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ASUS Eee PC 900  (Source: ASUS)
ASUS to offer new options with the Eee PC 900

Last week, official details began to trickle out concerning ASUS' new Eee PC 900 sub-notebook. Today, ASUS’s CEO opened the floodgates when it comes to specifications for its second generation Eee PC notebook.

As previously reported, the new Eee PC 900 features a new 8.9” 1024x600 display in place of the 800x480 display found on the original Eee PC 401. The larger screen with a higher resolution should help to silence some of the more vocal critics who bemoaned the needs to constantly scroll horizontally and vertically to read webpages.

Another change with the new Eee PC 900 comes in the area of storage. The original Eee PC first was made available with 4GB of storage. As the months progressed, ASUS released 2GB and 8GB models to occupy lower and higher price points respectively.

ASUS CEO Jerry Shen revealed to Laptop Magazine that the Eee PC 900 will be available in an 8GB version with Windows XP while versions running Xandros Linux will be available in 12GB or 20GB capacities. ASUS will also provide users with the options of using traditional HDDs in the future. “In June and April we will only support solid-state drives,” said Shen. “Hard drives will be options at a later date.”

ASUS will also make some changes on the processor front with the Eee PC 900. It appears that early versions of the Eee PC 900 will continue to use the 900MHz Intel Celeron M processor. However, ASUS will be moving to Intel’s Atom processors shortly after launch.

“From my view point, Diamondville is the better choice, because it uses the 45 nanometer processor. And price-wise it is very competitive. In my planning I will continue to use Intel’s Diamondville,” added Shen. “And for the VIA one I think from the power point of view, Diamondville is still better. In May, these machines will be hitting the market.”

When it comes to power, ASUS is looking to change things a bit. The company plans to introduce a new power adapter that will be smaller than the already tiny one included on the first generation Eee PC. The new power adapter will dramatically reduce the charging time of the device and will be available on both 7” and 8.9” models.

ASUS will also boost the battery life with the introduction of Intel Atom processors. Intel's Celeron M -- currently used in the Eee PC and early Eee PC 900 models -- doesn't employ any real power-saving measures like SpeedStep. As a result, battery life hovers around the 2.5 hour to 3.5 hour range. The introduction of Intel's Atom processors should greatly improve battery life on the Eee PC 900. "In the near future, we also are trying to support one-day computing which would provide more than 8 hours. I think in May we might be closer to providing that," continued Shen.

Users will be glad to learn that ASUS kept all of the external ports that were found on the original Eee PC -- that means that three USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 NIC, VGA port, headphone/microphone jacks and SD/SDHC media reader litter the exterior of the device. ASUS also wisely upgraded the integrated webcam from 0.3MP to 1.3MP. Shen also noted that built-in WiMAX and HSDPA options will be available during Q3.

ASUS plans to continue offering the second generation Eee PC in a variety of colors. The current version is available in white, black, blue, green, and pink. Future color choices “will really reflect the New York City and London city style” according to Shen.

ASUS’ CEO went on to add that the new Eee PC will start at roughly $499 when it launches this April in the U.S. For more information, you can check out the full interview with Laptop Magazine here.

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RE: Nice
By Hydrofirex on 3/9/2008 10:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
'In the near future, we also are trying to support one-day computing which would provide more than 8 hours. I think in May we might be closer to providing that.'

Doesn't sound like it's going to be that close to 8 hours to me. However, I'd imagine when carbon nanotubes and other next-gen battery techs fall into place this will be easily accomplished.


RE: Nice
By feelingshorter on 3/9/2008 10:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
They have Sony 12 inch laptops at around 3 lbs that can play a dvd for 6 hours. So i don't see why using a text editor in Linux cannot achieve that just to type up class notes?

RE: Nice
By BladeVenom on 3/10/2008 1:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
Check out some of the Panasonic laptops. Several models have a much longer battery life than that.

RE: Nice
By jconan on 3/10/2008 7:01:01 AM , Rating: 2
However in Asus's case it's the battery supply issue that's limiting the e3 pc shipments. full article on interview with the ASUS CEO interview

RE: Nice
By jconan on 3/10/2008 9:16:18 AM , Rating: 2
laptopmag interviews asus ceo on e3 pc

RE: Nice
By plewis00 on 3/10/2008 3:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the CF-18 Toughbook tablet computer I was getting a good 6 hours from and the latest CF-30 (13" screen) model has a massive 91Whr battery getting almost 8 hours on a dual-core machine. So these are big laptops but I do think there's a lot to be said from manufacturers not necessarily increasing the battery size but rather reducing the power consumption as with this Asus one.

In fairness a lot of power-saving can be made yourself by using something like RMClock, even standard Core Duo chips (i.e. not LV or ULVs) tend to be happy running at voltages as low as 1.0V at full crank.

RE: Nice
By akugami on 3/10/2008 4:17:51 AM , Rating: 5
Yes well, I am not paying the Sony Bendover Markup (tm). I will pay a premium for certain products/brands but Sony is not one of them.

RE: Nice
By mmntech on 3/10/2008 11:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
Apple as well. The originals had very short average battery lives so if they can get up to 8hrs, I'd buy it. Lithium-polymer batteries today in parallel can easily boost battery capacity without adding a lot of weight or taking up a lot of space.
I also like the increased HDD space and better resolution. Asus has pretty much solved all my gripes with the original Eee PC. All they need to do is keep the price down because people will sacrifice portability for lower cost, particularly at markets this is targeted for. (ie Business people and students)

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