Like the previously reviewed 12-inch Asus Eee PC 1201HA netbook, the Asus Eee PC 1201T has an all-black exterior with glossy piano finish on its screen lid - it is however quite a fingerprint magnet. Like the Eee PC 1201HA and the 11.6-inch Eee PC 1101HA, and with curved edges all around its chassis, the Eee PC 1201T does loosely resemble like a black seashell. The Eee PC 1201T is firmly built, with its dual hinges binding the screen and the rest of the chassis very well. Despite being made of plastic, the Eee PC 1201T doesn't feel cheap or inexpensive in any way.
Overall, the Eee PC 1201T has a larger form factor than most 10-inch netbooks we have seen but it still manages to remain sleek and easy to carry around. The Eee PC 1201T with its accompanying six-cell battery weighs a comfortable 1.46kg.
The Asus Eee PC 1201T is equipped with a pretty good 12.1-inch glossy LED-backlit screen (1366x768 resolution) which has a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen has good horizontal viewing angles and displays sharp, crisp text, while behaves equally good while watching video content. There's a 0.3MP webcam recessed on the Asus Eee PC 1201T's top screen bezel and it is very good for online video chats. The keyboard and touchpad combo on the Eee PC 1201T is also pretty good.
Unlike our experience on the Eee PC 1201HA, we found the Asus Eee PC 1201T's keyboard (which has a similar layout and style) much more comfortable to type on because of its flex-free keys and good overall response. The textured touchpad on the Eee PC 1201T works like a charm while navigating the mouse on the screen; all the gesture-enabled functions work well without any issues.
The Asus Eee PC 1201T takes a leaf out of the HP Mini 110-1106vu's book by coming with a pre-OS Linux utility called Splashtop, an instant-on stripped down operating system which logs you online within seconds of turning on the netbook. It comes with Skype, an instant messenger, email client, web browser, and more, and all of it works like a charm. From turning on the Eee PC 1201T to opening Google.com, it took me all of 20 seconds - pretty impressive.
Like the MSI Wind12 U210 netbook and Lenovo ThinkPad X100e ultraportable, the Asus Eee PC 1201T is based on an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 1.6GHz processor. There's also 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics - much better than the onboard graphic adaptor of Intel Atom-powered netbooks.
This is the best hardware configuration we've seen on a netbook till date. There are three USB ports, audio jacks, multicard reader, VGA port and ethernet port splashed across the Asus Eee PC 1201T's chassis. It doesn't have an HDMI port, nor Gigabit ethernet support, but the 1201T bundles in Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. Right now, the Eee PC 1201T doesn't come with Windows 7 - only the Splashtop - but we hope it will soon. But overall, the Eee PC 1201T's feature sets are pretty standard to a regular large screen netbook.
The Asus Eee PC 1201T is quite simply the best netbook we have reviewed in terms of pure number-crunching performance. It raked up the highest WorldBench 6 score on any netbook till date - a cool 54 points. The Eee PC 1201T's PC Mark 05, 3D Mark 06, and PC Mark Vantage scores were also way above the rest of the pack. We had absolutely no trouble writing this review using Microsoft Office Word 2007 on the Eee PC 1201T's comfortable keyboard, while browsing the web on Firefox over Wi-Fi and listening to some music on iTunes - all at the same time.
The Asus Eee PC 1201T comes with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics adapter. It isn't really for gaming but it helps speed up graphics intensive processes considerably, compared to other netbooks. Whether it was watching movies or reading text on the Asus Eee PC 1201T's screen, it was a good experience. Onboard speakers, placed under the Eee PC 1201T's front lip, are pretty good - definitely better than what we experienced on the Eee PC 1201HA. The Eee PC 1201T does a very good job of playing HD videos - both 480p and 720p videos sailed through smoothly, but 1080p videos playback wasn't completely stutter-free.
The only chink in the Asus Eee PC 1201T's otherwise impeccable armour is its battery life. The six-cell battery lasted 1 hour 41 minutes in our set of benchmarks, performed on full-screen brightness and high performance preset. In real-world usage, we managed to extract just over 3 hours 30 minutes while browsing the web over Wi-Fi on a conservative battery setting, this is significantly lower compared to other 12-inch netbooks we have tested.
The Asus Eee PC 1201T is a great performing 12-inch netbook. The Eee PC 1201T has a nice keyboard, good textured touchpad, and a pretty good screen. Its battery life may not be as impressive as some other netbooks, but buy the Eee PC 1201T if you need a better performing netbook with a large hard drive, screen and keyboard.