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All,

I'm considering the Asus EeePC 1215N as a travel PC/mini-HTPC. As it's under $450, I'm considering it. It's a dual core Atom at 1.8Ghz, plus a 16 core Nvidia GPU with Optimus. It should give decent enough performance for video and web, and good battery life.


Here's what I want it to do...

-Play possible BD ISOs...does the HDMI support anything like 6-ch PCM or even audio?

-Hulu, network (CBS et al) streaming

-Web


Here's what I DON'T need it to do...

-HD Netflix (already have plenty of devices, just Netflix on the go)

-Games beyond anything simple

-Transcoding/Encoding of any type (have a desktop for that)

-TV recording (use a desktop for that with Extender)


Think this will meet my needs? The question mark is what the HDMI supports.
 

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From what I've read the ION2 can handle blue ray and the internet with no problem but it does have issues with Flash content even with hardware acceleration. From what I can tell its caused by the lack of bandwidth between the video card and the system since its only running on a PCIe 1x bus and the integrated Intel 3150 can't decode Flash. Nvidia says they're working on a fix for it but the bus limitation will likely still be a bottleneck. Might try looking at a system that uses just the 3150 in conjunction with the Broadcom Crystal HD decoder or maybe grabbing a cheap AMD system with the 4200 or and Intel system with the GMA 4500mHD or Intel HD. Also even though you said you don't need Netflix just to throw it in, it will struggle on anything with a weak CPU because Silverlight doesn't utilize hardware acceleration.
 

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I have the ION 525 w/ION 2 (Jetway) and it's a waste of money for what you want to do. Flash and Silverlight performance is very poor. As in, unwatchable. Even SD content stutters. This is a "feature" of the ION 2 and not something likely to be fixed soon. Potentially could be fixed if nVidia and Adobe put their heads together but I wouldn't hold my breath on that, they haven't even officially acknowledged the problem yet.


So if you care about online content at all avoid it. It deals with h.264 and VC 1 material pretty well, stutters like heck on full BD rips but if you compress them well to a manageable bitrate they will play fine.
 

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You can put together a low end HTPC for under $300 that will blow away any atom/ion box in every metric except physical footprint. Unless you value your home theater equipment rack space at several dollars per cubic inch, you will get better performance for less money with a proper desktop processor and discrete video card. For example, this build will play streaming video from any online source flawlessly, and even bitstream HD audio (with the proper software) if you ever upgrade your audio system:

 

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To be fair the Atom boxes sold for around that price also come with Windows 7 Home Premium (such as the Jetway box) so you have to factor another $100 in there, and I would seriously recommend bumping the graphics card up another $40 or so and get at least a 5500 or 5600 series, but you have the right idea. Such a combo is far better than an ION 2/Atom box in every way but footprint and $100 or so.
 
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