 1015PEM will chuck less often and will perform smoother. However, do not expect wonders. Although the N550 dual-core processor is definitely superior to any Atom single core CPU, differences between them are still small.

Asus 1015PEM - with non glare screen, matte exterior available in different colors and overall more powerful than the standard 10 incher

Asus 1015PEM – with non glare screen, matte exterior available in different colors and overall more powerful than the standard 10 incher

Of course, graphics and games are still a no no for the Asus 1015PEM, although it will be able to run properly 720p self stored content with proper codecs on board. But that’s about all it would. For more, you should see the expected Asus 1015PN, with N550 + ION graphics.

What’s cool is that the 1015PEM equipped with the N550 processor managed to score more than 8 hours of life on a single charge. And this result is on real life tests and not on paper (where Asus claims up to 13 hours). So very good autonomy, managing to beat most 10 inch mini laptops on the market (but not the 1015PED or the previous generation 1015 PEM).

Another strong point for the Asus 1015PEM is it’s price. At $369 with Shipping included within US borders, it is actually only 10 bucks more expensive than the top 1015PED. And it is snappier, even though not by much, but at this level, every bit extra performance counts.

All in all, the Asus 1015PEM manages to meet my expectations. I was expecting it to be the fastest 10 inch mini laptop and it is. I was not dreaming for insane performance boosts, but I wanted an affordable device, snappier than average in everyday tasks and with good battery life. And this is exactly what the Asus EEE PC 1015PEM offers. That’s why this notebook is now a part of my list of recommended 10 inchers and I consider it the best option for a mini netbook available right now on the market.

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

21 Comments

  1. Fred

    September 30, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Firstly, congratulations on your site. I find it the most informative resource on netbooks on the internet.

    In this review, you state that “Although the N550 dual-core processor is definitely superior to any Atom single core CPU, differences between them are still small.”

    The Passmark score for the N450 was 321, whereas the N550 is 586. Does this near-doubling of scores not translate in real-life use?

    I’m looking forward to someone making a super-slim 10″ HD convertible tablet netbook with N550 and ION2 and HDMI out!

    I’m sure there’ll be one or more at CES (I’ll be visiting).

    Regards from Hong Kong,

    Fred.

    • Mike

      October 1, 2010 at 1:54 am

      Fred, what i meant there is not for you guys to expect miracles from an n550 equipped netbook. It will be faster than those with n450 on n470, but not a lot faster. You’ll still be able to run the same kind of programs, only somewhat better.

      Now, in synthetic tests differences might seem big, but in everyday use you won’t be able to say how much better the N550 is. Still, this is the best you can get on an affordable 10 incher….

  2. Nelle

    October 2, 2010 at 2:48 am

    hi,
    im still new to selecting laptops on my own (having my 5 year old laptop chosen by my dad) so i really find your site helpful.

    im planning to buy a netbook next week and now im deciding between asus 1015 pem or toshiba nb305. im confused though(not really techsavvy) is asus or toshiba faster cause asus only has 1.5 ghz while the latter has 1.66 ghz..?

    also if u were to decide between the both of them, what would you buy for urself(minus the price as a factor)?

    im also considering compatibility with the sims3 cause it requires 2 ghz.. so does this mean both arent compatible with the game or do i have the option of upgrading the speed of the netbook? or do u know any netbooks available with 2 ghz?

    • Mike

      October 2, 2010 at 6:23 am

      Hey Nelle

      First, the 1015PEM has a dual-core processor, so it will be better when dealing with more applications simultaneously. Like running a browsing, music player, skype, etc, all in the same time. Clock speed (1.5 GHz vs 1.66 GHz) is not that important here.

      If i were to choose between the two, I would go for the 1015PEM. Because of the overall better CPU, better battery life and the fact that it comes with a matte display. ON the Toshiba, the keyboard + trackpad are better, so if you plan to do a lot of typing, this should count. Also, battery life should be around 7 hours, while the Asus should provide at least 1 more. And the screen is glossy on the NB305, so if you plan to use the device a lot outside, that would be an impediment.

      Now, you should know that 10 inch mini laptops are not at all meant for gaming so I’m pretty sure none of them will be able to run Sims 3 at least decently.

      You could however choose a bigger device, a 11.6 incher or a 12 incher. They are bigger, more expensive, but will be faster. It’s really up to you. LIke I say in my guide, set a list of priorities and then pick based on those something that fits your budget.

      If you need more help, let me know.

  3. Amarpreet Sabharwal

    October 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Hi,
    I am planning on buying a 10 inch netbook and this would used primarily for my school. I will use it specifically for document and presentations and for a lot of reading on and off the web. I wish to have excellent portability. I do not have any knowledge about technical specifications that would be needed for the above mentioned purpose. Please tell me which netbook should i buy or provide me with a narrow range to choose from. Thanks!

  4. Johnny Co

    October 9, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I plan to buy a net book primarily for GPS, is d Asus n550 adequate ? Or a 11.6 inches dual core pentium would be more appropriate ?

  5. Nelle

    October 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Hi its me again! so i finally bought my 1015pem yesterday. it looked better than i expected however now ive run into some problems. first,it cant read my old (but fxnal)300 gb toshiba external hard drive. also, ive charged the unit overnight. when i looked at the batt, it states 100%, 4 hrs 24 minutes… is this normal? or should i get a replacement asap?

    • Mike

      October 12, 2010 at 2:52 am

      Nelle, don’t mind that estimation, it’s usually wrong. See how long the battery lasts during use. You could try switching off Wi-Fi if not using it or dimming the screen a bit to get better battery life.

      And with the hard drive, what exactly happens? You have to connect it and then your device should find it automatically… if that won’t work, maybe you should look for some drivers online for it, for windows 7

  6. Nelle

    October 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Hi.
    Yes, i actually used the unit to see how long itll last. by 3 hours of surfing and about 30 min of skype(with no vid streaming, or other heavy apps), i only had 1 hour 30 min left.

    went to the store yesterday to inquire and they had my unit replaced with a new one. this new unit has shown improvement by an hour which gives me 5-6 hours of batt life. my external hdd is working now. :))

    but my concern is i looked at the batt of my “old” and new unit and ive noticed that it only has ~40 kH. does this have an imiplication on the battery life? ive noticed that uv written the 66 kh in the specs. do u think it comes with the unit itself or it depends still on the distributor? and if so, why does it guarantee to have 10 hours only to have a mere 5-6 hours batt life? does ur unit extend up to 8-10 hrs of batt? which leads me back to whether the 40 kh has any implications at all to the batt life?

    Dont get me wrong, I really love the unit and thank u for the recommendation. everything else is perfect. however, i wanna get my money’s worth and seeing as no one else is complaining about the batt life of 1015 pem makes me think that this could be an isolated case(by country)..
    again, thank u for ur patient responses. :))

    • Mike

      October 13, 2010 at 2:28 am

      Nelle, where did you buy it from? The version that is available on Amazon comes with a 66 Wh battery from what I know and they said it will last up to 13 hours of life. Now, usually every laptop will last 25-30% less than what producers estimate, because they say up to, and they test those with wi-fi off, while running no apps and with screen set to minimum brightness. Hence the differences.

      Now, if yours has a 40 kW battery, that matters of course. Perhaps that’s the case with your unit and that’s how it is offered in your country…

  7. Jared

    November 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I chose the Asus 1015pem based on many reviews inc yours! I cant figure out how to work the Blue-tooth, I don’t see it in the Device Manager nor do i see it in the Bios!? Do you know how to get it to work!? I tried downloading the asus blue-tooth driver 1.0 and as well 6. driver. When i run the setup, it instantly come up with: Could not find bluetooth device, please make sure its in pairing mode. I leave my Iphone 4 in discover mode, but nothing!? Suggestions?

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      November 14, 2010 at 3:44 am

      Hmm, if you can’t see it in Device Manager then something’s fishy. Not sure what to say but my money are on a faulty Bluetooth module… Perhaps you can have a thread on forum.eeeuser.com . They guys there are more technically skilled than me and might be able to help

  8. Gabrielle

    November 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Yeah, sort of on the lines of what Nelle had asked but is it normal that I’m only getting around 6 hours on a full charge? I know it’s not going to be 13 hours because ASUS does exaggerate a bit, but an over 6 hour difference seems a little extreme.

    Should I go and look about a replacement for this battery?

    • Mike

      November 29, 2010 at 2:38 am

      It really depends on what you’re doing. You should get up to 10 hours on Windows on this one. So if you listen to music, watch HD clips, use screen brightness towards top… 6 hours could be normal. PLus, are you sure you have the version with the 66Wh battery, right?

      Anyway, Asus estimate their battery life based on running computer on idle in their light Quick Express operating system that comes preinstalled alongside Windows so that’s why there are such big differences between what they claim and what you can actually get.

  9. Claudio

    December 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I just bought one 1015pem from atelco in Germany and it also comes with the 4400 mAh battery and I am very dissapointed. Mike, did you order your unit from amazon.de or was from the English or American sites? Is it possible to get the one with the bigger battery in Germany? Thanks a lot and congratulations for the website. Claudio

    • Mike

      December 21, 2010 at 3:27 am

      Claudio, the one referred is available in the US. Back here (in Romania) you can only get the 1015PEM with the 4400 mAh battery only as well. Not sure if you can buy the bigger battery as a stand alone, but I would look for it on Ebay.com just in case

  10. leah

    February 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    hello just want to ask which is better and faster? asus 1015pem or samsung nf210/nf310? im confused. im going to buy a netbook next week ad i need to choose from asus or samsung. any suggestions???

    • Mike

      February 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      can’t say one is definitely better than the other. Both are good options. My personal preference right now is probably towards the Samsung, but the Asus is right there close next to it

  11. lee lee

    February 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    which is faster 10 inches asus or 12 inches asus|| in terms of wifi and gaming???? is amd athlon faster than intel atom?

  12. leah

    February 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    im confused between the asus 1015pem and samsung nf210 or nf310. which is better and faster?? i need to choose…

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