Asus presents 4 new Eee's
At Computex, Asus is presenting three new versions of its 299 euro Eee PC notebook with a larger display in order to keep up with the forecast market growth. Visitors to the fair can also take a look at prototypes of the new "nettop" Eee Box, a desktop PC with Eee inside. All of them use the Atom platform that Intel presented today.
Another new model is the Eee PC 900,already presented at CeBIT. Basically, it is similar to the current Eee PC 4G but has a larger display (8.9 inches and 1024 x 600 pixels), 1 GB of RAM and a 12 GBsolid-state drive. The processor is still the same Celeron M throttled down to 600 MHz. Windows XP is preinstalled. At CeBIT, Asus said these units would go on sale in the second quarter, and the company will just barely make good on its word: the 900 is expected to go on sale for 399 euros on June 26, and unlike the first model it will reportedly be available in sufficient quantities from the outset.
The Eee PC 901 is basically the same size, though a bit more rounded off, with reportedly a tougher case than the current model. The display is also larger at 8.9 inches with 1024 ×600 pixels. The processor, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270, should be a bit faster than the current Celeron M. A solid-state drive is still used instead of a hard drive; if you use Linux as the operating system, you get a 20 GB drive, whereas you have to make do with only 12 GB if you want Windows XP loaded. WLAN is possible via IEEE 802.11n, and audio quality has also been improved. Depending on the application, the machine is expected to run from four to eight hours, which would be a significant improvement upon the three hours of the Eee PC 701. This better performance is the result partly of the Atom platform with a TDP of 8 watts (including chipset) and partly of the larger battery, which now has six cells instead of four. In addition, there is a new version of Linux, called Xandros pre-installed. This uses Intel's Atom-optimized Linux support (see Moblin.org) to extend the machine's run time by 25 percent. No prices have been announced for Germany, nor is it clear when the units will go on sale. In some countries, a coupon will be included in the package for 20 GB of Internet storage with a sharing feature provided by an, as yet un-named, provider.
Asus are launching two further Eee PCs with a 10-inch display and a larger keyboard that is easier to type on if you use all ten fingers: the 1000 and the 1000H. The former has a 40 GB solid-state drive, while the 1000H has a conventional 1.8-inch hard drive with a maximum capacity of 160 GB. The other features, such as the Atom platform and draft n WLAN are the same as on the Eee PC 901. The Eee PC 1000 is expected to go on sale at the same time as the 901, whereas the 1000H with a conventional hard drive will only be available to selected markets.
Asus also have a stationary or "nettop" version called the Eee Box. Again it is Atom based and uses a 1.6 GHz Atom 230 processor. This desktop version also includes a normal hard drive, a DVI output, and a WLAN module. Power comes from an external power pack. The case is available in a number of colours. The Eee Box is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter but no price has yet been published.