Print 19 comment(s) - last by Brett Stocks.. on Jul 3 at 5:10 AM

ASUS Eee PC 904/904HD/905

ASUS Eee Monitor
ASUS' Eee PC family continues to grow

It seems as though "too much of a good thing" is not something that crossed ASUS' mind following the success of the original Eee PC 701 4G. With competion springing up from various manufacturers from MSI to HP to Dell, ASUS is now throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the newcomers.

The first new addition to the Eee PC family came in the form of the Eee PC 900 which added a larger 8.9" screen, larger SSD capacities, and a multi-touch track pad. Not long after hooking new customers in with the 900, ASUS announced its successor: the Eee PC 901. The Eee PC 901 brought Intel's Atom processor to the mix along with a completely new chassis design.

Feeling heat from the 10" MSI Wind, ASUS days later announced the 10" Eee PC 1000 and 1000H complete with Intel's Atom processor, nearly full-size keyboard, and the option to select a HDD for the first time on the Eee series.

As if those new models weren't enough, ASUS is now throwing in four additional models: the Eee PC 903, 904, 904 HD, and 905. The Eee PC 903 crams the 901's Intel Atom-based components into the 900's chassis design (some previous Eee PC owners have complained about the "blinged out" 901). This appears to be the only change for the 903.

Next up are the Eee PC 904 and 905. Although not much is known about the differences between the 904 and 905, both use the larger 10" Eee PC 1000's frame with the smaller 8.9" screen from the Eee PC 900/900. So users can now have the 8.9" screen and a larger keyboard; but they now have to deal with the increased screen bezel.

Finally, we have the Eee PC 904 HD. This model has the same characteristics as the 904/905, but adds in a HDD instead of an SSD.

Confused yet?

On top of all this, ASUS also recently showed off the new Eee Monitor which appears to be a 19" or 20" all-in-one machine complete with six USB 2.0 ports, a 56k modem, NIC, and a media reader.

While it's commendable that ASUS is not leaving the Eee PC series to languish in previous successes, one must wonder if the company is going to confuse or alienate its customers with a dizzying array of overlapping models.

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Oh boy...
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/2/2008 11:57:38 AM , Rating: 4
Why don't they put all of the best features together in each category and get it done with just one or two models?

Now you have:

7" screen on 9" bezel, small keyboard.
9" screen on 9" bezel. same kbd as before + m.touch. Atom or celeron
9" screen on 10" bezel. bigger kbd. atom only
10" screen on 10" bezel. the rest as before.

The only thing they could add to make that mess worse is something like a 7" screen on a 10" bezel with the 9" kbd, with celeron cpu and no multitouch. (hope that they don't read this, and if they do, I really pray for them to not take such an idea sreiously!)

RE: Oh boy...
By sliderule on 7/2/2008 12:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
It does seem like poor leadership by whoever is in charge at Asus.

I like the idea of the 903, because I prefer the older case to the new one, but why keep so many models?

RE: Oh boy...
By voodooboy on 7/2/2008 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Atleast to me, it looks like ASUS just wants to flood the market with EEE's. In face of tough current/upcoming competition, I don't think ASUS cares if the customer is confused/a particular model isn't doing well. Just let lose a billion variations and every time someone searches for a low cost notebook with particular traits, one of the EEE's would show up.

RE: Oh boy...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/2/2008 12:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't mind if they flooded the market with EEEPC's that had beefier GPU's so we can play games decently on the road from 5+ years ago, (Like WarCraft 3, Homeworld 2, Freelancer, Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 just to name a few - X3100 Instead of the GMA950 or 900 anyone?).
and Possibly better screens with the resolution pumped up to about 1024x768 at least, which would probably fit the sweet spot with my Converted DVD to DivX is concerned.

Still for such a cheap device you can't expect much I suppose, but it's always one of those "Wouldn't it be nice?" things.

RE: Oh boy...
By lagitup on 7/2/2008 10:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the better GPU is that they take a lot more power from the system. Even a GMA 900 to an X3100. The crowd that asus is aiming the EEE at. I wish that I had a lower end GPU on my 14in laptop (asus f8sp-x1 radeon 3650) just because it sucks away so much battery life (2 hours office/productivity vs 1 hour gaming with WLAN on the whole time). In the size of package the EEE is, to fit in a larger GPU is enough of a challenge. To cool it is another thing. To power it is as well.

Wait until we have 32nm or smaller parts...then that sort of thing might be practical as far as power consumption/heat/size vs mobility go.

RE: Oh boy...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/3/2008 3:28:58 AM , Rating: 2
Not really, Intel Integrated stuff isn't all that great anyway from a power conservation side of things.

My old Laptop from 4-5 years ago with the Mobility 9700pro 64mb card out-performs the Intel X3100, the other cool thing about it is that you can drop the clock speeds to 100mhz core/100mhz memory automatically when you switched to battery mode, which actually used less power than my previous laptop before that with the Intel Extreme 2 (855).
They were both the same "Generation", both had the same motherboard, memory, processor and Hard Drive, the only difference being the GPU, where the old Radeon lead by about half an hour.

But if the Radeon GPU was thrown into Performance mode, then things changed, the Radeon became a juice guzzler and consumed twice as much as the old 855 Intel chip.

Plus the Radeon GPU was only cooled by a single Copper Heat-Pipe which was connected to both the GPU and Processor, and to a small fan which turned on occasionally, the only difference between that and the laptop before that, was that the Intel 855, was passively cooled with its own heat sink, and didn't have a copper pipe shared with the processor and fan.

I would rather have the performance *there* with additional clock speed reductions to conserve power, than not have it at all, all comes down to choice and personal preference, however I would still love to play some older games 5+ years ago comfortably.

RE: Oh boy...
By MamiyaOtaru on 7/2/2008 1:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
I too prefer the older case, but I'd love to see the older case with some of the improvements from the 901. Ideally there'd be better touchpad buttons instead of the rocker, kensington slot usable at the same time as external VGA, swappable main SSD ala 901, but with the 900's looks (hinge and NO GLOSSY).

RE: Oh boy...
By Screwballl on 7/2/2008 2:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
Someone has been working beside Intel for too long...

RE: Oh boy...
By Topweasel on 7/2/2008 12:49:15 PM , Rating: 3
You are forgetting what Asus is. They are the largest seller of components and one of the big three in laptop shells. When their name is attached to something its attached to enthusiast products. The thing about enthusiasts is they tend to be picky looking at 40 million options before choosing the one with the right combinations of components and features that meet their need. Asus is defiantly not a one glove type company and you only need to look at their normal laptop selection to understand that. My F3k I choose because it made what I felt where the right trade offs to make a sub $1000 mid level gaming laptop. That said they had like 8 laptops in that price range differing on CPU-memory-hard drive-graphics adapters.

They as the leading component and a top laptop manufacturer for all of the big companies means that what they sell under the Asus name doesn't have to compete with Dell or HP (their products are already in them) it just needs to fall in the gaps so that someone doesn't use a laptop that doesn't use their parts. Since customers that did't buy these products from the big three, then they are looking for something specific and Asus as again a company that has a rare flexibility in this market is actually better off by having a billion options then 7-8.

Take this example. I am for a machine purely for some web browsing, web mail, forum posting, and reading e-books. Because this isn't my main laptop or primary desktop, this really is all I would use the Eee for it should be really cheap. I would only need a 4-8GB hard drive and about 1GB memory because I like XP. What makes the best sense is a Eee PC 4G XP. But the memory is a little low and the keyboard is too small. So if they could put lets say a 7" components in a 10" chasis and price it between the 7" and 9" (350ish) that would be perfect. Its Asus's job above every other manufacturer to do that for me because I am exactly the person they are trying to sell to. Heck they spent all that money designing the Eee in the first place as once again a catch for those people not buying other machines with their components that the OEM's where trying to charge 4x-5x more.

By voodooboy on 7/2/2008 11:46:27 AM , Rating: 2
"With competing products springing up from various manufacturers from MSI to HP to Dell,..."

RE: Typo
By Brandon Hill on 7/2/2008 11:53:00 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, it has been corrected.

RE: Typo
By voodooboy on 7/2/2008 12:07:51 PM , Rating: 3
You're welcome!

Consumer choice
By Performance Fanboi on 7/2/2008 12:10:33 PM , Rating: 3
When the EEE first came out people wanted more options. Now that Asus is offering a more diverse lineup they are said to be confusing consumers. Granted they could have made screen size/CPU type options within the same model number but this approach amounts to nothing more than offering the consumer more choices - I think most people can handle the 'confusion' and those that can't can just buy Apple.

RE: Consumer choice
By Nik00117 on 7/3/2008 3:24:59 AM , Rating: 2
We wanted a slightly bigger screen and bigger KB. We were fine with the rest.

THE WHOLE POINT TO THE EEE WAS CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats important to understand cause ASUS doesn't.

56k Modem
By intelcpu on 7/2/2008 7:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
Who needs a 56 K modem, perhaps they should add WLAN or LAN but 56k is out of the line.

RE: 56k Modem
By ajdavis on 7/3/2008 12:15:55 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't read anything but the short summary in this article but it clearly stated the "monitor" comes equipped for a wired network.

By Chadder007 on 7/2/2008 1:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
How about a smaller price?

By judasmachine on 7/2/2008 2:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
will the cheapest one still let me manipulate files office style and surf the web? because if so, that's all i (and i'm sure most folks)need.

By Brett Stocks on 7/3/2008 5:10:57 AM , Rating: 2
It was PC Retail that broke the 904 HD story and if you read it, you'd realise that then 904 HD IS the 904 and that 905 doesn't exist.

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