ASUS’ N10 might be a netbook, but it’s certainly no Eee PC – not if your general conception of the Eee range is a basic web-surfing machine that would run out of breath even at the mention of gaming. Mobile Computer have been putting the N10 through its paces, and one thing is clear: a netbook becomes a very different animal once you add switchable NVIDIA GeForce 9200M graphics, 2GB of RAM, a 320GB hard-drive and HDMI output.
Check out the ASUS N10 gaming demo video after the cut
The switchable video card - the N10 has both onboard Intel 945 graphics, like other netbooks, together with the NVIDIA card, that you swap between with a reboot – means games like Call of Duty 4 play smoothly at the LCD’s native 1024 x 600 resolution (although a little tweaking to the anti-aliasing was required). It’s also capable of handling 480p high-definition video, though reviewer Julian Prokaza had trouble with 720p.
Mobile Computer are basically calling the ASUS N10 a crossover, a blend of netbook and traditional ultraportable, and it sounds like many of the strengths of each are brought along too. Pre-orders for the N10 are currently starting from around $600, though that climbs rapidly when you start looking at more traditional-spec models.