Asus launches the next generation of Eee PCs
Asus has presented a successor to its Eee PC at CeBIT (hall 26, stand D39). The new Eee PC series is called Eee PC 900 and has the same housing as its predecessor, the Eee PC 4G, but with some hardware modifications such as a larger display. Asus did not say how many models it will be marketing in the Eee PC 900 series, but they are expected to cost €399, €100 more than the Eee PC 4G.
The Eee PC 900's display is 8.9in. wide, covering more of the lid than the 7.1in. panel in the 4G. The solid-state hard drive – Eee PCs do not have rotating hard discs) has grown from 4GB to as much as 12GB, depending on the model; applications and the operating system take up almost 3GB of that. RAM has also doubled to 1GB.
Asus also did not say exactly when it would be shipping these units, stating that they would be available sometime this summer. The firm's vagueness is not surprising – the Eee PC 4G has officially been on sale since December of 2007, but Asus still cannot produce sufficient numbers of the unit and even missed the Christmas shopping season. The problem is probably not only a shortfall in the supply of components, but also surprisingly high demand that Asus did not predict.
The subnotebook measures 22.6cm × 16.4cm × (2.6 - 3.7) cm. Asus has installed Xandros Linux and a number of applications. The Asus Launcher GUI has been customised for the small display.
The hardware isn't particularly powerful, with a Celeron M (Dothan core, 900MHz) and Intel's GMA 900 chipset graphics. The Eee PC 4G weighs 924g; the new one will probably be a bit heavier because of the larger display. The Eee PC 900 is expected to have have a similar battery life to the 4G's 3.3 hours. Asus says the new unit is "Windows ready", but the hardware will probably not be able to run Windows Vista.