- Item Weight: 1.4 Kg
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 Kg
- Item model number: 1215B-PU17-BK
- ASIN: B004Q7LHVE
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: April 21 2011
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #509,881 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
ASUS Eee PC 1215B-PU17-BK 12.1-Inch Netbook (Black)
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- AMD E350 CPU; 2GB DDR3 RAM (1x2GB), 2 Slots, 4GB Max
- 12.1-Inch WXGA (1366x768) LED screen; ATI HD 6310 graphics; HDMI VGA out
- 320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM); No Optical Drive
- Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 3.0; 10/100 LAN; 0.3MP Webcam; 2-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC); 3 x USB 2.0 Ports
- Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System (32 Bit); Up To 8.5 Hours Battery Life
There is a newer model of this item:
12.1-Inch/1366x768 (WXGA)/AMD E350 CPU/2GB DDR3/ATI HD6310 Graphics/320GB HDD/No ODD/Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit)/802.11 bgn/10/100 LAN/Bluetooth 3.0/0.3M Pixel Camera/HDMI and VGA out/3x USB 2.0 Ports/2-in-1 Card Reader/56W/h battery (up to 8.5* Hrs)/1 Year Global Warranty, (6 months for battery)/Black. It has 1x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Since people seem to still be getting some use from my review, I have added a few updates:
64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium?
YES, mine did come with the 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium version of Windows.
NOTE: If you get a netbook that has Windows 7 Starter on it, you will not have the desktop themes functionality available to you. I learned this the hard way when I got my 1005HA netbook. Not too big of a deal, but I did miss having all those nice themes. ASUS has a make-shift solution for this, but it requires manual intervention. Now that I have Windows 7 Home Premium, I can enjoy desktop themes once again!
YES, mine did come with one USB 3.0 port on the right side (the blue colored USB port). There is also another USB 2.0 port on the right, and one on the left (three ports in all). One of the two USB 2.0 ports allows you to charge a device even when the netbook is powered off and the AC adapter is connected. You can even configure it to charge another device with just the battery alone and the netbook turned off. A nice feature to have if you travel and find yourself in a bind with a low cell phone battery!
Accepts 8GB of RAM?
YES, mine did accept an 8GB memory upgrade kit! I installed the Corsair 8 GB DDR3 Laptop Memory Kit CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9, which is about $83. The memory that initially came with the 1215B was: hynix 2GB 1Rx8 PC3 - 10600S - 9 - 10 - B1
Be sure to get PC3-10600 compliant memory, NOT the Crucial CT25664BC1067 2GB 204-PIN PC3-8500 SODIMM DDR3 Memory Module that is SUPPOSEDLY bought together with the 1215B. PC3-10600 memory runs at a faster clock rate than PC3-8500. Do a Wikipedia search for "DDR3" RAM to see a comparison table. Also, according to cpu-world dot com, the E-350 CPU supports memory up to DDR3-1333 and DDR3L-1066. DDR3L is suppose to run at less voltage, thus saves more on battery power. I would like to know if anyone has tested DDR3L memory in their 1215B netbook, and how they do on power savings!
BTW, my 1215B shipped with BIOS version 0306.
I just updated to BIOS to version 0315 and so far everything is still running smoothly. I included how I updated my BIOS in the Comments section below, in case you wondered how to do it.
Touch Pad Issues?
NO, mine DOES NOT have the touch pad issues that others are complaining about. But you can read their review(s) on what the fix is, which seems simple enough.
A few months ago I was using my 1215B at the couch without the external mouse, and it DID mess up on me as others have indicated. I uninstalled the Synaptics drivers, and when I rebooted the computer, the mouse still worked. As a matter of fact, it seemed to work better than with the Synaptics drivers. The only problem was that while typing, my fingers would touch the touchpad and the cursor would jump to a different location and mess me up. I went to the Synaptics web site and downloaded their latest drivers, which they now have a new feature called Scrybe, which allows you to do certain gestures as shortcuts, such as swiping a 'W' to pull up the web browser for example. BTW, I had to re-install the Synaptics drivers in order to disable the touchpad so that I could type and not have the cursor jump around on me. It does make me upset that I also have problems with the touchpad. Since I don't like touchpads and prefer an external mouse, this makes it OK for me, but if you do rely on touchpads exclusively, then you will likely run into problems.
As far as the layout is concerned, I do like it better than the 1005HA, since the 1215B has separate keys for Home, End, PgUp, and PgDown. Of course, the 1215B is a little bigger and so it does have more surface area for more full keys. The cursor arrow keys double as Media Player Play/Pause, Stop, Skip Forward and Backward when used with the Fn key, which I thought I would utilize more, but so far I haven't. The Backspace and Enter keys are decent sized and easy to find. Others have mentioned keyboard "flex", which yes, I have noticed that when pressing keys more towards the middle of the keyboard, that the keyboard seems to flex downward, giving those who are real sticklers about such things a reason to complain about it. It hasn't really bothered me that much, but I thought I would mention it just to be fair. [Update: 06/13/2011] I opened my 1215B today and noticed that the 'X' key was missing, but managed to find it. What had happened was that the metal piece that holds the key in place became bent. I bent it back so that it would hold the key in place, and all is well again. I was a little annoyed that this had happened, since it has never happened to me before on any keyboard, but so far it is staying in place, so I still give the 1215B a passing score.
9/7/2011 UPDATE: I have not had any more problems with the keys on the keyboard, thank goodness!
12" Screen Size?
I do like the 12" screen size on the 1215B much better than the 10" on the 1005HA. The 10" is really too small when it comes to running VM's, as well as viewing some web sites. Outlook 2010 does seem to make some adjustments (on its own) on hiding some things in order to make viewing much better, which is nice.
Fragil Power Connector Pin?
NO! I've had an ASUS Eee PC 1005HA netbook since January of 2010, which the 1215B uses the same power supply, and I haven't had any problems with the connector pin, or for that matter, it never even crossed my mind that it could potentially be an issue in the first place. I suppose if you have little kids running around and just can't seem to keep nice things, this could be an issue. BTW, both power adapters are rated as follows:
OUTPUT: 19V(DC), 2.1A, female=(-) and male=(+)
I purchased a Westronics NetBook AC Power Adapter for Asus EeePC 1005 1005HA 1005HAB 1101HA 1101HAB 1104HA 1106HA UMPC NoteBook Laptop for my 1005HA as a backup and so I could always keep the other adapter in my laptop bag so I never run off and forget it. I have already used my secondary power adapter that was originally for my 1005HA to recharge the battery on my 1215B, which the connectors are exactly the same and fits perfectly. It looks like this particular AC power adapter that I got has gone down in the ratings since the time that I got mine.
Includes Neoprene Slip Cover?
NO, my 1215B doesn't come with a neoprene protective case like the 1005HA did. I did get the Case Logic LNEO-12 12.1-Inch Neoprene Netbook Sleeve (Black) as an added slip cover for my 1215B, which it fits it nicely. It is also a bit thicker than the neoprene slip cover that came with the 1005HA, has carry handles, plus an extra pocket with a zipper for the power supply and a mouse. I would recommend getting it.
BTW, I'm upgrading from an Asus EEE PC 1005HA, which I have outgrown. I've been waiting for a 64-bit netbook with a slightly bigger screen and that can handle more than 2GB of RAM. The newer 1215B is small and light enough that I can put in my book bag along with my thick school books, and not break my back carrying it to school, but still just a bit bigger and with more power than the 1005HA!
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:
There is a button to toggle the wireless/bluetooth ON or OFF, in order to save power. This can also be done with the Fn+F2 keys.
SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO GET FOR YOUR EEE PC 1215B:
* Definitely get more RAM if you can. I admit, 8GB might be a bit much if you just surf the internet and read emails, but I plan on running virtual machines on mine, which each VM can eat up a lot of RAM.
BTW, the AMD processor does have support for virtualization, which helps in running virtual machines. I have found that in order to get the best performance from VM's, you should keep your HD as defragmented as possible. I run Norton Utilities 15 and run Speed Disk on every bootup. I was surprised at how fragmented my HD was, and how long it takes to defragment it each time. It is taking less time every day, but it has taken a few months of daily defragments to bring down the length of defrags.
* Get an ASUS USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive SDRW-08D1S-U (Black). You will need it to install software or RIP your CD's to MP3's to your netbook, but you can always leave it at home when you're done with those tasks. Mine cost about $40 when I got it.
* I recommend a Bluetooth wireless mouse, just so it doesn't eat up one of your USB ports (either with a cord or a wireless dongle). I got the Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 Mac/Windows, and I'm very happy with it. I got mine from an amazon vendor for about $20 new.
I have had problems with syncing this mouse, but mostly when the battery gets low. If you run into problems, it is likely that the battery is low. Even sometimes after putting in new batteries, it takes some trial and error to get it synced up again, but once it is synced, it works every time until the battery runs low again.
* It is nice to have a secondary power adapter, not just as a backup, but it is nice to leave one at home and leave the other in your laptop bag so you never forget it. I got mine for about $20 from an amazon vendor. I picked one with good reviews, just to be safe.
* I also suggest getting the Case Logic LNEO-12 12.1-Inch Neoprene Netbook Sleeve (Black). Even though I have a laptop bag, I still like having the added protection of the neoprene sleeve on my netbook.
* You might want to get an SDHC memory card, to configure ReadyBoost. Heck, you have an SD slot, which you might as well put to good use, and it does seem to speed up bootup time. Do an internet search on "ReadyBoost" to learn more about that. They say go with the same or double the RAM you have installed.
* I would also suggest getting a StarTech 6-Feet Coax High Resolution VGA Monitor Cable - HD15 M/M (MXT101MMHQ) so that you can connect your netbook to a larger monitor if you have one around. Note that ASUS netbooks (from the two that I've owned) will use the RAM from your memory sticks to allow you to view your screen on the larger monitor at it's native resolution, so allow a bit more RAM for that feature. When connected to my 22" Samsung LCD monitor, I get it's native 1680 x 1050 resolution! I just did a test, and going from the netbook's 1366x768 resolution to the 22" LCD monitor's 1680x1050 resolution only uses about 200KB of memory.
These are all things that I have found to be nice additions to my netbook(s).
Bottom line: I'm still happy with my Eee PC 1215B!
As promised I got the crucial m4 SSD and 8gb of ram installed. The perfect word to describe performance is snappy. The upgrades don't make the 1215b a performance laptop by any means, but all the usual tasks that one would use a netbook for are quick to load, quick to respond, and a pleasure to use. Installation was easier than expected, especially considering you basically have to dismantle the 1215b to access the hard drive. The biggest speed difference is in start up and shut down time. Cold startups take 30 seconds for Windows to load and I haven't even make any modifications to see if that can be faster. Remember this is 30 seconds on a netbook processor! Shut down is 6.7 seconds!
The upgrades make this system the most expensive netbook I have ever heard of, and there is quite a bit of completion our there in the $600 range, but I honestly can say because I do the basics a lot and never really need a powerful processor expect for HD video I prefer to have this expensive but portable netbook with great battery life as opposed to any other more powerful laptop out there.
-- Update (7/20/11) --:
I have had the 1215b for a few months now and I want to address an issue that has arisen for me.
I said in my original review that I did not have the track pad issues many people have mentioned. Well, about a week ago I started experiencing problems. I did a little digging and the problem stems from the poor placement of a pad under the track pad which is interfering with an electrical relay and frankly doesn't even need to be there. Removing the pad is a 5 minute fix and seems to fix the problem for most everyone. You do not need to void your warranty to do this and you do not need to be super tech savy to do the fix yourself. Please leave me a comment if you need additional explanation. I will post a link below, but I believe Amazon will remove the link in this review so go to the comments section where I will repost the link.
When I originally bought this netbook I wanted just that: a netbook. However, the 1215b is so close to having true laptop performance that I was inspired to spend some money to really get it there. In the coming days I will be installing 8gb of ram (up from the 4gb I already upgraded to), and a 64gb Crucial m4 SSD. The biggest bottleneck in this thing (granting the processor) seems to be the hard drive so I am really looking forward to seeing what happens with the upgrade. The ram upgrade is really just for peace of mind. To upgrade with the 8gb of ram and 64gb SSD will cost an additional $174. We will see if the performance of this thing basically costing $600 is worth it.
The fact that I am willing to invest even more money in this thing is the best indicator of my time with it. I really do love this machine and, given the fix for the track pad, now have no hesitations in recommending it to anyone that wants a netbook, or even to someone who wants a laptop but is on a tight budget. Most consumers waste their money on ultra powerful processors and 16gb of ram. If a computer can surf the web, send email, run the Microsoft Office suite, do some light gaming, and play video (including Youtube, Netflix, and digital copy) both in SD and HD quality, while getting 5-7 hours of battery life, I really believe 70% of consumers would be completely happy. The 1215b does all this easily and can also be used for light photoshop use and slingbox access, as well as music editing, and light video editing. I know the 1215b can handle all this because I have done every one of these activities on this machine.
If I were you I would wait till the back to school sales start to see if you can little price drop on the 1215b, but I really do think it is worth the $430 asking price.
-- Original Review --
The following are the answers to everything I wanted to know before purchase:
Comes with 1 usb 3.0 port, 2 usb 2.0 ports
Comes with Windows Home Premium 64 bit
300gb of usable hard drive space. Asus has this partitioned into one 100gb partition and another 188gb partition. I have no idea why. You can easily combine the partitions in Windows 7 to give you a 300gb hard drive.
This is the matte black version. No gloss on the outside, but there is gloss on the keyboard area (not on the keys themselves). The bezel and screen are also gloss.
True to what amazon says the 1215b comes with 2 ram slots. One slot is occupied by a 2gb stick. If you want to upgrade you will need a 204-pin SODIMM, DDR3 PC3-10600 memory module. I have installed the extra 2gb (4gb total) and while there isn't a massive performance difference, I would still recommend this relatively cheap upgrade. Here is a link to the correct ram on amazon: 2GB 204-PIN Sodimm DDR3
I haven't conducted any scientific battery tests, but without trying to save battery life (max brightness and video playing while web surfing using wifi) you can expect about 3.5-5 hours of life in max performance mode. I clean installed my 1215b and have put Windows 7 Ultimate on it. When I try to get the max battery life, by switching to power save mode and turning brightness down to 25%, I'm getting about 7 hours (no video playing, but I am surfing the net)
I have no problems with any video. 720p and 1080p play from the hard drive just fine (K lite codec pack installed). No problems with any of the resolutions available from Youtube, Hulu or Netflix either. I've used both Firefox and Chrome with the same results. Just a side note here. I have been a loyal Firefox user for years, but I do use chrome on the 1215b. Firefox is the only program which just has unacceptable load times on the 1215b. It is only the first load that take a while, but I do recommend Chrome with this netbook.
I'm upgrading from an original atom processor, and the 1215b feels snappy and smooth in comparison. I always saw my atom netbook as a netbook, but the 1215b feels like a laptop as far as speed is concerned. The size is just perfect. The 10 and 11 inch screens always seem a bit too small, while the 13 inch laptops don't feel portable enough. This is a nice compromise. The build quality is excellent for any laptop, and outstanding for a netbook. It feels very solid, and I would not hesitate to throw this is my bag and run to catch the bus.
I have had absolutely no heat problems. The fan is inaudible as far as I am concerned. The hard drive was actually quite noisy when I turn the unit on the first time. After I went through the initial setup process (which took forever) the unit restarted itself and the hard drive has been very silent ever since. I don't know why it was loud to begin with, but it is not an issue after the initial setup.
Screen is perfectly acceptable. I am used to a 27inch iMac at home so this obviously does not compare, but compared to other laptops I have seen the 1215b is upper middle class.
Overall I have no buyers remorse. I held off getting an ion netbook because no one seemed to be able to get the exact configuration I needed. The 1215b seems to get everything right. Please post questions in the comments area if you have any. I will be checking frequently so your questions will most likely get answered. I don't do any gaming so for gaming questions you are on your own.
-Came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
-E-350s processing power and better than average graphics performance
-Overall great looking laptop
-USB 3.0 port
-USBCharge+, an application that allows you to charge devices through USB even when the laptop is off
-6 hours of battery life
-Island-style keyboard with Home, PgUp, PgDn, and End (Keys missing from the similarly spec'd Dm1z)
-Typical bloatware that you find on a lot of PCs
-Trackpad is a single rocker bar that is noticible loud
-Harddrive came partitioned very oddly, it can be fixed quite easily in Windows 7 but the end user shouldn't have to worry about this.
-Charging adapter doesn't always charge laptop on first plug in.
-Trackpad unresponsiveness at time
I am overall satisfied with my purchase, but it is mainly because I was able to fix a lot of the Cons I had with this laptop when I first purchased it. First I will focus on the Pros.
I was consider Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit to be a plus because with a smaller sized form-factor, it rarely has the horsepower to utilize the 64-bit version of the operating system. The first Pro is directly related to the second Pro, the processor, is actually really good. I had Google Chrome running with about 12 Tabs open, looking at a movie trailer in 720p with Microsoft Office applications running in the background and it handled the load just fine. The movie trailer played at a respectable 28 fps without a single drop in frames, a task your typical Single-Core or Dual-Core Intel Atom CPU could not do.
The USB 3.0 is a welcoming addition for future-proofing if not anything else. USB 3.0 will become the standard in file transferal and peripheral use so its a pleasant surprise that Asus decided to include the port on this laptop.
Speaking of USBs there are a total of 3 on this laptop, a USB 3.0 port, a standard USB 2.0 port, and a USB 2.0 charging port (the USB port located on the left side of the laptop). This port in conjuntion with the pre-installed software program USBCharger+ allows you to charge a device through the USB Port while the laptop is turned off, not sleeping, not hibernating, completely shut off. This is the laptop that I travel a lot with and since its so light I keep it in my backbag. If the battery on my phone is starting to run low I can just plug my existing USB cord in the port and charge my device up without having to power on the laptop. This probably doesn't seem like a really great feature for a lot of people but for road warriors, its a pretty useful feature.
Battery life is subjective based on your usage but I found that it provided just enough power to get through my normal class day without having to bring a charger while still being able to provide a little juice to my smartphone. With brightness set to around 60%, Wifi enabled, running multiple Tabs on Google Chrome, and typing in Google Docs, I get around 6 hours of usage. Just like any computer, if you start streaming video or running heavy flash content you can expect to have your runtime cut by about 30 to 40%.
The last Pro I will talk about is the island keyboard. I'm sure what percent it is of a full fledged keyboard but it is quite comfortable to type on. The keys have a nice amount of compression and gives a satisfying click without being too noisy. I would prefer if the keys were slightly rubberized and less slick but its definitely better than your average keyboard for this form-factor.
Now I'm gonna discuss the Cons. The bloatware is really easy to deal with, just go to the control panel and delete the programs you don't want. I do recommend you giving this applications a try first before deleting them. USBCharge+ is one of those rare gems I've actually liked when it comes to preloaded applications.
The Trackpad bar is something I rarely use thanks to an application called TwoFingerScroll. This application allows you to add MacOS like gesture to the keypad such as tapping with two fingers to enable right-click, a gesture that the Synaptics drivers on typical PC trackpads don't natively support.
The Harddrive is something I didn't quite understand. The harddrive has about 300GB available but you can only access about 90GB of it. I had to use the Device Manager in WIndows 7 to re-partition the harddrive. This is something that a non-techie would definitely be bothered with, hell I'm a techie and I'm bothered with it; Asus should definitely fix this in the future.
When you first look at the Charging Port on the 1215b you might confuse it with an Audio or Microphone jack because its so small. The Charger has an extremely tiny plug which seems very fragile and could easily break overtime. I came home really late from class feeling pretty tired, so I grabbed my laptop from my bag, threw it on the charger, and collapsed on my bed for some much needed sleep. The next morning I wake up grabbing my laptop for school to find that it did not charge at all from the 8 hours its been plugged up. I checked the break-away cable and it was plugged in as it should be so I'm not sure what's going on. I unplug the charging cable and plugged it back in and boom, now it decides to charge. This has happen at least 10 time since i've owned this laptop, its not a really big con, but make sure you take a glimpse at the charging LED to make sure its lit before you leave it alone.
The greatest Con of them all has to be the trackpad. To put it simply, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The primary input for navigating on your Laptop could decide to stop working at any second, crazy isn't it. I uninstalled the Synaptics Touchpad drivers and grabbed the most recent ones from the Asus website and I still encountered the same problem. I even booted a difference operating system (Linux Mint) and I still could recreate the same trackpad unresponsiveness so I knew it wasn't at the software level. Thankfully, eeeuser.com gave me a solution to the problem. I had to pry open my laptop and and remove two pieces of tape that were placed between the trackpad and motherboard (to prevent shock) to fix the problem. This is really un-excusable, all users haven't encountered this problem but knowing that I potentially voided my warranty to use my laptop is really disheartening.
So there is my mini review of the 1215b, I made sure that I used this laptop as much as I could before I wrote an opinion about it. With all the Cons that are listed, I'm still going to give it a 4 out of 5. There aren't a lot of E-350 processors available that come in a 12.1 to 11.6 form-factor so my rating is a reflection of the similar laptops that are available. The Dm1z is reported to have heat issues that make the fan run constantly and lacks certain keys (the ones I mentioned in the Pros. The Thinkpad x120e has a 6-cell battery (just like the 1215b) except that it protrudes from the back, a design characteristic I absolutely hate and the Sony Vaio VPC-YB15KX is about 100 dollars more than other similar spec'd E-350 laptops. You may or may not encounter the same issues I've had but all things considered (after a little tweaking of course) ,I am satisfied with my purchase. All electronics are gonna have its gripes and flaws, thankfully mine were fixable for the most part. It has an attractive design, attractive price-point, respectable specs, in a really great form factor. When it comes to affordability, portability, and power, the 1215b is a really good contender.
The AMD E-350 memory controller is capable of supporting 8gb of system memory and I was a little confused as to why every online vendor was listing the laptop as upgradable to a maximum of 4gb's of system memory. What perpetuated this even further was that I also noticed it was listed as coming with the 32bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium.
The ultimate question that came to my mind was, "Was this a limitation that Asus imposed on the hardware or was this a limitation based upon the netbook shipping with a 32 bit version of Windows 7?"
My immediate hunch was that Asus would not have gone out of their way to limit the hardware. There was a very minor chance that they may have simply removed one of the SO-DIMM sockets but I thought that this would be very unlikely.
I bought this netbook with the assumption that I could go ahead and throw in two 4gb DDR3 SO-Dimm modules and install my 64bit copy of Windows 7 Ultimate so that I could then use the full 8gb. I was, however, pleasantly surprised!
The bottom line is that, yes, this netbook is upgradable to 8gb of system memory and it is NOT restricted by either the HARDWARE or the SOFTWARE. Although it states that it comes with the 32 bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, it is actually the 64bit version!
I purchased this exact laptop from Amazon on 12 April 2011 and it came with the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium. Right out of the box, I threw in two 4gb modules and booted it up! As soon as I was able to make it to the system properties page, I immediately saw "Installed Memory (RAM): 8.00 GB (7.61 GB usable)" and "System type: 64-bit Operating System."
On a final note, I also noticed that reviews were surfacing on other sites stating that their 1215B-PU17-BK showed up with 1 USB 3.0 port as well. I was hoping that this might be the case here as well but it is not.
Upgradeable to 8gb of RAM: YES
32 bit OS: NO
64 bit OS: YES!!!
USB 3.0: NO
So far I am very happy with this purchase. When you consider the price combined with the 12.1" screen and the other options offered, my initial impression would be that it is an excellent deal!
I really wanted this computer to work. It has every feature I wanted in a computer. Unfortunately, it does not. I received two of them. The touchpad was defective in both models.
The first one arrived. I spent some time trying to get ASUS's bloatware off before the mouse started behaving erratically. It would suddenly act as if I was using the multi-touch features even though I was just using my touchpad like every other laptop I've ever owned. Rebooting would get the touchpad to work for a few more minutes, maybe a few hours, but it would always fail again.
I thought I might have uninstalled something important, so I restored the system to the original software. Less than five minutes after resetting to factory defaults the touchpad began failing in the same way. I disabled all multi-touch features in the driver. I uninstalled the drivers and used the default Microsoft drivers instead. I attempted my own copy of Windows 7 32 bit, rather than the 64 version included with the laptop. Nothing fixed the problem.
So I returned it to Amazon and got another one.
I took the second system out of the box, powered it on, waited for Windows 7 to boot up for the first time, and was unable to even finish loading Internet Explorer the first time before the touchpad froze up just like before.
Both times ASUS tech support told me that it needed to be mailed in for repair, even though it was a brand new computer.
I have had two of these computers. I've done every combination of drivers and disabled every feature I could imagine interfering with the touchpad. Nothing helps. I cannot justify mailing in a brand new computer for repair, so they are going to be sent back to Amazon. That means that these will probably just be packed up and sent out as refurbished models.
Do not buy this computer until you research this problem and are certain that there is a solution. You are taking a big risk.
EDIT: Some answers to questions I received.
1. Both models DID have USB 3.0 ports.
2. I can use an external mouse just fine.
3. I attempted to use old drivers from Synaptic as well as the ASUS drivers, both new and old. I also attempted several generic drivers I found. None of these would allow my touchpad to function.
4. There are a number of posts throughout the EEE User forums and a video on youtube that shows the problem with the 1215b touchpad.
I posted a possible solution in the comments section below, however since you have to take apart the laptop in order to make it function properly, I still give it a very low rating. I suppose once they sell off all of the models that were assembled improperly this will be one of the best EEE models created.