Review: ASUS N10 ultraportable notebook

The ASUS N10J ultraportable notebook may be the size of a netbook but it has the horsepower of a desktop replacement. For the business-class road warrior, this small package can handle just about any productivity task you care to throw at it.

The ASUS N10J ultraportable notebook may be the size of a netbook but it has the horsepower of a desktop replacement. For the business-class road warrior, this small package can handle just about any productivity task you care to throw at it.


  • Processor: Intel Atom Processor N270, 1.6GHz
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows Vista Business
  • Chipset: Intel 945GSE
  • Main Memory: 2GB
  • Display: 10.2" WSVGA Color-Shine (Glare-type)
  • Video Graphics & Memory: NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS with 256MB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 2.5" 9.5mm SATA160GB, 5400rpm
  • Card Reader: 8-in-1 card reader
  • Video Camera: 1.3 Mega Pixel Web camera
  • LAN/WLAN: Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n or 802.11b/g, built-in Bluetooth V2.0+EDR
  • Interface: Express card, microphone-in, headphone-out, VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor, three USB 2.0 ports, RJ45 LAN, HDMI out
  • Audio: Built-in Altec Lansing sound
  • Battery: Six cell battery pack for up to eight hours of use
  • Dimensions: 27.6 (W) x 19.5 (D) x 3.71 (H) cm, weight less than 2kg
  • Retail price: $669 delivered from PC Connection
  • Additional information
  • Check out the ASUS N10J TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who is it for?

The ASUS N10J is designed for the user that needs a powerful desktop replacement notebook notebook with power similar to a desktop, but cannot afford to lug around a heavy personal notebook computer. (Editor's note: this is what I should have written) The N10J is the same size as the netbooks we have reviewed before, but it has many more features and much better overall performance. This ultraportable notebook balances the need for performance with the need for portability.

What problem does it solve?

The main problem the ASUS N10J solves is weight. At less than two pounds for the 6-cell battery version, the notebook can easily be carried from client-to-client and airplane-to-airplane. However, performance is not sacrificed for the sake of weight, making the N10J one the best choices for businesses and users looking for ultraportable notebook solutions.


  • Microsoft Windows Vista: The N10J is powerful enough and ships with enough RAM to actually work with Vista. With Windows 7 on the way, the performance of this notebook should only increase.
  • Intel Atom Processor N270: The Atom line of CPUs, coupled with the Intel 945GSE chipset, make the N10J very power efficient, but without sacrificing overall performance.
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS with 256MB VRAM: Many notebooks in the netbook form factor sacrifice graphics processing to reduce weight and power consumption. The N10J allows users to engage the much more powerful GeForce 9300M GS when GPU power is needed.
  • Six-cell battery: The larger battery pack gives the N10J about six hours of useable of productive on time.
  • Bio security: The N10J is equipped with bio-security in the form of a fingerprint scanner. This gives the notebook an added layer of security in cases of theft or loss.

What's wrong

  • Screen size: While the N10J has more power than the typical netbook, it still has the same screen size and resolution restrictions. The native screen resolution is 1024 X 600, which is that odd size that can cause problems with certain applications and Web pages. However, one advantage for the N10J, with its GeForce 9300m GS GPU, is that it has HDMI out.
  • Keyboard: The keyboard is smaller than a conventional keyboard, but it is still useable. The right shift key is too small for my liking, but with some practice I could train myself to stop hitting the Enter key by mistake. A new user of the N10J is going to have a small learning curve before the small keyboard size and tight layout of the keys is not a problem.
  • No optical drive: One way this notebook holds down the size and weight is by not including a built-in optical drive. With the four USB ports, an external drive is a viable option, but that requires the user to carry yet another piece of peripheral equipment.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

For businesses with users who need a lightweight yet powerful notebook, there may be no better solution than the ASUS N10J. This ultraportable notebook is built for the on-the-go road-warrior and has all the features any user could possibly want. With a more than adequate graphics system, 2GB of RAM, a power efficient Atom CPU, and integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, the ASUS N10J hits that elusive sweet spot that balances power with portability.

Have you deployed or used an ASUS N10J? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results with other TechRepublic members. Give your own personal review of the ASUS N10J in the TechRepublic Community Forum or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.


Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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