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
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”
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.